Stool – What does it say about my dog's diet?
What does poo in your backyard have to do with the quality of your pup's food?
By Rudy Leschke —
2 Minute Read
health + nutrition
When we’re designing a balanced recipe for your pup’s unique needs, one of the most important factors to consider is digestibility. Digestibility measures the amount of nutrients that your dog’s body actually absorbs after eating a particular food. A good quality dog food typically has a dry matter digestibility of 80% or higher – meaning your dog’s body absorbs at least 80% of the nutrients they are consuming.
Fats and oils tend to have very high digestibility values, typically in the high 90% range, while proteins vary. For example, eggs and other animal proteins tend to be highly digestible, while those derived from plants tend to be lower. The digestibility of soy protein in dogs, for example, varies between 71% to 87%, which is lower than that of animal proteins. (One reason why you’ll never find soy in your dog’s Tailored recipe.)
As for carbohydrates – a very important component of a canine diet – studies have shown that rice has a fairly high digestibility of 90% or higher, while corn and millet have lower digestibility. More complex carbohydrate sources also contribute fiber, which decreases overall digestibility, but are important for other reasons, like promoting a healthy metabolism.
A good quality food will have an overall digestibility of 80% or better and result in well-formed stools of modest volume and less gas, making life with your pup a little less smelly.
Let’s talk about poop…
Stool characteristics in dogs can be significantly affected by the quantity and type of poorly digestible ingredients present in the diet. When poorly digested proteins reach the large intestine, compounds are produced that impart strong odors to the stool and intestinal gas.
Certain types of carbohydrates (such as those found in soy) are resistant to digestion and also result in the production of intestinal gas and flatulence. (Another reason why you’ll never find soy in your pup’s Tailored recipe.)
Diets formulated to be highly digestible limit the risks of gaseousness and diarrhea due to malabsorption of nutrients. A product that is highly digestible will produce low stool volumes and well-formed stools.
Dietary fiber is also an important factor in stool quality. A balance of fermentable and non-fermentable fiber will help maintain a healthy bacterial population in the gut and is accomplished by including appropriate levels of moderately fermentable fiber in the diet.
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