It really does seem like a nasty situation for every owner that sees his dog consuming fecal excretions, but this is a really common thing among canines.
If you notice your dog doing this you should abstain from punishing the behavior and try to figure out the exact cause for it.
While our blog’s mascot is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, these tips apply for any breed.
Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop? Coprophagy
The scientific term for dog’s ingesting poop is ‘coprophagy’. There are several reasons for it such as gathering attention, boredom, health issues and avoiding punishment by the owner.
The behavior is taught, so to say, in the litter. Every mother eats her puppies stool in order to keep the environment clean for the babies and avoid attracting predators drawn by the smell of the poop. This primitive behavior is a Why Do Dogs Eat Poop because there are small to no chances of predators invading your home and harming the puppies.
As they grow the puppies observe what the mother does and copy her every move, and eating feces is one of the many behavioral means they learn. Once the puppies start eating solid food, the mother usually stops cleaning up after them. During this time it’s the breeder’s job to do the cleanup or else the dogs can develop ‘poop-eating’ as a nasty habit.
Do Dogs Grow Out of Eating Poop?
If your dog is fed a well-balanced diet it should soon stop dining on its own feces after being separated from the mother. Of course, many dogs fail to do so and probably the best idea for every owner is to make a veterinary appointment. The veterinarian will help determine the existing digestive health issue, or if none exists rule-out any possible medical problem.
How Do I Stop my Dogs from Eating Poop?
When the problem lies in the food low in digestible nutrients switching to a food with higher quality will solve the issue. In this case, the dog eats his own poop due to the fact that the food remains undigested after leaving the body and the excrete tastes similar to the actual food. When there is a serious digestive health issue the vet will prescribe causative and supportive therapy for the specific problem.
Is it harmful for a dog to eat poop?
It’s always a good idea to have your dog’s stool checked for any signs of internal parasites (worms) infestations. When your dog has worms it may seem pretty healthy except for the fact that the parasites inside his guts use all the nutrients before the dog uses them. Hungry as the dog gets it will consume pretty much anything that has even the smallest nutritional value.
Do-it-yourself suggestions to help you stop your dog from eating his own poop include:
- Coat stools with hot sauce or lemon juice. Add a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin to his food bowl each day. …
- Add meat tenderizer to your dog’s food (it will make the dog waste taste VERY bad).
- Keep waste picked up on a regular basis.
Besides medical reasons, behavioral problems can also account for poop eating in dogs. Coprophagy as a result of boredom can be noticed when the dog is left home alone and starts eating his own poop. Also, if you punished or yelled at your dog more than once when he ate poop it might just be that the dog is doing this only to get your attention. Remember, for dogs, it doesn’t really matter if your reactions for their actions are negative or positive as long as you pay attention to them.