Research has found that 1 in 5 dog owners are not cleaning up every time their pet fouls in a public place, despite rising fines.
While the majority of the 2000 pet owners surveyed claimed to pick up after their dog on every occasion, 18% admitted that they often leave it on the ground.
The research was carried out to raise awareness of the launch of Royal Canin’s new Canine Care Nutrition range, which includes food specifically designed to aid doggy digestion.
The research found that 60% of owners don’t actually know if their dog’s gut is in full working order, as they are unable to recognise what a healthy poo should look like.
Hannah Poile, Scientific Communications Manager for Royal Canin Canine Care, commented: “Picking up after your dog is actually a really great way to keep an eye on pet health.
“Although picking up your dog poo isn’t always pleasant it can help you understand what is happening inside your dog. For example, if your pet’s poo is too soft to pick up, or at the other end of the scale being really firm, it could be a sign that your dog is having some digestive problems that need to be looked into.”
As well as not being able to recognise a healthy poo, 63% of owners said they wouldn’t take their dog to the vet if it was showing signs of digestion upset and almost three quarters of dog owners wouldn’t think to change their dog’s diet if their poo changed in appearance, despite the fact this can be a tell-tale sign of a possible digestion issue.
Hannah continued: “There are many factors that can affect dogs’ digestion including dehydration, stress, exercise and diet. If your dog is producing runny poos in larger quantities that usual, is flatulent, is toileting more frequently or has noisy digestion, these can all be signs that your dog is suffering from digestion problems.
“It’s really important to visit a vet if you see these signs persist as they will help investigate what could be affecting your dog’s digestion.”
In addition, whilst most owners try to feed their pet a generally healthy diet, 82% admitted that their dog has stolen and eaten something they weren’t meant to have.
Aside from food items, the top five things dog owners reported their pet stealing and eating are:
Other clothing 48%
Children’s toys 38%
Bathroom cleaner 26%
Remote control 12%
Hannah added: “As well as the digestive problems of blockages that can be caused when dogs get hold of something they shouldn’t, there are also risks of dental issues if they try chewing something too hard and a whole host of problems that could occur from ingesting the chemicals in cleaning products.
“If you think your pet has eaten anything that they shouldn’t have it’s important to seek advice from your vet immediately.”
The new Royal Canin Canine Care Nutrition range offers complete and balanced nutritional solutions available in compatible wet and dry formats for health adult dogs and includes a specific product to support digestive sensitivities. Each product is dedicated to a specific care target where the right nutrition can really make a difference for your dog.