Lets have a serious discussion: how's your dog's poop?
I am totally serious and I promise I will not illustrate this point with pictures.
Your dog's poop says a lot about how well your dog is and how well your dog is eating.
So when we're talking about digestion, what are some important things to know?
|Courtesy Merck Manuals|
2) The poop should be firm -- not too hard, but you should be able to maybe touch it with your foot without squishing it (if you must test this, wear shoes).
3) Gas shouldn't be a major issue because of the food -- no burping, no farting (now if your dog eats too fast, that's another matter).
4) Color should be good -- no black flecks or red tinges. If you're seeing that, you should probably go to the vet.
|If Lulu is laying out for a while after eating, she probably ate too fast.|
Now fiber is broken down into two kinds (and this true for us humans too, so watch the nutritional info on your cereal boxes): insoluble and soluble fiber. In nutritional info on dog food bags though you will only see "crude fiber." That has nothing to do with the quality of fiber, only the quantity, so be sure to know your ingredients. Soluble fiber is dissolved in water, while insoluble fiber absorbs water.
When it comes to digestion, you want both. Soluble fiber helps slow the movement of food though the system. Insoluble fiber takes in lots of liquid. Using either one can help prevent constipation or diarrhea (that's why you can give pumpkin to a dog to help when stool is soft).
Insoluble fiber controls diarrhea and soft stool by absorbing moisture. Soluble fiber meanwhile ferments in the colon and helps repair the organ, thus helping to prevent colon cancer.
Chicken, Brown Rice, Oats, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dried Carrots, Duck Meal, Salmon Meal, Pea Fiber, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Flaxseeds, Brewers Dried Yeast, Menhaden Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Tryptophan, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (preservatives), Taurine, Dried Cranberries, Dried Blueberries, Dried Spinach, L-Lysine, Dried Kelp, Dried Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract.Layered fibers help maintain digestive balance. No matter what food you get, you want to make sure that they have a good mix of insoluble and soluble fibers.
Digestive health is one of the important things readers specified when it comes to pet health in the #WholeBodyHealth survey a couple months ago. Take a look at this infographic to see more results.
Interested in trying it for your dog or cat? Here's you chance at a coupon.
“Click here to download a coupon for $3 off the Original Ultra Whole Body Health dry formulas. Act quickly as the coupon expires December 31.”
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Oh, and while we're on the subject -- scoop your poop! Don't leave it on the ground where it can seep into our water supply.