What happened to the white dog poop so popular in the 1970s?


If you were in the 1970s or 1980s, you most likely remember white dog poop – it was so common that no one even questioned it. At least not that I remember from my childhood. There was the brown variety and the white variety of doggy doo-doo, end of story. But now that the milky slime is gone, it seems awfully strange that white poop ever existed. In fact, I had forgotten all about it until I came across an article from the Animal Rescue site this morning, which pointed to the ingredients in dog food that were popular at the time as the culprits:

In the 1970s, it was common to give dogs food that was extremely high in calcium from bone meal and cheap meat. Since dogs could not assimilate the amount of calcium they consumed, they simply flushed out the excess!

As the sun dried the feces, the white calcium became visible – which is why dog ​​poo was often considered white.

I couldn’t find a detailed article on what caused the chalky canine lumps to disappear, but there is this, from the not-so-scientific IFL Science:

Once upon a time, dog food was filled with calcium-rich meat and bone meal. The mineral is good for dogs up to a point, but there is a limit to the amount that can be processed, and how it is rendered alters its absorption capacity. Like humans who take too many vitamin supplements and end up making expensive urine, dogs who get too much calcium can sometimes just push it out of their butts.

However, the white dog poop wasn’t what came out of their bums, as the snow-white hue usually wasn’t revealed until it was left out in the sun to cook for a bit. As the water evaporated, the calcium stuck together, leaving a peculiar pile of white dog poop covered in a mineral plating. …

One thing that has been generally accepted across the board, however, is that bulking up commercial pet foods with cheap bone meal is not the best option for our pooches. As such, fewer dogs are reaching the extra hard-to-digest calcium they had before the turn of the millennium, and now dog poop left to bake in the sun still looks like dog poop.