Take a closer look at your dog faeces!

by Nurse Jess Hofmaier
in HVH News
14 Apr 2016  |  0 Comments

Take a closer look at your dogs faeces!

It should not be a smelly issue...

Ever really thought about the type of food you were feeding them?

Being a Vet Nurse I automatically buy the food recommended by our vets, as I am well informed and see (and smell) the evidence of a poor diet. But my husband who thought it was expensive had no idea, until recently.

When I commenced maternity leave earlier this year, going back to one wage was not the easiest with 3 kids, my husband began looking at ways we could save money. One of his thoughts was the dog food. So one day when feeding my dogs, I discovered the dog food bucket full to the brim with different pet food, a cheaper variety bought without my knowledge. Obviously I noticed the food was different. He assured me it was real premium stuff. ‘Sure, sure’ I said; I had no choice but to use it as there was 20kg dumped on top of the original food.

With regret, I fed my dogs this food. Not noticing much at the start, things seemed quite normal, but a few days later when I had to tidy their yard I noticed the size of their faeces, it was twice the size of normal and much lighter in colour. It smelt awful! My husband convinced me to ‘give it a chance’.

I hadn't even been able to slowly introduced them to this new food by mixing it with their old food.

I persevered for a week with the smell and the size. I noticed a change in the quality of their coats and the increased appetite, Taz my beagle even had his head on my lap while I was eating, wanting more food and he never used to do that.

I took my husband outside and showed him the faeces and how bad it smelt. I showed him the poo bucket and that it was nearly full half way through the week. With the vet pet food, the poo bucket would only be half filled after an entire week. 

‘Obviously they are not absorbing as much of this food and it is coming out the other end’ I told him, ‘if we are to continue feeding the dogs this stuff, you have to pick up the faeces!’ He looked at it closer, got a good whiff and actually agreed with me. He admitted that he now agreed about the difference in quality of food.

I could go on and on about the reasons why you should feed your dogs nutritious quality food, I feed my children and husband meals every night. We don't eat take-away every day, we get quality food and so should our pets. We live with them, love them and they are part of the family. It’s not much fun sitting there with them when they pass wind and clear the room. I see cheap pet food as take away and a premium diet as home cooked meals.

Take a look at the difference in stool production of my dogs:

(below) Cheaper dog food.


(below) Vet Food

  The facts about Cheaper pet foods:

  • They are usually less expensive per gram of food but usually you have to feed more to meet nutritional requirements
  • They are sold everywhere and that is convenient
  • They often use lower quality ingredients and fillers to keep prices down
  • Most are sometimes marketed as all-purpose cat or dog foods -  “Premium” is just a word!
  • They may have a variable formula, which means that ingredients may vary from batch to batch and cause stomach upset
  • They may not fully satisfy your pet as they usually have lower digestibility
  • Increased stool production and flatulence (smelly wind)

 The facts about Veterinary Recommended pet foods:

  • The cost is higher per gram, depending on the pet food.
  • You usually need to feed less quantity of food per day because they are more digestible & your pet’s body can utilise the food better. This can counteract the higher cost.
  • Food requirements for Neutered animals is different and therefore made specifically.
  • They are usually only sold in Vet clinics or pet stores and are recommended by professionals.
  • They offer special formulas for pets with allergies, medical conditions or age specific needs.
  • They do not use variable formulas so each batch of food is consistent and ingredients don’t change.
  • The stools are smaller and do not smell as offensive as cheaper varieties.

Although I have been talking about my experience with my dogs, the same principles apply to cats. They also benefit from using the highest quality food you can afford.

If you have any questions about what your pet is eating or should be eating and how to introduce them onto a new diet make sure you talk to your veterinary staff, and we don’t mind looking at photos of your pets poop!

 by Veterinary Nurse Jess Hofmaier

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