There are many reasons why home-cooked is the best way to feed your dog, but until recently I hadn’t thought of poo as one of them. However, recent research from the University of Illinois has demonstrated something that those of us who have fed both fresh and processed foods to our dogs over the years have suspected for a long time – fresh fed dogs produce less waste than those fed dry foods.
Research from scientists at the University of Illinois found that feeding a fresh diet reduced the amount of poo dogs produced by up to nearly 3 times – something that certainly chimes with my experiences feeding Pip and the increase in waste that accompanies the rare occasions when I have to resort to feeding her dried food instead of her usual VetChef fresh diet.
The researchers think that the main reason behind the different amounts of waste produced by dogs on dried processed foods and those fed fresh diets is that dogs need to eat much more dried food than fresh food to satisfy their daily nutritional requirements. This, along with the higher waste content and lower digestibility of dried foods, means that dogs eating dried foods were observed to produce between 1.4 and 2.9 times as much of the nasty stuff as fresh fed dogs.
Given how unpleasant dog poo is - not only is it one of the foulest smelling substances known to man, it is also packed full of highly dangerous bacteria and, in some instances, parasites that can lead to blindness – it’s not a substance many of us want to deal with any more than we have to. But for those of us with dogs, dealing with our pet’s waste is an everyday challenge, so any change we can make to reduce the amount of poop our dogs produce is very welcome indeed, both on a personal level, and on a wider environmental level.
So, I think we can now add ‘lower poop-print’ alongside ‘healthier dogs’, 'lower carbon pawprint' and ‘happier owners' in the list of reasons why you should feed fresh!