Let’s talk about poop!

While not a massively appealing subject, poop is something that many pet owners find themselves talking about on a regular basis! Your dog or cat’s stools are the best way to gauge their health and give you an insight into how their body is working.

So what does the perfect poop look like? Well, it will vary depending on several factors, including the diet. You’ll find that the more carbohydrates or grain you feed (such as dry kibble or mixers) the more bulky it will be. On the flip side, if you feed a raw diet then the stools will be much drier and may have a chalky consistency. Either way, it should be easy to pass and not leave a residue on the grass or pavement once you pick it up.

The gut…
While there are many factors that can affect the state of your pet’s poop, keeping the gut healthy is a great place to start. The gut is the powerhouse of the body, and a weak gut can cause a multitude of problems. Never underestimate the power of keeping it healthy and running smoothly! Aim to target these three areas…

1. The diet…
As always, we are talking about diet again! Think of the digestive system as a machine made of several components; the mouth, oesophagus, intestines, colon and anus, each performing their own job. Whatever you put into your dog- food, treats, medicines- must be processed by this machine.

If you’re putting in something difficult to digest, the machine has to work harder to process the good stuff into things like energy and normal bodily functions like cell regeneration. While this can cause long term problems, short term it means your pet might experience issues such as intolerances, gurgly belly, itchy skin, smelly breath, and loose stools. Something simple like raw or steamed meat for example, will be far easier for your pet to process than a food heavy in grains or additives.

2. Scavenging…
While foraging is a natural instinct for our pets, if they are eating things out on their travels it can cause havoc in the gut. To avoid this, make sure your pet has a suitable diet and that they are satisfied. This is especially true for cats; if their diet isn’t as high in meat as their body requires, they are likely to source it elsewhere from either the local wildlife or a well-meaning neighbour!

Equally, if you have a greedy pet then monitor their treats closely. Even healthy treats in excess amounts will affect their stools. It is becoming more and more common for dogs to be muzzled on a walk to prevent them from eating anything. Although there can be some negative connotations with them, it’s certainly nicer for dogs to be muzzled rather than be feeling very poorly or be in the vets with a bout of colitis!

3. Supplements…
Supplements fall into two categories; long term maintenance and what we call ‘emergency!’ If your pet suddenly has a flare up of loose stools or diarrhoea, we recommend Natural Instinct ZooLac Paste. This is a milky tasting paste that can be administered straight into your pet’s mouth, so even if they are off their food it can be of help.

If loose stools, gas, or a gurgling tummy is something your pet has on and off, try a powder supplement. Dorwest Tree Barks Powder is our most popular for cats, and doesn’t have a strong smell so can be added to the food. The bestseller at Brown’s for dogs is without a doubt the Proflax Tummy Tastic. These both work in a similar way to soothe any inflammation in the gut and aid absorption, so whichever food you’re feeding will get processed easily by the digestive system.

If you’re sick of bad poops or you just want to know which supplement can keep your pet’s gut at it’s best, get in touch with us at Brown’s