A new campaign called ‘Poopy Pets’ aims to raise awareness of the importance of your dog’s poo in relation to his health and welfare.

It’s not uncommon for embarrassed owners to blame their own flatulence on their pets. Research conducted by raw pet food manufacturer Natures Menu showed almost two thirds of UK dog owners admitted to blaming their pooch, but sometimes it is the dog.

So when is it time to be concerned? Canine flatulence could be a sign of a bad diet, along with other symptoms such as an upset stomach and runny stools. More than a quarter of those surveyed (29 per cent) revealed they’ve had an embarrassing moment caused by their furry friends having an accident at a bad time, including during a first date and meeting the in-laws for the first time.

Another key finding from the research was that almost two thirds of pet owners (63 per cent) weren’t aware of what a healthy poo should look like, with the same number also not associating poor nutrition with ill health.

What to watch for:

  • Soft/ watery or overly hard faeces
  • Excessive flatulence
  • Sticky or crumbly poo
  • Misshapen faeces (not the traditional log shape)
  • Discoloured or foul-smelling poo
  • Blood spots
  • Black coloured faeces

 If you notice any of the symptoms above then it may be worth a trip to the vet’s and a potential diet change. 

Raw feeding

Natures Menu hope that their research not only makes owners more aware of the signs of digestive discomfort, but also highlights the benefits of a complete raw diet for dogs.

Complete raw feeding aims to give dogs a diet that closely resembles what they may have eaten in the wild and some canine nutritionists, vets, nurses and owners claim this is gentler on their digestive system compared to other pet food alternatives.

Natures Menu veterinary nurse, Melanie Sainsbury, said, “It’s not the most glamourous task but inspecting our pet’s poo regularly can ensure they don’t have any problems. Of course, they don’t always have perfect poos, but if there is a change it can be down to factors including diet, stress or even worms, so it’s worthwhile keeping an eye out for any symptoms.

“What’s ‘normal’ varies from dog to dog and can depend on what diet they are on. Generally, ‘normal’ poo should be a medium brown colour, not too soft or watery but also not hard. They should be of a size relative to their breed, so smaller dogs will have smaller poos and vice versa, and be the traditional log shape. When you pick it up, it should not break apart too easily or stick to grass, and ideally, our pets shouldn’t be going to the bathroom any more than a few times per day.

“Consistency in diet is very important so if you do decide to make a change, pick the highest quality dog food suitable for you and your dog and stick with the same brand. Don’t keep changing brands or adding in human food as this can lead to problems with digestion and cause further harm. Try and stop your dog from rummaging in bins, picking up scraps, eating mushrooms and plants, or anything else they shouldn’t too.

“If you are worried about your dog’s poo, it’s always worth popping to your local veterinary practice and speaking to one of the friendly staff for advice. They are there to help you and ensure your pet is as healthy and happy as they should be!”

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