KSNF/KODE — It’s not a pretty topic, but the reason behind why America’s dogs’ bowel movements look different than they did 50 years ago may be somewhat comforting to know.

While today one can walk through most supermarkets, not just specialty pet stores, and find a wide array of foods curating to a plethora of diets, Americans did not always have these options. And their pets felt it.

Shortly after the turn of the century when dogs were starting to become more commonplace in households, horse meat was actually one of the main ingredients in may pet foods, according to Pet Keen. But as ethical concerns arose throughout the century this was dropped by many manufacturers.

Following WWII (and the supply shortages that came with it), companies saw a growing market in dog food and began to take advantage. What came in the decades after were brands and brands of dog food sapped of essential nutrients and beneficial vitamins via extrusion and use of cheap filler.

While food extrusion is crucial for developing foods with long-shelf lives, its effects on nutrition aren’t always positive. This process, mixed with calcium-rich filler products such as bone meal would lead to a not-so-digested end product for Fido – resulting in white-colored feces.

Fortunately, that final product as many of us were used to seeing years ago, however, has gone by the wayside. The rise of affordable ‘raw diets’ composed of better quality protein, moisture, and more has drastically cut down on those ill-colored droppings of yesteryear. Pet food manufacturers have steadily increased their available higher end options and tailored their food better to our pets’ nutritional needs.

Though you may still find these lightly-colored doodies around, the reason for them may be due to other factors such as: weather, worms, GI issues, or even because they ate something white. Always check with your vet when when you notice something wrong with your pets’ number twos.