The first time you see your puppy eating poop, you probably have one of two reactions: utter disgust or utter panic. I get it—it’s gross and it’s not exactly the best habit to have. But is it dangerous? Should you be worried?
First things first: there are plenty of reasons why your dog could be eating poop, many of which are completely natural. There are also several ways you can prevent this behavior from happening again, some of which may seem a little strange but make sense when you understand what’s going on in your dog’s head (or stomach!).
In this post I’ll discuss the most common reasons why puppies eat poop and give some tips to guide them away from a life of coprophagia.
Puppies may eat poop because they’re bored.
It’s no secret that puppies are curious and easily bored. If you’ve ever seen your puppy sticking his nose into something he shouldn’t, chances are he was just trying to figure out what it was. Puppies have a lot of energy, and if they’re not being appropriately stimulated, they can become destructive or develop bad habits.
In order to help prevent your puppy from eating poop, provide plenty of toys for them to play with—this will keep their minds occupied so they don’t get bored! You can also train your pup not to eat poo by giving him positive reinforcement when he chooses not do so (e.g., feeding him treats) or by punishing him when he does indulge in the nasty habit (e.g., saying “no” firmly).
Some puppies eat poop because it’s a built-in survival instinct.
A dog’s mother eats her own waste, and therefore, the newborns are born with a natural instinct to do the same. The puppy needs the nutrients found in their mother’s waste to grow and survive. Since they can’t get those nutrients from their mothers directly anymore, they start eating their own feces after they’re weaned off milk.
This is an important survival mechanism that allows puppies to get their nutrition when they’re too young for solid food and still relying on their mother’s milk for nourishment. It also helps dogs avoid any harmful parasites or diseases that may be present in another dog’s waste products when there isn’t enough time between meals for processing through digestion first (like when a puppy eats his brother’s poop while both of them are being fed simultaneously).
A puppy may be hungry and eat poop out of desperation.
Puppies are still developing and maturing, so it’s normal for them to eat more than they will as adults. If your puppy is chowing down on the doggy poop, it may be because he or she is hungry.
If you have a young puppy, it’s possible that he or she will explore and experiment with everything in your home–including the poo. It’s also possible that this type of exploration could lead to eating some excrement or another animal’s stool out of curiosity or hunger.
Puppies don’t know what food looks like yet when they’re young and can only see black and white until about 12 weeks old, so not only might they mistake droppings for treats but also get confused by other objects in their environment that resemble food (like plastic bags).
A puppy’s parents are the first line of defense against poop eating.
Your puppy’s parents are the first line of defense against poop eating. They can teach your pup what is and isn’t food, and show them how to find food. Puppies rely on their parents for survival until they’re weaned from their mother (which can happen anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months old).
It’s important that you pay attention to your puppy’s environment and learn what she was exposed to during her first few weeks of life so that you can prevent this behavior pattern from forming in the future!
If a puppy eats poop, make sure she doesn’t have worms.
Worms are common in puppies and can also be passed on to humans, so it’s important that you check your pup regularly for signs of worms (like diarrhea, lethargy) and get them treated if necessary.
If you’re not sure whether or not your dog has worms, it’s best to assume the worst and get them treated early on—you’ll save yourself some money in the long run.
Exercise your puppy more often.
You may be wondering how a dog can be too active, but it’s a real problem. If your puppy is always moving, he will not have the chance to get bored and become destructive. Dogs need exercise for their physical health and mental well-being; without it, they can develop health problems such as obesity, joint problems and digestive issues.
Exercise also helps them stay out of trouble. If you are home with your puppy all day while you’re at work or school, he needs something else to do besides just eating and sleeping (and pooping). A good way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is by letting him run around in an enclosed area where there are no objects like pillows or shoes lying around that would tempt him into chewing on them when you’re gone.
Clean up after your puppy quickly so it’s not an option.
If you can’t clean up the poop right away, be sure to put it in a plastic bag and then put that bag in the trash. If your puppy eats poop from a yard where there are other dogs who have done the same thing, make sure to wash your puppy’s mouth with warm water if he or she licks his or her chops frequently.
If you can’t supervise your puppy, put her on a leash. A puppy that’s tethered to you while outside of your home will be safe and not be able to eat poop.
Your dog should also be kept in a crate or other safe area when left home alone. The crate should have plenty of toys and things that smell like you for comfort as well as food and water.
Some puppies have a medical condition that makes them want to eat poop.
In some cases, your puppy may have a medical condition that is causing him to eat poop. This condition is called pica and it happens when puppies have an unquenchable desire to eat things that aren’t food. Pica can be caused by a lack of nutrients in the puppy’s diet or by a need for certain nutrients that are only found in non-food items (like poop).
The good news is that this type of behavior usually passes as the puppy grows older if it is not caused by something more serious like diabetes or other health issues.
It’s important to teach puppies not to eat poop to avoid harmful bacteria, but other than that it’s usually harmless and natural for them.
It’s important to teach puppies not to eat poop because they can pick up harmful bacteria doing so. However, it’s natural and harmless for them, so don’t worry about it if your puppy has a few accidental bites of poop here and there. It won’t make him sick or hurt him in any way.
If you’re worried about the effects of eating feces on humans (as opposed to puppies), please know that fecal matter doesn’t contain enough nutrients for us to survive off of! So you’d have to eat thousands upon thousands of pounds of poo each day in order for it to have any negative health effects on you.
Remember, if you start noticing other symptoms, like diarrhea, it could mean something more serious. If this is the case with your puppy, don’t hesitate to contact a vet.