Reflections on Dog Doo and Cat Poo
By Carole Milligan, A.C.A.N. graduate and Certified Carnivore Nutrition Health Coach
So there I was a few days ago, in the back yard cleaning up after the dogs. Normally, this is a chore that falls under my husband’s list of things to do. It occasionally happens that he has to go out of town to work, and last week was one of those weeks. It was trash night, so the job fell to me to clean up after the dogs and take the trash out to the curb. No problem.
We have two large dogs, a Great Dane and a Great Dane/Lab cross. They are not the biggest dogs in the world, but they are definitely larger than the average dog. As I was cleaning up their scat, I started reflecting on how things have changed since Woody, the Dane, joined our family. He came from a natural rearing home, and was weaned to raw food. Bella, our Dane/Lab cross, is a senior lady that joined our family many years ago. Bella was 9 or 10 years old when Woody joined our family. Up to that point, she had been fed kibble her entire life. When Woody joined us, we changed Bella’s diet over to raw food so both dogs would be eating the same food.
We have had bigger than average dogs for many years, and for many years, the cleanup duties necessitated cleaning up bigger than average dog poo. Big, messy, smelly, fly-attracting dog poo. Land mines. Dog logs. We love our dogs, so we didn’t mind cleaning up after them. It was just the way it was, part and parcel of the responsibilities of pet ownership and care.
And then Woody joined us. And Bella started eating raw food. And guess what-the poo changed. No more titanic dog logs. No more big, smelly, nasty droppings out there in the yard. Yep, it’s obvious now. Change what’s going in at one end, and what comes out at the other end will also be changed. Kibble, with fillers and indigestible ingredients, results in large poo. Raw food, which is what our canine carnivore companions evolved to eat, doesn’t have fillers, and the “end” result is small sized poo. Mini dog logs, if you will, that are much less smelly, and will bio-degrade in a short time if not picked up.
More reflection followed when I moved on to the next chore of emptying out the cat boxes. The cats are on a raw food diet also. Formerly, when they ate kibble, cleaning up their litter boxes was an awful chore, because stinky, nasty, messy poos used to be in those boxes. I mean, I almost needed a mask to deal with the smell. What a difference having the cats on a raw diet has made! No more stink, no more goopy poops to scoop. No more need to open the doors and windows for outside air to ventilate the litter box fumes out of the house. Providing the cats a species appropriate food without fillers and non bio-available ingredients has resulted in un-smelly, “natural” poop.
If you are out on a hike, have you ever noticed small droppings from carnivorous animals? That’s because they eat what they have developed to eat, and extract the maximum nutrients from their prey. When we give our cats and dogs appropriate foods to eat, small feces are the result because they too are getting the maximum benefit from the food.
I’m not even starting in on the health benefits of raw food for our carnivore pets here. I’m writing from the admittedly selfish aspect of how much easier those cleanup chores have become for my husband and me. Hopefully, if you still feed commercially prepared foods to your dogs and cats, this benefit of feeding raw food will prompt you to consider changing your pets’ diet.