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5 Reasons Why Dogs Eat their Poop

Eating faeces is an unpleasant but common behaviour in dogs. Dog owners have several options for considering and correcting the behaviour.


Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Dogs eat poop for a variety of reasons, ranging from instinct to learned behavior to health concerns. Here are five reasons:

1. It’s a behavioral issue. Poop-eating habits in dogs can develop as a result of a variety of behavioral issues. Eating feces is frequently used to attract attention: When dog owners see them eating poop, they react and engage. Anxiety, particularly over house training, turns dogs into poop eaters, as does spending too much time alone or in confined spaces. Consult a behaviorist if these problems are too difficult to resolve.

2. It’s common behavior. Though pet owners dislike it, eating poop—also known as coprophagia or canine conspecific coprophagy—is a natural behavior in dogs. According to one study cited by the American Kennel Club (AKC), one in every four dogs eats either their own or another animal's poop at least once in their lifetime, and one in every six dogs is a "serious" stool eater, meaning they eat feces at least five times or more.

3. It’s innate behavior. Prior to being domesticated, dogs were scavengers who ate whatever they could find, including feces, to survive. Stool eating is also a normal behavior in some stages of a dog's life. During the first three weeks after birth, mother dogs frequently eat their puppies' feces to clean up their living space. According to research, puppies detect feces on their mother's breath while she cleans them and associate the odor with food. Puppies, on the other hand, eat their own feces—or the droppings of other animals—as part of a game or simply because they like the taste of the poop.

4. It’s a food issue. Coprophagia can also be caused by certain bad eating habits. Dogs who steal food tend to eat poop, and for some pets, close proximity between the dog's food and the areas where it poops creates a bond between the two.

5. It’s a health issue. Poop eating, especially when it is a new feature of a dog's behavior, may indicate a medical condition. Take your dog to the vet if they eat their poop on a regular basis or if the poop eating coincides with other health issues such as weight loss, lethargy, or vomiting. Coprophagy is linked to intestinal parasites, conditions such as Cushing's disease, and enzyme deficiencies.


How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Poop

There are a few things you can do to keep your dog from eating poop. You may:

Clean: Clean up any messes in the yard as soon as possible to limit your dog's access to feces in and around your home. If you have a cat and your dog is fond of cat poop, make sure to empty the cat's litter box on a regular basis.

Distract: When your dog needs to go potty, bring a toy, chew, or treat with you. A pleasant distraction breaks the habit of searching for poop in the yard or surrounding areas after elimination.

Train: Maintain consistency in your training efforts. When they start looking for poop, voice commands like "leave it" or "come" are effective, especially when accompanied by positive reinforcement like affection or treats.


How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop

If you want your dog to stop eating poop, there are several methods you can try. Among them are the following:

Enzymes: Poop eating in dogs is sometimes attributed to a lack of digestive enzymes. According to the theory, eating poop is a dog's way of restoring those enzymes to their system and preventing nutrient malabsorption. Certain enzymes, such as papain, which is commonly used to tenderize meat, encourage a dog's digestive system to digest more of its meal.

Aversion to certain flavors: Make your dog's poop less appealing by adding supplements to their diet. Natural ingredients, such as chamomile, yucca, or parsley, are widely available for pet parents who are struggling to break their dog's habits.

Vitamins: According to some studies, poop eating is caused by a lack of a well-balanced diet. If you suspect that your dog's poop eating is due to a lack of nutrients, dog multivitamins are an excellent enrichment strategy.

Author: Wispaz Technologies