Sometimes “poop” can be a controversial topic, but did you know that poop can be a great indicator of your dog’s overall health, and even helps identify potential issues down the road?
The color, shape, consistency and even size can say a lot about your dog’s health and can point to larger, more serious internal problems. Here are some interesting fecal facts that might surprise you:
- Your dog’s poop can be very telling; if it is anything but chocolate brown colored, consult your veterinarian
- Check with your veterinarian if your dog is consistently scooting on his butt as it can be a sign of impacted anal glands
- Experts aren’t sure why dogs eat poop, but there are some methods that can help your dog stop enjoying his backyard snack.
In addition to keeping track of how your dog’s poop looks, here are five reasons from this Examiner’s site to pick up that poop too.
Top Five Reasons to Clean up Pet Waste
Dealing with pet waste is something all pet owners must do, but few ever really discuss. The majority of pet problems in neighborhoods result from the inappropriate handling of pet waste. Additionally, pet waste is the greatest source of health risk for your family and your pet.
1. Disease Control – There are several very common diseases that can be transmitted to dogs, cats and people through feces. These include giardia, roundworms, salmonella and E-Coli. In addition, your dog can contract and spread parvovirus or coronavirus through infected fecal matter. All of these diseases are very common and very serious and every effort should be made to keep pets and family members away from potentially infected feces. One of the simplest methods to dispose of feces is the installation of an in-ground stool digester. These digesters work like a septic system, safely breaking down feces and allowing the residue to harmlessly sink into the surrounding soil.
2. Make your Yard more Useable – No one likes to walk through a yard with “landmines” lurking in the grass. If you and your family are afraid to use your yard because of the dog, then you are wasting one of your biggest time and financial investments. Additionally, your pets will get less interactive exercise and suffer as well. “Scooping” off your yard once or twice a day with a shovel or “pooper scooper” will only take a few minutes and it helps make your yard a place where everyone can enjoy spending time.
3. Fly and Pest Control – Flies consume and lay eggs in feces. These same flies then come into your house and spread disease as they pause on your counters and food. That should be gross enough to motivate anyone to clean up after their pets.
4. Be Responsible – It is ultimately your responsibility to clean up after your pet, both outside of your yard, and inside your yard. One of the most annoying things to neighbors is a dog that “goes” in their yard. Pet owners need to clean up after their dogs every time they go to the bathroom. No exceptions, no excuses. If you are walking in the woods and your dog goes, clean it up. If you are in a neighborhood or a park, clean it up. If you live somewhere without a yard, walk your dog and make it your responsibility to pick up after your pets.
5. Poop du Jour – Most of us think this doesn’t apply to our dogs, but the shocking truth is that most dogs will engage is stool eating at some point in their life. Dogs started as carnivore scavengers and feces were considered fair game in lean times. To prevent this occasional indiscretion from becoming a life-long habit, clean up feces as soon as possible, especially with a young dog where stool eating is more prevalent. At the first sign of this habit, add an oral product to your dog’s food to decrease the palatability of the stools.
The attached infographic, created by Just Right by Purina, shares some important information on what to look for next time you’re on a walk with your furry friend.