The importance of checking your dog's faeces

The importance of checking your dog's faeces

Posted 7th November

New research from Natures Menu has revealed that nearly two thirds of UK dog owners (61 per cent) have blamed flatulence on their pets

In some instances, it actually has been from the dog, with flatulence just one side effect of a bad diet - other key symptoms include an upset tummy and runny stools.

While there's never been a good time for your pet to get poorly, some occasions can prove worse than others. For instance, over a quarter of those surveyed (29 per cent) revealed their furry friend has caused them an embarrassing moment by having an accident at a bad time. This includes during a first date, and when meeting the in-laws for the first time, meaning it's worth keeping an eye out for any sign that your pet is feeling under the weather.

The research has been conducted by the UK's number one expert in raw, and aims to make pet owners aware of the signs of digestive discomfort and, in turn, highlight the 'back-end' benefits of a completely raw diet for dogs.

Another key finding from the research is that almost two thirds of owners (63 per cent) were not sure what a 'healthy' poo would look like, with the same number not associating poor nutrition with ill health.

While inspecting your pet's faeces may not seem the most appealing task, there are some key signs to look out for, including:

- 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 your pet isn't feeling 100 per cent, or if you've seen any of the above symptoms, it could be worth considering a change of diet for your pet.

Nutritionally balanced, complete raw feeding aims to give dogs a diet as close as possible to what they'd eat in the wild, and can be gentler on their digestive system than other pet food options.

Natures Menu veterinary nurse, Melanie Sainsbury, said: "It’s not the most glamourous task but inspecting our pets poo regularly can ensure they don’t have any problems. Of course, they don’t always have perfect poo’s, 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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