Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop and How to Stop it.

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For some species, such as rabbits, eating fecal droppings is a totally normal way of obtaining key nutrients. In fact, if you prevent rabbits from doing this, they will develop health problems, and young ones will fail to thrive. Fortunately, dogs do not need to get nutrients in this manner. It is, however, a normal, natural behavior at some canine life stages. Mother dogs will lick their puppies for about the first three weeks. Puppies will also naturally engage in this behavior, eating both their own fecal droppings, and those of other dogs, as well as cats and other animals. In most cases, this behavior will fade before the puppy is about nine months old.

Behavior

Since behavior can be such a strong component of coprophagia (poop eating), changing that behavior can go a long way in ending this bad habit. If you notice your dog eating stool outside, take them out on leash. This will allow you some more control over where your dog goes so you can steer around existing stool and help navigate away from new stool. Positive reinforcement and natural dog treats are helpful for distracting your dog and will prove to be more enticing than poop. Once your dog shows interest in stool, quickly offer a treat to pull their attention away and then speak encouragingly while giving them the treat. Just make sure you use healthy, natural dog treats, since diet is also a component of stool eating. A few other behavior reasons for coprophagia are:

  • Isolation
  • Restrictive Confinement
  • Anxiety
  • Attention-seeking

Medical

Once behavioral issues have been ruled out, nutrition is most likely the reason your dog is eating their poop, specifically inadequate nutrition or nutrient absorption. If your dog is seeking out alternate sources of nutrition, there might be some nutrient missing from their diet. Take a look at your dog’s food: is it full of fillers and grains? Sometimes switching to a healthier dog food diet is the best way to fix a stool eating problem. If your dog is eating nutritious food, they may not be absorbing all of the nutrients properly. The old saying “you are what you eat” should really be “you are what you digest.” If food isn’t digested and absorbed properly, it leaves the body as nutrient-dense feces. To your dog, this means it is still a viable food source, even the second time around. Some dogs may eat stool because of a condition or a medication that increases appetite, like diabetes or thyroid disease, or medications like prednisone. If your dog is constantly hungry, available stool will definitely seem like a food source. A few other medical reasons for coprophagia are:

  • Inappropriate associations with food
  • Scenting it on their mother
  • Living with a sick or elderly dog

Deterrents

Natural stool eating deterrents can be very helpful in breaking your dog’s coprophagia habit. These supplements work twofold, first by helping your dog better digest and assimilate their food, and second with ingredients that reduce stool odor and create a more bitter or unappealing flavor. These supplements can be very useful, but, they should be used as part of an over-all strategy.

Positive Reinforcements

Since behavior can be such a strong component of coprophagia, changing that behavior can go a long way in ending this bad habit. If you notice your dog eating stool outside, take them out on leash. This will allow you some more control over where your dog goes so you can steer around existing stool and help navigate away from new stool. Positive reinforcement and natural dog treats are helpful for distracting your dog and will prove to be more enticing than poop. Once your dog shows interest in stool, quickly offer a treat to pull their attention away and then speak encouragingly while giving them the treat. Just make sure you use healthy, natural dog treats, since diet is also a component of stool eating.

Diet

Feeding a natural diet that is species appropriate for your dog will help with better digestion and assimilation. As with most specific health conditions in your pet, this can do wonders. Transition your dog according to the instructions and consider rotating proteins to prevent allergies. Adding a natural supplement, especially a digestive enzyme, probiotic, or a complete gut product will support proper nutrition absorption and assimilation

Clean Up

Finally, proper clean-up can be essential to curb your dog’s stool eating habit, especially in the winter time. Always make sure you carry dog waste bags with you and clean up after your dog before they have the opportunity to examine it. If there’s nothing to eat, they can’t eat it.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Jae Panos

    This blog has helped me a lot with my dog.

  • JoshuaBat

    This topic is from head to toe reliable.

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