In 1970, I was 5 years old. I spent the first half of the 70s begging my parents for a dog - and the last half of the 70s finally having my own pup and also having the job of picking up it's poo from the yard. It wasn't that hard to do. Every Saturday, I spent the morning scouring the back yard with shovel in hand - easily spotting the little white "packages" left by my dog, Rusty. Wait...did I say "white?" Yes, I did - and I bet if you're old enough, that you remember when dog poo was chalky, dry, and white, too. In the 70s and 80s, even into part of the 90s, bright white, dry, chalky dog poo was common....and everywhere. We never see that now. So, what happened to white dog poo?
Turns out, our dogs haven't changed at all - but what we feed them has. Back in the 70s and 80s, cheap commercial dog foods hit the market. They were cheap because they used the waste products of animals that humans didn't consume - namely bones in the form of bone meal. The bone meal added in large quantities to dog food was mostly calcium - thus giving dog poo that dry, chalky, white consistency after a couple days in the sun. According to an article on Jugdog,
White dog poo was a result of indigested calcium back in the day. A dog’s diet has improved dramatically over the years, back in the 70s and 90s a generic dog’s dinner consisted mostly of meat and crushed bones which are rich in calcium. Fruits and vegetables were pretty nonexistent at the time. This constitution meant that dogs were ingesting too much calcium which would come out the other end undigested. The white calcium still left in the poo would be revealed once the water and organic matter goes away and that is why dog poop was white during the 70s, 80s and 90s.
So, there you have it. In case you ever wondered what happened to white dog poo - now you know. You're welcome. Apparently, I'm not the only one to ponder the topic - Sarah Silverman wrote a song about it: "Whatever Happened To That White Dog Poop From The Seventies" about ten years ago. Then, of course, someone named SuperDuperCurry made a YouTube video. I'll just leave that video below for you...like the little white chunks our dogs used to leave everywhere...
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