Dogs are goofy and cute animals that do the strangest things at times. We have all noticed puppies and dogs roll in the mud, lick their paws, or even sniff other dogs. Yet, the most disturbing sight is to witness a dog eating poop. Yes, dogs often try to eat their own poop, and at times another animal’s poop as well. This strange habit of dogs can be very worrisome to its caregivers, but why do dogs eat poop? Is there a valid reason for dogs to eat poop? Also, what happens if dogs eat poop? Well, there are numerous reasons to why dogs eat poop. Read the following to know more about this condition and why it occurs.
Why do dogs like to eat poop?
Coprophagia is a medical issue that conditions dogs to eat poop. It is a common condition and is believed to affect at least one in six dogs at a serious level, while at least one in four dogs have been caught trying to eat poop. This condition often occurs because of a decrease in the absorption of essential nutrients. Limited nutrients cause gastrointestinal issues which sometimes lead to coprophagia. A dog suffering from coprophagia finds their own as well as other animal’s stool appealing and appetising. If you have noticed your dog eating poop or sniffing poop, then you should try to understand the reason for it before the condition exceeds.
Why do dogs eat their own poop?
Although coprophagia can cause dogs to eat poop, what causes this condition? Why do dogs eat their own poop because of coprophagia? Read the following to understand the various hypothesis that may be contributing to your pooch’s poop-eating habit.
Most new and nursing momma pooches are found eating their puppies’ poop. Female furballs often do this to keep their kennel clean after their little one has littered the area. Your pet might eat its puppies’ poop to protect it from predators that might follow the poop’s smell. This condition can easily be controlled by always keeping your fur ball’s bed and kennel clean. You can install a puppy pee pad that can be regularly changed and cleaned to ensure the newborns are in sanitary conditions. Keeping the mother dog and puppies in a clean and tidy environment can immediately stop their willingness to eat poop.
Finds poop tasty:
Poop is basically digested food. Therefore, one of the reasons for your dog to eat poop could be they simply find other animals’ stool more appetising. If you notice your pooch trying to eat certain animal poops such as rabbits, cats, cows, etc. then they might like the taste of digested plants. In such cases, you can always consult their vet and get a preferred dog food prescription that might help in curbing your pet’s cravings.
Going through anxiety:
One of the reasons your dog prefers eating poop could also be linked to anxiety. Dogs often get anxious because of new surroundings, unfamiliar sounds, and other similar reasons. Anxiety can lead to dogs getting involved in displacement behaviour such as eating poop. At such times pet parents should try to identify the cause of anxiety and resolve the issue to control coprophagia.
Lack of nutrition:
Sometimes dogs might feast on a stool to make up for the nutrition they are lacking. Feeding your pet, a nutrition deficit diet can lead them to eat poop. Indigestion, underfeeding, lack of vitamins and minerals, and parasites are some other reasons that might cause a lack of nutrition and an increase in the dog's urge for eating poop.
Need for attention:
Dogs are also notorious for seeking attention with unusual activities. Your canine friend might do the most absurd thing to get some extra attention. Eating their own poop or others' poop can be one such act. In such situations, you can easily get your pooch to give up the habit by training it and giving it some extra love and attention.
What happens if dogs eat poop?
If your dog eats poop there are chances of it suffering from numerous health concerns. Poop is simply waste that might carry harmful pathogens which can cause illness and uneasiness if consumed. Your pet might suffer from gastroenteritis, vomiting, decreased appetite, nausea, intestinal parasites, and diarrhea after consuming poop. Hence, it is necessary to identify the root cause of this habit and treat it at the earliest.
How to stop dogs from eating poop?
Now that you know the several reasons why dogs eat poop, it is time to understand how to stop your pooch from eating faeces. Given below are a few steps that you can take to control and eventually stop dogs from eating poop.
It is easy to train your dogs to follow a certain command or pattern. Therefore, getting your dog to stop eating poop can also be taught through training. You can simply train them to not eat poop by using a stern and commanding voice each time they try to eat stool. However, ensure to treat them with their favourite treat each time they listen to you. Follow this activity regularly until they stop trying to eat poop. Training a dog can sometimes take weeks, so you need to be patient and consistent while training.
If your pet eats poop to seek attention or out of anxiety, then you can easily get it to stop by giving them some attention. Starting a game of fetch, offering their favourite toy or treat, or simply calling their name are some ways to distract your pooch from consuming stool.
Make poop less appealing:
Keep the pooch away from the general toilet area and use a commanding tone every time they try to get needed poop. This will make them stay away from poop to avoid trouble. Making poop less appealing and treating it like a hazard can make your furball eventually stay away from poop. Potty training your dog and clean up soon after they have done the deed also helps in controlling their urge to eat poop.
Although coprophagia seems like a very serious condition, it is a very common condition. As mentioned previously one out of six dogs suffer from this condition, but with a little guidance and training, you can easily get it to stop consuming unpleasant hazardous things like garbage and poop. You should also try changing your dog’s food to more nutritious and nourishing food with high protein content, the right amount of fiber, and other nourishing elements like vitamins and minerals. However, if they continue eating poop, then you should visit a veterinarian doctor to get the condition diagnosed and treated at the earliest.
Frequently asked questions
- Is dog eating poop normal?
- Can dogs get sick from eating poop?
- How do I clean my dog's mouth after eating poop?
- Wipe their mouth with a clean cloth.
- Use a dog toothbrush to remove dirt.
- Offer a dental stick to chew on. This will help get rid of the unpleasant stink and impurities.
- Lastly, offer it food and water to wash away the unpleasant stench.
Yes, it is dogs who often eat poop because of various reasons ranging from anxiety to lack of nutrition. At least one in six dogs consume poop, but this habit can be controlled by taking the right measures.
Yes, poop is bodily waste that contains a lot of harmful germs, undigested food, and other harmful substances. Dogs can suffer from nausea, digestive issues, vomiting, and diarrhea because of eating poop.
If your dog has eaten poop, then you can do the following things to clean its mouth.