Updated on November 28th, 2023
Poop-eating is disgusting, but also normal! Believe it or not, eating poop is a behavior that can have emotional but also physical causes. Do you want to discover why do dogs eat poop?
Top 7 Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop
- Nursing 🍼
- Pleasure 🎆
- Anxiety 😰
- Attention ⚠️
- Underlying diseases 🌡️
- Fear 😱
- An old fellow dog at home 🐶
Let's look at each of the reasons dogs eat poop.
1. Dog Eat Poop While Nursing
"Why do mother dogs eat their puppies poop?" is one of the most common questions we have heard.
The answer to this question is believed to have a relationship with the wild life of the dog's ancestors. Living in the wild, dogs ate the poop of their puppies to prevent the smell from attracting predators. This custom has been maintained to this day.
Also, the mother dog will lick the bottom of the puppies to urge them to evacuate and then will eat the poop of her children to keep them clean. Be that as it may, it's not a pathology that should worry you, since this activity is carried out while breastfeeding and then disappears.
➡️ If your dog continues to eat poop three months after giving birth, consult your vet.
2. Coprophagia In Dogs: Poop Tastes Good!
Almost 25% of dogs eat poop regularly. As you read, one in four dogs. Although some do it for some physical or psychological pathology, many eat poop simply because it tastes good to them. Some enjoy its texture and choose the one they like best when eating dog feces (or feces from other animals).
In general, dogs that ingest poop choose stools that are no more than two days old, and the fresher, the better!
3. Poop-Eating Because Of Anxiety
Does your dog spend time alone at home while you work? Anxiety is one of the main causes of dog poop-eating.
Why do dogs eat poop? The answer may be as a way of trying to control the feeling of insecurity and anxiety that being away from you generates.
Poop-eating is a usual behavior in confined dogs.
4. Your Dog Eats Poop To Get Your Attention
Dogs are, in many ways, similar to children. Just as toddlers throw tantrums, your dog eats poop. What? As you read, your puppy or adult dog may start eating poop to get your attention.
Ask yourself the following: when you are with him, are you really with him, or are you looking at your phone? If so, your dog may eat poop to get your attention. It doesn't matter if you get angry: the important thing is that you focus on him!
5. Dog Eating Poop Because Of A Disease
Some studies have found that dogs that are nutrient deficient are more likely to eat poop, their own, or that of other animals.
In 1981, the American Journal of Veterinary Research reported that dogs deficient in vitamin B1 can develop coprophagia.
The same is true for nutrient malabsorption syndromes, chronic pancreatic deficiency, parasites or diabetes. Your dog may be trying to replenish nutrients lost through poop ingestion.
How? Very simple: if there is poor absorption, the nutrients are discarded, and, therefore, by eating poop, the dog could recover part of the eliminated nutrients.
So, what to put in dog food to stop eating poop? Add pumpkin to your dog's regular food. Believe it or not, once digested, the squash tastes terrible and therefore will give your dog's poop an unpleasant taste.
In any case, it is best to consult with the vet. Your dog may need nutritional supplements.
6. Fear Could Be The Cause Of Dog Poop-Eating
To find the answer to why dogs eat poop, you should consider your dog's age. Is it a puppy in potty training? If you yelled at him when he pooped at home, your dog may eat poo to avoid punishment. He makes disappear the evidence of the accident.
The same can happen with an elderly dog that has started pooping in sleep. Remember that you should never yell or challenge a dog that has an accident at home. You always have to accompany by love.
7. Poop-Eating To Protect An Old Friend
Does your dog eat the poop of his old friend who has accidents at home? This is very common. In the past, dogs ate poop to prevent predators from attacking weaker members of the pack. In this case, your dog is just showing his love for his old fellow.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop: The Most Common Cause
The exact cause of poop-eating has not been scientifically proven. However, dog owners report that their dog generally eat dog poop when they are bored, anxious, or stressed.
Therefore, the best thing you can do is exercise with your dog! Avoid his boredom and help him relieve tensions. Surely, it suits you too.
Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop Today
Here are our top tips for ending poop eating today.
- Work on cues, like "leave it" and "stop".
- Walk your dog with a leash.
- Keep your house and yard clean.
- Be fast as a ninja to scoop your dog's poop.
- Don't let your dog access the cat litter.
- Take your dog for a vet's check-up.
- Feed your dog pumpkin.
- Use poop-eating deterrent.
In summary, while coprophagia may seem unpleasant, it's a common behavior in dogs with various causes, from natural instincts to health concerns.
Understanding these reasons is crucial for addressing the issue. Simple steps like regular cleanups, engaging activities, and veterinary consultations can help manage or stop this behavior.
Remember, a little patience and the right approach can make a big difference in keeping your furry friend healthy and happy. Support and understanding are key in navigating this aspect of dog care.
Is Eating Dog Poop Harmful?
Poop-eating is normal canine behavior. However, it has its risks. If your dog eats poop from other dogs, a cat, or a wild animal, he can ingest parasites present in the feces. In this way, it could be infected with worms.
Does Eating Poop Make Dogs Vomit?
Poop eating can cause vomiting in your dog. By ingesting feces, your dog also consumes the germs present in them. These parasites can cause diarrhea and vomiting, and even cause a worm infection.
Why Is My Puppy Eating Poop?
If your pup lives with his mom, he may be mimicking his mother's behavior. Nursing dogs often eat their puppies' poop as part of their instinct to protect them from predators that might smell the puppies' poop. On the other hand, if your puppy does not live with his mother, he may eat her poop out of curiosity, because it tastes good or to avoid being blamed for dirtying your home.
Do Dogs Eat Their Poop When They Have Worms?
Dogs eating their own poop is not typically a sign of worms. While the exact reasons for coprophagia can vary, common causes include nutritional deficiencies, behavioral issues, or simply as a part of exploratory behavior, especially in puppies.
However, it's important to note that while eating poop is not generally a sign of worms, it can potentially lead to parasitic infections if the feces consumed are contaminated. Regular deworming and veterinary check-ups are essential to ensure your dog's health. If your dog is exhibiting a persistent or sudden interest in eating feces, it's advisable to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues or nutritional deficiencies.