(Warning: if you’re squeamish or offend easily, STOP reading now!)
As a pet rescue expert and pet rescue mum, I LOVE my dogs with all my heart and would do ANYTHING for them…
Of course, that includes the EXPECTED tasks like feeding, bathing, walking, etc…
BUT there are also those UNEXPECTED tasks that pop up as well… like cleaning eye boogies, flea and tick checks and the always UN-appetizing poop stuff.
And that brings me to this post.
As a responsible pet parent, we all know to bring poop bags with us on walks and clean up after our four-legged friends. That’s the EASY part. But I bet you didn’t know just HOW important your dog’s poop can be for determining health issues.
So here’s a few lessons I’ve learned that I’d love to remind all of you about.
I’ll keep this post as G-Rated as possible, so feel free to email me OR (more importantly) talk to your veterinarian!
*Transparency Reminder: I am NOT a veterinarian, so ALWAYS contact yours for ANY health related questions or concerns about this topic or any topic. Ensuring our pets health and happiness is my priority!
Here we go…
1- Worm Watch:
With all dogs (especially new rescues and fosters) checking their poop is imperative. You can actually learn a lot about your dog’s health by the shape, texture, color and frequency of their bowel movements. I’ve had foster dogs that haven’t pooped for 3-4 days upon arriving to my home because their stress level is so high. I would urge you to remember that stress does alter digestive behavior, so don’t worry too much if that happens. That said, if your new dog seems uncomfortable or still doesn’t have a bowel movement after 5 days, call your veterinarian immediately.
If your pup is new to you or recently rescued from a shelter or boarding facility, you also want to make sure you don’t spot any worms or moving bits in their bowel movement. Worms are extremely common and are NOT a reason to freak out, return a dog or go nuts. There are various types of worms and they usually clear up easily with medication. To be honest, ALL my dogs have had worms at some point! However, worms do require immediate vet attention and medication, so make an appointment as soon as possible.
2- Express Yourself…(Or Their Glands)
Not a phrase that conjures pretty, sexy or appetizing images. In fact, it’s downright gross.
BUT (pun intended) they exist and can cause a lot of discomfort in your pup and are very important to take care of.
Anal glands live at the base of your dogs behind and can fill up, become impacted and can cause the cringe-worthy “Butt Scoot.”
I thought taking your dog to the groomer and having their glands expressed was the answer.
But I just learned an important lesson that I want all of you to know.
Piggly was doing the butt scoot and she definitely needed a good groom, so I took her to our groomer and specifically asked them to do it all (including the behind stuff). They said they did, but a day later, Piggly still seemed to be very bothered by her back end. She kept looking at it, trying to get to it and jumping up like she was being bitten on her tail.
I decided to take her to the vet for a quick check and they told me that oftentimes, groomers don’t actually express the glands fully. They may do a bit of it, but they don’t REALLY get the job done. So they took Piggly to the back to take a look.
They came back a few minutes later (Piggly didn’t look too pleased) and said “WHOA. SHE REALLY NEEDED THAT.” So long story short…as amazing as groomers are, please get a second opinion from your veterinarian if you feel that your pups behind needs some extra attention!
3- Dingleberry Blues…
OK, this was one I didn’t expect when I became a new rescue dog mum years ago, but dingleberries happen….and unfortunately, sometimes ya just gotta help!
It’s not fun, but can be necessary and REALLY isn’t a big deal! Just remember that whenever you’re approaching a dog from behind (even if you know the dog well) be gentle, compassionate and slow.
And remember…all these instances WILL be stories you’ll look back and laugh at!!!
WELL....probably YOU more than your pup.... but you get the picture =)
IMPORTANT REMINDER: ALWAYS FIND A VETERINARIAN YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH WHEN YOU RESCUE A DOG. MEDICAL SITUATIONS DON'T WAIT FOR CONVENIENT TIMES TO ARISE...AND IT'S VITAL TO HAVE A VET YOU CAN TURN TO FOR EVERYTHING!