A dog eating their poop is also known as coprophagy. Some people are asking themselves, “Why does my dog eat poop?” do not be worried because this kind of behaviour for dogs is already considered as normal.
However, it may actually look disgusting but this kind of behaviour certainly has some primary causes. Furthermo-re, if the underlying cause of this kind of behaviour has not been dealt in a proper and timely method, it does take the possibility of this habit to be happening again. In order to start with the training of dogs, you should not panic when you have first seen that your dog has been eating his poop.
That kind of reaction may also worry your dog because the dogs may also be feeling bad and might even result to some problems in terms of their behaviour. Dogs eating poop normally starts when they are still a puppy. During this point in time, it is just normal that the mother to eat the poop of her children or puppies.
This is somehow a typical behaviour of the dog to be able to keep their environment orderly and to be able to secure their puppies from any other dogs that can pose harm to them because the scent of these poops from puppies may draw some attention to the other dogs.
Whether you have predators at your home or not, the dog’s behaviour of eating poop is still done by the nursing dogs because it is considered as a prehistoric behaviour in which other kinds of animals also do with their newborn babies. The mother of the puppies usually do this kind of this behaviour from the moment that she has conceived the puppies up to the time that they have been weaned.
The dogs are always on their way to development and process of knowing on how to become mature dogs. The dogs usually follow what their mother does because the mother usually serves as their role model.
Hence, training the mother of the puppies is also essential so that they won’t be doing unnecessary things on your home. The mother of the puppies usually stops eating their dog’s poop soon after the puppies have started eating solid foods or from the time that they have been weaned from their mother’s milk.
However, the puppy may still continue eating their poop up to the time that they have become older dogs and mature enough. You need not to worry because this is a behaviour that is learned when the puppy is starting to be curious on his or her surroundings.
The puppy may already taste, smell or even eat their poop or other dog’s poop. In order to start in discouraging the behaviour prior to going to their new home, it is the responsibility of the breeder to always clean the puppies before and after they have their meal but in some cases this may not have been emphasized as a training on puppies which is why the dogs may somehow eat their poop.
Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?
It has been mentioned before that it is not common to see your puppy eating their poop or the other dog’s poop. But, dogs that have been eating a nutrient-rich and a well balanced diet usually don’t have this kind of behaviour anymore by the time that they reach one year.
However, if the puppy is still doing such behaviour that he has been doing from the past, and then it is a good timing that you may have to ask the veterinarian or veterinary behaviourist in order to prevent the occurrence of this situation again. There are various reasons that are connected to why the dog eats their poop and some of them have been stated below.
1. Bad Digestion
The dog may be eating his poop because the digestion of foods is not being done properly on his stomach. This is usually one of the reasons because the food that you have been giving might be containing low nutrients.
If the food is coming out from him the way it went in then certainly, the problem is the digestion of the dog. The puppy usually eats their poop because the smell and taste of their poop has usually the same taste as the food that they have eaten.
How to stop your dog from eating poop with this kind of reason then is try to search for a higher quality of food so as not to let the puppy or dog eat their poop anymore. If you have tried to switch the food and the puppy or dog is still eating their poop then it is best to ask for the help of the veterinarian in this kind of case already.
2. The puppy or dog might be bored
This is usually one of the reasons on why your dog eats his poop. Boredom may be the cause if your puppy or dog has been alone for quite some time and his or her stress might be decreased if they try to play or eat their poop.
This kind of behavior is also common when the weather is cold because they are usually amazed and curious with their poop that has been frozen.
3. The puppy or dog might be stressed
The puppy or dog might be eating their poop because they are stressed. They may be stressed because of various reasons, it may be because you have transferred on a new place, or it may be because the puppy has not been receiving much attention or many more reasons.
You must find the reason on why the puppy is stressed so observation is vital in this stage so as to further aggravate the stress that they are feeling. Do not punish the dog when they are eating their poop because this may even further make the problem worse.
4. The puppy is hungry
If there are some parasites or worms present on the dog’s digestive system then the puppy might feel even more hungry than usual so this may be one of the causes on why the dog is eating their poop.
You will notice that the puppy is usually hungry if he wants to eat any possible thing that he can eat including his own poop. On the other hand, the puppy may not be receiving enough food that he needs so you may have to feed your dog at least three times every day so he won’t feel starved.
If for instance that you are not quite sure regarding on the number of times that you will have to feed your dog then you may need to ask the veterinarian regarding that information or the breeder that you have bought the puppy from.
5. The dog needs some attention
If you have been doing some of the interventions mentioned above and the puppy is still eating his poop and have responded negatively then your puppy might just need your attention.
Because the behavior that you showed might be a negative one but the puppy still wants it because he may just be seeking for your additional attention. Hence, the puppy may be eating his own poop to be able to catch your attention even if it’s just for a small period of time.
If the response to this behavior is negative especially for accidents then the puppy might try to hide this kind of behavior from you.
Lastly, there are some puppies or dogs that are eating their own poop only because they enjoy doing it. There are various reasons to explain this kind of phenomenon but the best thing the owner can do is to prevent the dog from eating their poop again by diverting their attention and cleaning their poop as soon as possible.
Why Should Dogs Eating Their Poop Be Consulted On The Veterinarian?
Once the dog is eating their own poop, the owner of the dogs has to be sure that the certain occurrence of behavior is not caused by any health reasons. There are some puppies that are not digesting enough nutrients and they may have some parasites or in some circumstances, the dog may have some problems with their pancreas.
Majority of the dogs that have been eating their poop must be examined by veterinarians so as to know if they have been caused by certain diseases. There are also some cases in which if there are many dogs in a household and one dog gets sick, the dog that is healthy usually eats the poop of the dog that is not healthy.
This sometimes is one of the reactions of other dogs to protect the dogs in their own household from any bad dogs that may do hard to the weaker dogs.
Why Does The Dog Prefer To Eat Their Poop To Foods?
Enzymes are present on the dog’s digestive system. These enzymes are responsible of digesting the carbohydrates, fats and proteins that are being eaten by the dog. There have been researches done that the digestive system of the dogs are more accustomed to diets that have lesser amount of protein from animals and need more carbohydrates and proteins that are present from plants.
There are also nutritionists from the veterinary area that have been advising dog owners that the dogs usually eat their poops so as to replenish the enzymes so that their digestive system will be well prepared from digesting more foods that they eat. There are also some evidences in which dogs are not getting enough nutrients that may result to eating their own food, usually it is Vitamin B that is lacking so they often eat their own poop.
There are also some other theories that are being said that feeding the dog in a much more higher amount than expected may also lead to the unnecessary behaviour. If the dog has been fed much, then they won’t be able to absorb much of the nutrients that they are eating from the food so their body has the tendency to recycle their own nutrients abundant waste.
How To Stop Dog From Eating Poop?
Since the problem is on their digestion then you must start with the food of your dogs. You must give them a high quality dog food so that you can be certain that they are having the needed nutrients that their body needs.
The dog food that you are giving must be rich in minerals, proteins, nutrients and vitamins that are needed for their normal growth.
You must also be a keen observer with the various signs that are being shown on your dog’s behaviour so you may know if the dog is really having some inappropriate digestions like stool that has very large particles, watery poop or foods that have not been digested.
If there are any there are some other signs that you have observed then you must tell them all to your veterinarian since this may be a big issue if such kind of problem is not resolved in a timely manner.
From the time that your puppy has eliminated, you must be diligent enough to clean their mess. As a responsible owner, you must not give the dog some chance to play or eat with their poop.
You may try to put the dog on leash when you are outside and control the puppy not to eat their poop when they are trying to do so. You may divert the attention of the dog when the dog is trying to inspect or eat their poop by calling their names or by offering some treats.
There are various reasons on why a dog eats their poop but the main thing that an owner must do is to observe their behaviour so as to know the various interventions that you need to do.
You may consult the veterinarian if you feel like the dog has always been repeating such kind of behaviour even though you have tried your very best to distract him from eating his poop for this kind of behaviour may already be a sign that he has some digestive problems. You probably got your answer for Why Does My Dog Eat Poop? If you still have any questions please comment below