Here's something that most dog owners would rather not talk about: dog poop!
Picking up waste is something that all dog lovers have to deal with. It comes with the territory of having a canine companion. Producing stool is an important biological function that your dog needs to do to stay healthy. There's no way to get around it. But, there are ways to control it!
The amount of waste your pup produces is directly related to the food they eat.
Beyond the size of their meals, the formula of their food has a huge impact. Lower-quality foods are notorious for making pups of any size create large quantities of stool that needs to be cleaned up.
By improving your dog's diet, you can reduce stool production pretty significantly. Not only that, but you could be improving your dog's overall health. Here are some of the best adult dog and puppy foods to make your pooch poop less.
Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Less Poop
1. Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food
The Sensitive Stomach formula from Hill's Science is an excellent choice for adult dogs. It's specifically formulated to have better digestibility and fewer allergens than most foods on the market.
The kibble has a total crude protein analysis of 21 percent. There is some dietary fiber in the mix. However, it only makes up 4 percent of the recipe, which is in line with what wild dogs eat.
Some additional ingredients your pup can benefit from include probiotics, omega fatty acids, and Vitamin E. Overall, this recipe offers good nutrient absorption and less waste.
2. Whole Earth Farms Recipe Salmon & Whitefish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
With a fiber content of only 3.5 percent, you can rest easy knowing that your dog is taking advantage of what this food has to offer. We're happy to say that the formula is a great choice for most dogs.
It has salmon and chicken meal as the primary protein source, which makes up about 26 percent of the formula.
What you won't find are unnecessary fillers. This recipe is made without the use of corn, wheat, or soy. It only has good stuff that your dog will actually use. Thanks to the digestible formula, those healthy nutrients absorb efficiently.
3. Stella & Chewy's Stella's Super Beef Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
Here's a unique dog food product with a lot to offer. Instead of dried kibble, this food comes in the form of freeze-dried patties. Each patty is very nutritionally dense.
This improves nutrient absorption and reduces the amount of poop your pup creates.
The ingredients list is pretty simple. Tons of protein ingredients are used. Beef and beef organs combine to create a crude analysis of 44 percent!
The fiber content is a bit higher than the other foods at 5 percent. But, the use of simple ingredients and probiotics more than make up for that.
4. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food
Here's another food product that breaks from conventions. It's dehydrated food. To prepare it, you must soak the dry morsels in warm water. The food has impeccable quality. So much so that even humans can eat it!
It has 100 percent human-grade ingredients and is made in a human-grade food facility. Some notable ingredients include chicken, sweet potatoes, apples, pumpkin, and more.
To keep up with that natural appeal, the food is also free of byproducts, hormones, preservatives, and prebiotics. Thanks to its simplicity, the food is easy to digest and absorb.
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild dog foods are always a good choice because of their high-quality ingredients. This particular formula is completely grain-free and uses buffalo, lamb, chicken, and more for protein. In total, the kibble has 32 percent protein and only 4 percent fiber!
Each piece of kibble is packed with nutrients. There are no fillers. But, there are some healthy probiotic strains. The probiotics support your pup's digestive health. It ensures that as many nutrients are absorbed into the body as possible.
Should I Be Concerned with How Much My Dog is Pooping?
It might seem silly to be so concerned with dog poop, but it's actually a good thing that you're looking for ways to make your pooch poop less. You see, your dog's feces can give you a lot more insight into their health.
After your dog eats, that food goes through so many processes inside their body. When one thing is out of whack, you can usually tell by noticeable differences in the waste.
Most people know about the obvious signs of issues, such as unusual consistency or strange colors. However, the amount of waste that's produced is important as well.
Generally, a lot of waste means that your dog's body isn't taking full advantage of the food you provide. We'll get into specifics in a bit, but this is clearly not a healthy way to live!
The kibble you provide is the only source of sustenance your dog has aside from the occasional treat. When most of that food is turning into pure waste, that means that they're not absorbing those all-important vitamins and nutrients they need to thrive!
Too much poop may also indicate that a serious health problem is underfoot. Some conditions will lead to more waste volume. These include kidney failure, colitis, and even bacterial infections. If you suspect that a disease is to blame, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. While the amount of poop can be improved with dietary changes, diseases cannot.
Ultimately, you should always pay attention to your dog's feces as you're cleaning it up. If you notice anything off about the volume or mass, consider speaking with your vet about food. From there, they can rule out any diseases. You can then think about changing foods.
Why Does Bad Food Lead to More Poop?
The issue with inferior food is a lack of meaningful ingredients. Dogs have complex nutritional needs that you need to meet. While cheaper foods provide the basics to meet health standards, that doesn't mean that the ingredients are going to help your dog reach their full potential.
One of the worst things in cheaper dog foods are fillers. Fillers are exactly what they sound like. They're ingredients that are used to bulk the food up. Sure, the use of fillers is great for making your dog feel satiated. But, they're not getting anything else from it.
Most manufacturers will use cereal-based fillers. This includes things like corn, wheat, or soy. Some brands even use something called "cellulose." Dog owners see that and don't think anything of it. But cellulose is just a fancy term to describe what is basically wood shavings.
Dogs have nothing to gain from eating those fillers. They're essentially nutritionally empty. But, manufacturers will use them alongside other unsavory ingredients to keep costs low. As an owner, all you see is your dog gobbling up the kibble and feeling full. However, internally, your dog is not doing too well.
Because those fillers don't have a lot to offer in terms of nutritional content, they just pass right on through. There's nothing for your dog's body to absorb and use. So, most of it just ends up as waste!
Some dogs even experience sensitivity to those fillers. Dogs just aren't built to process grains and corn. Your pup may be suffering in silence.
What About Fiber?
Fiber is healthy for dogs, right? Contrary to popular belief, high amounts of fiber aren't always beneficial for dogs.
High fiber content can be helpful for puppies and adult dogs suffering from certain diseases. It's known to help canines with digestive problems, weight issues, or diabetes. But for an otherwise healthy dog, too much fiber is just pushing food through too fast.
To add fiber to a formula, manufacturers will use filler ingredients like whole grains, beat pulp, flaxseed, psyllium husks, and more. When consumed, the fibrous ingredients absorb water. During this process, they expand dramatically.
As the food travels through the digestive tract, it essentially cleans your dog's system out. However, it travels very fast. That's why dogs who eat a lot of fiber seem like they have to do their business every few hours.
Not only do fiber ingredients often have little nutritional value, but they prevent good ingredients from being absorbed efficiently. When food is processed and turned to waste quickly, your dog's body doesn't have the capabilities to use those nutrients as they should. This results in more poop.
Choosing a Food That Results in Less Poop
Picking the right food for your pup's poop problem is about more than just buying expensive food. You have to pay attention to the quality of the formula.
Most manufacturers aren't going to market the fact that the food makes dogs poop less. So, you'll need to dig a bit deeper to ensure that you're getting something that works.
Here are some things to look for.
You might have heard this term being tossed around in the dog community at some point. But what exactly is it?
Well, a low-residue food product is going to be one that's nutritionally dense. These foods have a lot of nutrients packed into those tiny pieces of kibble. That's because low-residue foods contain very little unnecessary fillers. They have everything your dog needs and nothing more.
You might also see these foods labeled as "Limited Ingredients" or something similar. It's the same basic concept. The foods keep things simple to improve digestibility and ensure that your dog is absorbing all of the food's nutrients.
Speaking of digestibility, you need a food product that your pup can efficiently process. Digestibility refers to how well the food passes through. With high digestibility, the kibble is broken down and processed well without leaving behind any stomach pains.
This rating is represented as a percentage. As a good rule of thumb, anything above 80 percent is a good choice.
Most food products nowadays have far more fiber than a dog actually needs. To provide some perspective, a wild canine's diet usually consists of about 6 percent fiber. In today's market, you can regularly find foods with fiber content around 30 percent!
Choose the lowest fiber content that you can find. Some fiber is good for your dog. But, you don't want there to be so much fiber that your dog is constantly pooping.
High Amount of Quality Protein
Of course, no discussion about dog food is complete without covering protein. Adult dogs need a minimum of 18 percent protein. Meanwhile, puppies need at least 22 percent.
More protein is always better, so feel free to get something higher than those minimums.
Stick to high-quality proteins that you can easily identify. That means things like chicken meat, beef, lamb, and more. You should always avoid byproducts and mystery meats. Not only are they potentially dangerous, but they can cause stomach issues.
Digestive supplements will support your dog's gut and help it process foods efficiently. Foods with probiotics are very easy to find. They can also work wonders on your dog's system.
Finally, your dog needs fat! Fat provides energy and makes the food flavorful. Puppies should consume foods with around 8 percent fat. Adult dogs do best with about 5 percent.
Try to avoid foods with exorbitantly high fat levels, as this only leads to diarrhea. For better results, choose foods with healthy fats like salmon oil or flaxseed oil. Those ingredients are filled with omega fatty acids.
Give one of these foods a shot and see what kind of difference it makes. You can't get rid of the waste completely, but a well-formulated food can decrease the amount of poop your dog produces while improving the quality of the poop they do create.
More importantly, these foods will make our dog healthier overall. Instead of cheap foods that go right through your furry friend, you can provide a balanced meal that supports them from within!