The debate inside my house today is who remembers white dog poo littering parks and neighborhoods throughout America back in the 90s?

My husband remembers it clearly.

I don’t particularly, but my memory is not as good as his.

Also, I have more interesting things to remember, like the confetti explosion in our backyard every time my dog got hold of my crayons, which was more often than I should probably admit.
(I’ve never been a tidy person.)

The question on people’s minds–those who remember the white dog poo of yore–is where is it now?

As seen above, it was chalky and dry, looking a bit like sun-bleached coral.

And you have to admit, you really don’t see it these days, do you?

On the one hand, people are a lot more conscientious about picking up after their pups now than they were back in the 90s.

I’m mortified thinking back to walking my dog and letting him do his business wherever he wanted.

At the same time, we did have sidewalks, so that stretch of grass between the sidewalk and the street was sort of fair game, right?

I dunno if my neighbors minded. We didn’t have a Facebook or NextDoor so they couldn’t complain.

Image credit: Charles Deluvio via Unsplash

That being said, there’s another explanation for the disappearance of the ghost-like poo.

As Mental Floss and Treehugger explain, the issue was excess calcium.

Dog food used to contain an overabundance of meat and bone meal, both of which are high in the mineral. Whatever the dog couldn’t process ended up in its feces, and as the wet matter dried out in the sun, the hard calcium stuck around. This led to crumbly, mummified turds littering our sidewalks and green spaces.

Today, there is a huge market in organic, gluten-free, fancy-pants dog food.

For good or for ill, the pet market has figured out that we’ll do anything to make our best friends healthier and live longer, fuller lives.

But even regular old plain jane dog foods don’t have so much cheap bone meal, and thus, there is less calcium all the way around.


That means that if you DO see the old white dog poo, somebody needs a trip to the vet.

Do you remember seeing white poos in the yard?

Tell us in the comments.