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Saturday, 23 May 2009

Going through the motions!

Just been watching Victoria Stillwell on It's me or the Dog USA. She was invited in to a houseful of Pugs who were all eating each other's poo. Gross!
Victoria advocated a method whereby you train each dog to back away from a flag which the owners have to put in the poo to mark it.
And was it just me, but did you see the poo? It was really yellowy green and all slimy. The consistency of tomato paste! You couldn't have stood a flag up in that poo as it was just so liquidy. And as for the shovel method of disposal - forget it!
Made me want to ask the TV are those Pugs getting too rich a diet? Are Pugs less able to digest than other dogs? Do all Pugs poo yellow/green mush?
Which brings me on to my indelicate question!
What constitutes a good healthy dog turd?
There used to be a show on TV were a blond nutritionist was always looking at people's poo and telling them where their diet was going wrong.
What would a yellowy/greeny slimy poo say about a dog's digestion? And what is the perfect poo anyway?
Should it be bulky and brown? Should the dogs go once a day? Twice a day? More?
And while we are here... that old chesnut! Why don't we see white dog poo anymore?
Beverley Cuddy, Editor Dogs Today

How much time do we dog-owners spend thinking about dog poo?!
To put a different spin on an often-quoted addage, ‘What you poo reflects what you eat’. A dog fed a diet high in indigestible fibre will pass a bigger volume of poo more frequently than a dog fed a highly digestible diet.
There is also the individual dog’s digestive system to consider. Just like people have individual poo-habits with regard to frequency, nature of poo etc (what did possess you to start me on this, Beverley!), so to with dogs. One of the Border Collies of my childhood would poo several times during a walk, the poo becoming softer each time until he finally passed just a little faecal liquid, reflecting the expulsion of poo from higher and higher up the gut. Pippin, on the other hand, only poos once, ten minutes into a walk, and always at the same place if it is our regular dog walk.
Picking up after your dog serves the useful purpose, however, of enabling a check to be kept on your dog’s faeces. Any change from the normal consistency or pattern of frequency may indicate a problem which needs investigation. How my clients’ faces drop when I request a faeces sample! The lab does not require the full load in a poo bag so we do provide universal containers with really dinky shovels.
You are right about the white poo. I have not seen any in years. I had always thought it was old dog poo so perhaps it is a reflection of more dog poo being scooped nowadays, coupled with changes in dietary formulation because ‘Googling’ threw up the suggestion that it reflected a high calcium content in the diet.
Alison Logan, vet


  1. My dogs poo white when I give them big uncooked bones from the butcher, they think its their birthday.

  2. My Stafford passes white & crumbly poo after gnawing on raw marrow bones, though she rarely has one as I'm afraid of her teeth getting damaged.

    My late Stafford wore her incisors down to the pulp & broke a canine tooth on bones.

    I believe the firmer poo helps the anal sacs to empty naturally too.

  3. I'm surprised they chose to film dogs with poo like that because it doesn't seem at all healthy to have semi diahorrea. Poo should be firmish and pickupable, surely?
    Pity they didn't comment on it in the programme because if you noticed it lots of other people must have too.
    It would have made an interesting discussion but it sounds as though everybody was being too polite.
    Julia L

  4. Christine Bailey26 May 2009 at 03:57

    Poo from dogs fed a natural diet will quickly turn white - think it must be the calcium in the bones.

    I don't give my dogs marrow bones any more, as beef bones are very hard and certainly can and do break teeth. In fact as a general rule it's often recommended not to feed weight-bearing bones from any animal. My dogs' favourites are chicken wings/legs, breast of lamb or lamb or pork ribs, or lamb bones from the butcher. The best bones for the dog obviously depend on the size of the dog though!


  5. jo siemieniowski29 May 2009 at 23:32

    I always know when my dogs tummies are off, as I always look, feel and pick up there poo,s. then I know what to stop, and what to give to them, I am a firm believer in people picking up dog poops, many years ago i gave my dogs " red heart" a tinned dog food that is no longer available to buy, and they had "white poos" maybe its just that food has progressed from 30 years ago, to a richer diet?