Is your dog eating poop? Do you know why dogs eat their poop or other animals’ poo? This is a really interesting behavior, isn’t it?
First of all, let me tell you that there are some reasons why dogs might eat animal waste. Knowing what’s causing the behavior can help you stop it.
What Is Coprophagia and Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
Coprophagia is the technical term for eating poop. But why do dogs eat their poop and other animals’ poo? I’m going to tell you all about what causes this behavior and how you can stop it in your dog.
What Is The Function of Coprophagia in Dogs?
Ever wondered what’s the purpose of this disgusting habit in dogs, anyway? What’s the point of this poo-eating pattern? Believe me, there actually is a reason!
There are many reasons why dogs eat poop, but the main ones seem to be:
- They need to hide the evidence of what they’ve done.
- Eating feces is a learned behavior that’s transmitted through social interactions with other animals. In other words, it originates from the mother’s behavior and then the dog repeats it.
- They might be sick or have a deficiency in nutrients. That’s why they’re eating poop in an attempt to get the missing elements.
- Going through emotional periods like stress, anxiety or loneliness can also lead to dogs eating poop. This is more common in puppies.
- There are some cases when dogs eat their feces because they have parasites or bacterial infections of the digestive system.
How To Stop a Dog From Eating Poop
To be honest, it’s really hard to stop this behavior. In most cases, you can’t get rid of it completely, but you can minimize its appearance and frequency. A lot of things have been tried but there aren’t any perfect solutions that work for all dogs.
The best way to start with this is by finding out the cause of the behavior and solving it.
In most cases, dogs tend to eat feces because they’re looking for nutrients they lack or that their body needs. They might be missing something in their diet or could have parasites that need to be cured by a vet. If you already know the cause, you can start trying to solve it.
If your dog is deficient in certain nutrients like minerals or proteins, you might consider changing its diet and adding some supplements. If your pet’s diet contains a lot of carbohydrates and vegetable protein, you should switch to something different like animal protein and fat (this doesn’t mean that for the rest of her life, she has to eat only meat: this would be bad).
To make sure that the food you’re giving is nutritious enough, consult with a vet first so they can check your dog’s weight and tell you what supplements are needed. Also, see if there isn’t any kind of illness related to poop eating as some medical problems can be easily treated if diagnosed on time. Sometimes, even parasites can be detected at an early stage so they don’t have to cause bigger problems.
Changing your dog’s diet will also help you stop pooping eating behavior because certain foods might stimulate this response. Carrots, apples, and beetroots are the most common ones but it varies from one pooch to another. I’ve had dogs who love bananas and others who eat poop whenever they get the opportunity just because of them. If you think about it, most doggies have a slightly finicky nature, especially when it comes to food.
I know this is something hard when you’ve got a finicky pooch on your hands since you always need to make sure she’s getting all the nutrients she needs in her meal, but it’s better than having a sick animal.
Preventing the Problem Before It Starts
Now you know what the problem is, so the next step is to prevent your dog from eating poop in the future. The best thing you can do is keep her away from places where she might find feces or other animals’ waste. For example, if your pet likes to eat cat poop, don’t let her out in the garden when there are cats around because, at some point, one of them might leave something for her to eat. Also, don’t forget about walks since dogs frequently try to sniff everything they see on their way, and sometimes this includes poo…
You should also make sure that your yard doesn’t contain anything that could make the dog want to go through it more than needed. For example, if you’ve got fruit trees around your home, then I strongly recommend cutting them or at least making sure that their branches don’t touch the ground so your pet won’t find anything to eat while doing her business.
With some patience and dedication, you should be able to stop this behavior in most dogs after a couple of weeks. Of course, it might take more time depending on how serious is the problem but eventually, you’ll see results. Just try not to get discouraged when your doggie keeps eating poop no matter what measures you’re taking.