As I got home from work yesterday, I noticed that a dog had done its business in my front yard.

As I went in to get a bag to pick up the waste, I had a flashback to when I was a kid. I used to have to take a shovel and pick up our dog's waste from the backyard before I cut the grass and, more often than not, the waste was white.

When is the last time you saw dog poo that turned white?

For those who haven't stopped reading yet (I know, it's not the most pleasant subject, but for the sake of science, I thought I'd research!), there is a reason we no longer see the white piles of dried-up dog waste in yards.

Townsquare Media photo by John Falcon

Why has white dog poo gone the way of the little triangular windows on cars and lead in our paint? According to the blog, t has to do with what our pets are eating.

Back in the 70s and 80s (and even into the 90s), dog food companies were using different ingredients in the food we fed our pets.

People used to feed their dogs bones more frequently than we do today. Not only more frequently, but we also didn't pay much mind to which types of bones we fed them.

Now we know more about how much of what we were feeding our pets was actually bad for them.

Photo by okeykat on Unsplash

Remember when we would indiscriminately feed our dogs leftover chicken, bones and all? Or the bones from the rack of ribs we had just grilled? Well, we now know that feeding them bones - or at least certain ones, is not good for them, as longer bones can splinter and have a better chance of getting stuck somewhere.

As a general rule, according to my veterinarian Tal Guidry at Guidry Animal Hospital, we shouldn't give our dogs bones.

He said that a dog's system might be able to handle bones, but it's risky. Even though most bones will dissolve in the stomach, it's when they move into the intestine that they'll cause problems.

When the calcium gathers together in the intestines, it can form a ball that's hard as a rock and be difficult for the dog to pass.

Also, we've learned that some of the fillers that dog food companies were putting in the food they sold us aren't good for the longevity of our pets' lives.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

What were the pet food (and pet treat) companies using as filler? Ground-up animal bones. And ground-up animal bones can not be digested by our dog's system, so the bones would pass right through them.

Once the dog waste was deposited on the ground and subjected to the elements, it was the bone matter that would remain.

James Barker via Unsplash
James Barker via Unsplash

And what color is bone? White.

So if you do ever see your pet's waste turn white after a few days, you'll know that you are probably feeding it too much calcium.

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