Yes, this post is about poo, dog poo to be specific. If you keep reading it’s not my fault.

I woke up this morning to the very bad smell. If you are a dog owner you likely know that smell (or perhaps if you are a parent). It’s not just the poo smell it’s the rancid poo smell…

This past weekend was Caribana in our neighbourhood, it’s a huge Caribbean festival, and involves a lot of Caribbean food, mostly chicken, specifically jerk chicken. The result is after the festival is done there are chicken bone all over the parks, they are on the side walks, in the gutters, in the grass on the walking paths…. everywhere.

We own a beagle and a shepherd who think that Carribana is the best time of year because there is a chicken bone smorgasboard outside their door when we take them for a walk. These normally adequately behaved dogs become lunging, pulling, scrambling, skittering idiots to walk anywhere (as do most other dogs in the area). The shepherd is at least tall enough that we can hold onto the traffic leash and he can’t get low enough to the ground to grab the bones….

Mr. Brown - Beagle
Mr. Brown (Beagle)

Jenkins - Shepherd
Jenkins (Shepherd Cross)

The beagle on the other hand, if I grab the traffic lead then he chokes himself, scrabbling on his back two legs fully extended, and I think he’s part frog as he uses his tongue to try to reel in the bones. It becomes a balancing act between not choking the beagle (or making him bleed, as he’ll pull so hard on the “no pull” harnesses to make his underarms chafe and bleed) and not letting him eat all the chicken bones. Of course he does manage to get some.

The result is that rancid OMG I’m gonna puke poo… it was sooo bad this morning that he had had the runs right though the pillow we put in his sleeping crate with him and there was a bath involved.

All of this disgustingness did make me think about diet and food.

Our dogs are in very good shape, they get lots of exercise and we feed them the good vet food. They have shiny coats, are trim, fit and very active. We get lots of compliments on them, not just from other dog owners, but dog walkers and our vets. Our general “trick” is that we never ever ever feed them human food. We use dog treats (dehydrated liver) as treats not human food and we always feed them a very good quality food that has been tested over and over and over again and has all the nutritional requirements for them.

I figure here is the problem with human diets and what we can learn from our own poo. So long as my dogs don’t get into the chicken bones, or human food I have to say that picking up after them is not a problem. It comes out in smaller than golf ball sizes, is put together and doesn’t stink all that bad. Reasonably the same for me when I’m in shape and eating well, my “functions” are normal, they do not smell excessively and there is no “mess”.

I worked at a vet clinic for about 6 months while my partner was considering starting a dog walking business. What I learned there was that we can tell a lot about what is or is not going on with an animal based on their poo. I reckon it’s the same for people.

After being on this clean food kick for close to half a year now, I have occasionally come across times when there are not alternatives to junk food, and I also remember what my bathroom “functions” were like prior to switching my diet. Really, I figure if William Shatner can talk about this on TV, then I can talk about it on a blog.

Before cleaning up my diet I would find if I ate junk food, like fast food, greasy food then my movements would similarly be loose greasy and smell pretty bad. If I ate very spicy food I got similar results, but … with spice. Generally my “functions” were pretty telling of what I had been eating and it wasn’t good.

I eat a primarily vegan diet now (mainly because eggs and cheese don’t agree with me) and while there was a bit of an adjustment when I switched while my system seemed to work itself out… generally a bit of stinky “what did I eat that was rotten?” stuff came out for about a week, but after that as long as I have been consistent in my diet I have not had to take reading material into the bathroom, worry if we have another roll of toilet paper under the sink, wonder if I can reach the pepto while sitting on the toilet or keep immodium in my purse. If those aren’t reasons to eat healthy, I don’t know what is.


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