Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

  • Share

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.

  • Motherly instinct:

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.

  • Training:

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.

  • Redirecting attention:

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

  1. Is dog eating poop normal?
  2. 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.

  3. Can dogs get sick from eating poop?
  4. 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.

  5. How do I clean my dog's mouth after eating poop?
  6. If your dog has eaten poop, then you can do the following things to clean its mouth.

    • 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.
  • How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies
    How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies
    How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies

    • Share

    Bringing a furry friend home is one of the greatest things you will do. If you are someone who has been longing for a furry companion, you should wait no more... however, only if you are confident that you can take complete care of this four-legged angel. Puppies need love and care, so as their caregivers, you need to help them grow into happy and healthy dogs.

    Stay by your pet’s side throughout its growing stage. This is that time of its life where you need to do more than just provide food, love, and fun times; you must understand dog nutrition, follow the vaccination schedule, and potty train your puppy. Sparing some time and energy to provide your pet with basic puppy care can help you build a loving relationship with your pooch. So, let us explore a few things you can look into while nurturing a puppy. This basic puppy care guide will also keep you informed with what to expect in the first few months of being a caregiver.

    • Bringing your puppy home

    Wondering what to know about taking care of a new puppy? Let us start with the most basic things like puppy proofing your house. That is right. Puppies and babies fall in the same category: delicate and fragile! You need to be careful about their surroundings and make sure that there is nothing hazardous around. Puppies are naturally curious. Make sure they do not encounter things like chemicals, electrical cords, harmful houseplants, valuables, and especially breakables. You also need to get necessary pup supplies like a feeding bowl, collar, leash, and more. Set up a cosy corner for your puppy to rest in!

    • Feeding your pooch

    Choosing the right puppy food is of paramount importance. You must pick out puppy food that is specifically formulated for growing puppies as it needs the right kind of nutrients to grow stronger. So, avoid adult dog food if your pet is still a pup.

    Not sure when to make a switch to adult dog food? Well, it totally depends on the breed size. If you have a small or medium breed dog, you can switch to dog food once it turns 9 to 12 months old. If you have a large breed dog, continue feeding puppy food until it turns 12 to 24 months old. Apart from that, make sure your pup always has access to fresh and clean water!

    This is what a typical puppy feeding schedule would look like: 

    • 6-12 weeks old: Four meals per day 
    • 3-6 months old: Three meals per day 
    • 6-12 months old: Two meals per day 

    At IAMS™, we offer a range of puppy as well as adult dog food that nourishes your furry friend with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other essential nutrients. Our products are made with premium-quality ingredients to ensure that your dog enjoys every bite of its food.

    • Vet visits and vaccinations

    Taking your furry friend to the vet is the most important part of taking care of a puppy. Your dog’s first visit to the vet will help you learn about your dog’s overall physical health. Vet visits will also keep you informed about the vaccination schedule.  In fact, it is recommended to make a list of all questions that you may have. This list should include topics like: 

    • Vaccination schedule 
    • Spaying or neutering 
    • Potty training 
    • Basic obedience training 
    • Any symptoms 
    • Diet and nutrition 
    • Deworming
    • Socialisation

    Puppies should meet a variety of different people, dogs, objects, and situations – all in a positive way. The most important time for pups to socialise is between three and 12 weeks of age, however, it should continue throughout a puppy’s development. As pet parents, you can take your pooch to puppy classes as it provides a great opportunity to socialise puppies.

    • Potty training

    You can get started with potty training from the day one. This will help inculcate basic bathroom manners in your dog and will save you from cleaning the floor every time your pooch excretes. So, pick a bathroom spot outside your house and take your pup to the same place whenever it is potty time. Praise it right after it is done. You can also reward it with treats. However, under no circumstances must a puppy be yelled at since it may ignite fear.

    The best way to train is to reward good behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour. It is never too early to begin training a puppy, but owners must remember that very young puppies become tired or distracted easily so training sessions should be kept to a short duration.

    • Oral care

    Dogs are prone to losing tooth, bad breath, and periodontal diseases. Moreover, they are good at hiding their dental pain. Hence, owners should introduce some form of oral care for their puppy as early as possible. Consult your vet to ensure that you pick the best dental care option for your pooch.

    • Exercise

    Amounts of exercise should be controlled for puppies during growth. They should not be forced to exercise beyond the amount of time they would engage in with another puppy of the same age. Moreover, your furry friend must be allowed to rest when they need to. So, instead of offering a one long playtime period, go for two short walks.