Dogs are very spontaneous creatures and they often leave us amazed or disgusted with their spontaneity. Some of the most disgusting things you might think dogs do include drinking from the toilet, licking their bottoms, and playing in the muck.
However, none of these come even close to devouring their own poop. Let’s tell you that by doing so, your dog isn’t intentionally trying to gross you out. Seeing your dog eat its own feces may be the worst thing you have seen your dog do, but don’t give up just yet. There is a ton of things you can do to discourage the behavior. If you are one of those people who ask, “Why is my dog eating poop and what can I do about it?”, this guide is for you. It will help you understand the reasons behind it and enable you to keep your dog from eating its poop.
Let’s Get Started
If you think that your dog has done something evil and should be punished for eating its feces, slow down for a bit. It’s something all the dogs do. This common habit is referred to as Coprophagia.
There are both physiological and behavioral reasons that make a dog’s mouth water at the sight of their own excretions. In fact, there have been studies carried out on this subject in the past. The latest research conducted on this subject was back in 2012. It was presented at the annual conference of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Some of the most common findings of this study are as follows.
· According to this study, around 16% of the dogs were devout poop eaters. Do you know what it means? It means that they were caught at least 5 times eating their poop.
· Similarly, 24% of the dogs were caught consuming fecal matter at least once.
The researchers who worked on this study concluded that it is in a dog’s nature to have a penchant for consuming fresh stools.
However, this isn’t the only study on the subject of dogs eating their own feces. Other researchers have also penned their opinions and findings on the subject. One of the most common examples is a book known as the Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training by a famous animal behaviorist and writer named Steven R. Lindsay. According to Mr. Lindsay, sometimes when dogs eat fecal matter, they are trying to make up for the shortage of food options. In simple words, when they don’t have anything to eat, dogs can become scavengers and they would sink their teeth in anything that seems eatable, even if it includes the hot steaming stool on the floor.
Eating Poop Is Natural for Dogs
It may seem a little weird but smaller mammals like rabbits consume tiny fecal droppings to obtain the necessary nutrition. Moreover, if their behavior is discouraged, they will develop some form of deficiency and some might even fail to thrive.
On the flip side, although dogs eat poop, they don’t necessarily eat all their excretions. Most importantly, not eating it doesn’t lead to any nutritional deficiency. When the puppies are too small, their mother licks away the fecal matter to clean them up. As they grow a little older, they also start doing the same, and it doesn’t stop there.
Not only do these puppies lick their own bottoms, but they also end up licking other dogs. The act of a puppy licking its own poop is known as autocoprophagia, while the act of licking the bottoms of another dog is known as allocoprophagia. It is alright if your dog or your pup licks its own poop, but things can be just a lite problematic if it consumes poop from another dog. In the latter condition, dogs can expose themselves to harmful bacteria and parasites, which can affect their health. However, by the time your puppy is 9 months old, the behaviors should disappear.
Facts about Dogs Eating Poop
When it happens with puppies, Coprophagia is nothing but a part of your dog beginning to explore the world around itself. For some puppies, sniffing will suffice, but some won’t resist putting a piece in their tiny mouths.
Do you want to hear one of the most hideous facts about dogs eating poop?
Here it is: dogs rarely like to eat loose and poorly formed stool and diarrhea. Instead, they view the cooled and dried stools as a delicacy and would love to gobble down this crunchy treat. Here are some more research findings on this topic.
· This problem is common in households with more than one dog.
· Poop eaters are easy to train with just a little effort.
· Most dogs don’t want fresh stools, while others have a thing for eating staler ones.
· Dogs that steal from the table are more likely to become stool eaters.
Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop
Here are some of the many reasons why dogs eat poop.
· Some dogs eat poop because they are made to stay alone in the house or the kennel.
· Most dogs eat away their poop to hide the evidence and eliminate their anxiety.
· They simply want their humans to react.
· Sometimes, dogs are fed in the same areas where they shit and they fail to distinguish between their food and stool.
Prevent Your Dog from Eating Poop
Some of the ways to prevent your dog from eating poop are as follows.
· Make sure your dog gets its fair share of vitamin B.
· Use a meat tenderizer with an enzyme known as papain.
· Make sure the dog’s living area remains clean.
· If there is a cat around, the cat’s litter tray should be hidden away from the dog.
We hope you must have gotten the answer to the question, “Why is my dog eating poop is and what can I do about it?” Make sure you follow the instructions in the article above, and if it doesn’t help, consider consulting a vet.