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Your Dogs Stool: The Stool Pigeon of Health

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a “stool pigeon” as an informer. In today’s blog post, I’ll explain how your pets stool informs you of the current state of health of your companion animal.

I strongly believe that all canine guardians should think of themselves as “stool pigeons” because in reality, your dog’s stool informs you of any potential problems in your dog. I’ll admit, this is a very unmentionable topic in many cases because few people like to talk about stool volume, color, texture, or odor.

It sort of reminds me of watching those commercials for toilet paper. Since it is a very delicate subject to talk about, the announcer will dance around the issue, explaining that everyone does it but that their product makes it a more enjoyable experience.

Then I see the commercials for feminine hygiene products, hemorrhoids, and erectile dysfunction. All of the marketing for these products is handled discretely, dancing around the issues without causing waves.

In our business, we have to face discussions about diarrhea, constipation, painful urination, nausea, and vomiting, head one. We even defend our own branding choice of calling our dog food the BARF Diet®!

Despite the resistance, the most obvious indicator of health and well-being is found in the stool. Our customers EXPECT that each bowel movement that the dog makes to be the same in every respect. As a good stool pigeon knows, there will always be some variation in stool output, color, odor, and consistency. There are many factors that can make these changes. I will isolate a few that will certainly make a difference:

  • Giving a variety of different foods will give a variety of stool results. (This is no different for humans).
  • The possibly ingested “buried treasure” your dog may find in your back yard (usually a dead animal carcass).
  • The occasional table scrap or leftovers from the day’s culinary masterpiece that didn’t find it’s way to the garbage bin.
  • Consumption of an unexpected, yet much appreciated supply of raw meaty bones.
  • Dietary variation resulting from a variety of homemade ingredients (especially if there are multiple suppliers of the same ingredients being used).
  • Treats are another obvious culprits (especially when given in excess).
  • Artificial additives in heat-processed food (ie. Dry canned, dehydrated, and any other form of cooked food).

There are however several factors than can produce a perfect transition from mouth to tail: proper enzyme function, the use of probiotics (I always HIGHLY recommend the E-BARF Plus® 2-in-1 enzyme and probiotics supplement for dogs), gastrointestinal (GI) bacterial levels, proper organ function, GI mobility, proper utilization of ingredients, metabolism speed, and several other factors, which can affect the resultant stool condition.

Relating this to human function, we realize there is similarity from the same factors affecting dogs and cats. The guardian must become a stool pigeon to realize the importance of using this as a tool to measure the ultimate health of their pets. When changes happen, there are usually reasons for it. We always try to coach our customers that it is inevitable that the stool will not always be the same. However, we point out that a dog that is only fed the BARF Diet® (with nothing else to alter the outcome) will usually have a stool that is a solid, chalky white consistency. Why? This is because all that is left after being totally utilized by the body is ash and fiber. So, I tell my customers: it is time to go to school and learn about the stool. This produces a schooled stool pigeon!

Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine at barfworld.com/ezine

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