Put your dinner down, it's time to talk about your dog's poop. What is it like, what should it be like and why?
From cartoons to American funny film pranks, we are conditioned to think that dog poo is the smelliest & grossest thing on earth. Did you know that really, is isn't that way at all? The "perfect poo", if we can make that a thing, should be small, hard and practically odourless. No really, you read that right, odourless, and the condition of your dog's poo can tell you a lot about their health and physical condition.
Dr Nick Thompson describes the "perfect poo" as firm and well formed, in a cigar, torpedo or even a smaller, rounder egg shape. He says your dog should be "comfortably constipated", meaning that they can comfortably pass their stool with a little effort (and absolutely no strain) to ensure they are also evacuating their anal glands.
Your dog's anal glands usually empty when they poo lubricating the anal opening in the process, and when your dog's poo is soft (or even liquid), this is often not exerting enough pressure on the glands for them to empty. This can cause them to fill and become infected, not to mention incredibly uncomfortable for your dog.
Numerous poos per day indicate that your dog is not digesting many of the ingredients in their food and that there is a lot of waste product. A small, once a day poo indicates that your dog is absorbing the majority of what it is they have eaten, and that the contents of their diet are spot on.
Let's take Dr Nick Thompson's Stool Score which goes from 0% (Oxtail Soup, zero form, watery consistency and impossible to pick up) through 5 (chocolate blancmange, very soft and gelatinous with a loose shape that falls apart when picked up) to 10 (a solid cigar pick up-able with 2 fingers). He says that anything less than 90% means your dog's diet need addressing, and even if your dog is averaging around 70%, this still means that your dog's gut, and in turn your dog, is 30% unhappy.
Even if your dog is up there with the best, we are aiming for that 100% poo every time. If your dog is not on a raw diet, this is not attainable, but for those who are, then some fine tuning of the quality of your dog's diet and the components thereof can boost their stool score.
How can I get the perfect poo?
Put simply - with a raw diet. Feeding your dog that which nature and history have intricately and evolutionarily tailored your dog's digestive system to require, digest and run off is the key to creating poop the way it should be. Feed your dog what it is supposed to eat, and not that dry brown stuff which the big brands have formulated in a testing centre. Ask yourself, did or do wolves eat kibble? Does any other animal on earth eat a processed and chemically compounded food that has been injected sprayed and packed with additives, colourings and flavourings and that could survive for months, if not years, on a shelf? A happy gut makes pleasant poos!