Why dogs eat poop and how to get them to stop

I didn't mean to eat poop! REALLY!

Ever wonder why dogs eat poop? Eating poop (a form of corprophagia) is probably one of the stinkiest things your dog can do. Since we love taking care of our dogs, and no one likes a stinky lick or a kiss, let’s take a look at what might be causing it. Below are a few reasons why your furry friend might be eating poop.

As hard as it might be to believe…it’s part of who they are
Before they were even domesticated, dogs have been scavenging for foods and wastes to eat. They were able to survive by eating wastes of other animals. While it might gross some of us out, eating poop may be built in for some dogs…especially those that have been living on the streets for a while.

It is also important to note that eating poop is natural for a dog with a newly born puppy. As a mother of these puppies, it is important for the mama dog to keep the surrounding clean and free from other bacteria that may cause disease to the puppies. The scent of the poop of a puppy can also attract predators that are why she tends to consume the poop of the puppies. Taking care of our dogs includes making sure both mama and puppies environments is clean.

They are quick to learn
Everybody knows that dogs can learn new tricks quickly. If your dog see other dogs doing the same thing at dog park or another social gathering, there’s a chance they might learn take on this poopy trait. (no pun intended)

Health issue
If this happens more than an isolated incidence, you might want to consider taking your dog to the vet as this “poop-eating” behavior may be a cause of a health problem. Dogs tend to eat poop when their body is not absorbing the proper amount of nutrients if they have parasites, or they have problems on the pancreas. It is essential to have them on a routine check-up when taking care of our dogs.

Digestive issues
Some studies show that some dogs might not do well with a high carb/low protein diet (kibble that might have grain or corn a top ingredient versus animal protein) Dog might eat poop to replenish the nutrients in their body. Sometimes, insufficient amount of vitamin B might lead to coprophagy. Taking care of our dogs includes making sure we are giving them with the proper amount of nutrition.

 

How can we get them to stop eating their stool?

One important thing you can do is keep your surroundings clean. Scoop the poop if you have a yard where your pet does his business. Get rid of all the stool of your dogs or other animals. If you have cats in the same household, keep the litter box out of the reach of your dogs and clean it as often as you can. As a remedy for keeping pets away from other pet’s poop, I’ve heard of a training technique with chili powder or a squirt of hot sauce on the poop in hopes of it turning off their taste buds. Last but not least, training can help. While it might be part of their cave dog ways, we can show them there’s way more to snack on than poop.

 

photo credit: Scott Spaeth || Flickr

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