The consumption of feces, Coprophagia, is probably one of the grossest things you seen your dog do.
If you own a dog or ever had a dog, you should know that this is one of the most hideous crimes your pooch can commit.
Imagine you strolling in a park with your dog and all of a sudden it sniffs something on the ground and starts licking it.
Later you realize that was poop it licked and you can’t help but exclaim with a remark “OMG disgusting”!
I am sure most of you have experienced this situation. I know I have quite a few times (:
Why do dogs eat poop?
Before I go any further let me tell you that Coprophagia is a normal behavior in many species, including dogs.
Ingesting one’s own or other dogs’ feces is particularly prevalent in puppies.
Fortunately, many grow out of this behavior as they mature. But many may not because of various reasons.
So, here we are going to take a look and dissect the prominent five possible reasons why dogs eat poop.
While we are at it, we are also going to find out the best solutions to them 5 possible reasons.
So here we go;
- The motherly care:
The first scenario we are going to look at is when a female dog gives birth.
When bitches give birth to puppies, you will see them licking the puppies all over including the anal regions.
If you ask why, the reason is pretty simple. The reason for licking puppies all over is to keep them clean. The reason why they lick the anal region could also be to instigate the puppies to take a poop.
And yes; she also cleans the poop off of the anal areas to avoid any infection to take place. It is pretty much like a thorough care that any mother does for her child.
The only difference between us and them is that we use our hands while they don’t have one so they have to use their mouth/tongue.
Solution – The best way to deal with this situation is by keeping a close eye on the dog and the puppies.
What you can do is frequently clean the puppies. That way there would be no poop left in or near the anal region, deterring momma dog to lick that part.
If you ever see mamma dog licking the anal area of her puppies, you should never scold them or get agitated because it is in their nature to do so.
Simply keep the babies clean and it should stop or slow that kind of behavior down.
- When dogs get stressed:
You have probably seen in and around your neighborhood where dogs have been tied up for a long period of time, sometimes all day.
Tying dogs for extended period of time is unethical and inhumane.
Imagine you being tied up or left alone in the backyard for hours and hours. How would you feel? You will obviously feel stressed and lonely. The same applies to dogs. So please, never tie them all the time.
When they are tied up for extended period of time, they get much stressed. And the stress is what leads them to end up eating poop.
Solution – Tying dogs up all the time will only trigger anxiety problems. It is best to spend time with your dogs; take them for regular walks, play with them, be there for them.
If you ever see them eating poop, simply instruct them with the word “No”. They probably wouldn’t have a clue what ‘No’ means the first or the second or the third time.
However, training your dog by repetition of the firm “No” will help them be familiar with the idea that you don’t like that behavior and they’re doing the wrong thing.
- The pesky parasites:
Parasitic infections are quite common among dogs.
The symptoms of parasites inside a dog are weight loss, weakness, fever, frequent bowel problems, worms in their poop or worms coming out of their body orifice like nostrils, mouth, anus etc.
If a dog is infected, it is very possible that the parasites inside their body are gulping down all the important nutrients.
In this scenario, dogs may eat their own poop to try to get back the lost nutrients.
Solution – Your first priority should be to recuperate your pooch from the pesky parasites. You can go to a pet store and get medicine if you know what parasites are infecting them.
You need to keep a close eye on your dog and if the symptoms start deteriorating, take it to the vet as soon as possible.
- Nutritional deficiency:
Is your dog getting all the required nutrients?
There is a huge possibility that you have missed out on giving your dog a complete nutritional diet.
There should be no one certain type of diet allotted to them throughout their life. It is important to understand that the diet cycle changes as your dog grows.
If your dog is suffering from nutrition deficiency then it may gulp down its own poop in order to try to replace the lost nutrients.
Solution – The next time you take your dog to a vet, ask for a diet chart. Your dog’s health is of utmost importance so make sure that you follow the chart.
Another thing you can do is don’t let your dog be in a situation where it can eat poop. Try to keep your dog away from places where you think there is poop. Using a dog nozzle while going for walks also helps.
- Attracted to cat litter:
This may sound weird to you but dogs like the smell of cat poop. We humans think this is yucky but dogs think it is yummy!
They love cat poop because cats don’t completely digest their food. As a result, cat poop is very high in protein. And dogs find it delicious.
The delicious taste makes this behavior very hard to break, because the taste really reinforces their behavior of eating cat poop.
Solution – It always seems like dogs do the most mischievous things whenever they get a chance. So, it is best not to give them a chance to begin with.
Installing a gate and setting a boundary so dogs can’t get to the litter box is a good solution.
Keeping the cat litter box clean at all times is the best solution.
Dogs eating poop is not only disgusting to us but it could be dangerous for them. Keeping an eye on your dogs and utilizing the solutions I mentioned above can drastically decrease the chances of your dog eating poop.
Did you find this article useful? Share your story and thoughts if you ever encountered your dog eating poop. What steps did you take to stop your dog?
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