dog having a poo with arched back and happy face

 

The change will be for the better as plant-based food may mean that your dog poos more with more fibre in his diet, but it also means that what you have to pick up smells much more manageable! Sometimes there is hardly an odour from Ruff’s poo. At the start of him going onto a vegan diet, he would wake us up to be let out at night and he passed about 4 or 5 droppings in the garden, but after just a few weeks, he began producing perfect formed poos just once (very occasionally twice) a day, and there have been times when they hardly smell compared to dogs on a meat-based diet!

The increased fibre in plant-based homemade food, is also better for any dogs who have anal gland issues as the larger size that has to squeeze past the anal glands causes them to be emptied more effectively and rarely cause issues with blockages.

We are a family of scientists and one very interesting study that I wish someone would research, is how the smell of a vegan dog’s anal glands and bottom smells to other dogs and whether they are treated any differently when greeting each other for the first time? – just a thought:)

It is so important if a homemade diet is being fed, to always blend or mash the food well to break down any seeds, lentils or peas and cook them very well. Dogs do not chew their food politely as we do; instead they gulp their food and if the chickpeas or lentils remain whole, they will pass through unchanged and the valuable nutrients cannot be absorbed and will appear on the grass in your garden!

 

Why do some dogs eat their own poo?

Coprophagia is the name given for dogs who eat their own poo. There are a number of reasons for doing it and sometimes it is a perfectly natural instinct that dogs have as they have an innate ability to know when they require a certain nutrient in their diets. Rabbits do it everyday – they eat their own very soft poo that they make (we call rabbits caecotrophs) as the soft poo they eat stuck to their furry bottoms provides them with their daily dose of the ‘good gut bacteria’ to digest their food (mainly grasses and hay) for the day.

It is thought that this is the same for dogs – they are eating their daily dose of ‘good gut bacteria’ to help digest their food for the day! If your dog is well then please do not be alarmed, but if your dog is showing any signs of changes such as drinking more or lethargy, then please have him checked by a vet.

Another thought is that your dog may suffer from a Vitamin B12 deficiency which is obtained naturally from the soil, so eating their own poo that may have soil around it, makes up for this deficiency naturally.

Another reason for coprophagia in dogs is a behavioural one. Dogs have been taught from an early age that it is not right to toilet indoors. The very obedient and real people-pleaser dogs will actually eat the evidence (even if it is outdoors) before you have time to notice that they have done anything ‘wrong’.

We have been taught as vets that a way to stop your dog doing it (as it is a very unpleasant behaviour that we want to avoid); is to feed your dogs some pineapple daily. Tinned pineapple is fine. The theory is that it is very bitter when passed! Solo-Vegetal tins that we sell contain pineapple as one of their ingredients.

 

just be kind vegan dogs
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