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Five Methods to deal with the problem of a dog eating poop and throwing up.
As much as watching your dog eat its own poop is of gross, it is not uncommon in man’s bestie.
However, it could be behavioral or psychological problems and sometimes it can also be as a result of medical issues. Some of the common causes of your dog eating poop and throwing up might be caused by medical conditions including pancreatic insufficiency and enzyme deficiency.
In order to rule out medical conditions causing this condition, also known as coprophagia, you should first of all assess this behavior. When does your dog eat poop? And when did he start? It is also important to keep in mind that your dog is carnivorous and nature demands it to consume certain foods.
For instance, when we domesticate dogs, we tend to feed them with manufactured foods, contrary to its nature to hunt and feed on the prey. The fact is, when a dog is feeding on the prey, it will consume enzymes that are responsible for smooth digestion of food.
However, if your dog lacks certain enzymes, its tummy might not digest foods properly.
If you are worried about your dog eating poop and vomiting, maybe you should be, or not. Below are some of the reasons you should be worried about these medical causes.
Medical causes of your dog eating poop and throwing up
As mentioned earlier, your dog eating poop might be behavioral, psychological or medical.
Medical causes of coprophagia include:
i) Enzyme Deficiency
Like the human digestion system, your dog also requires digestion enzymes to aid the absorption and metabolism of nutrients into the body. However, when our bodies can make enzymes on its own, our canine companions cannot produce enough enzymes for complete digestion. For this reason, our pups will depend on the foods we feed to them for the enzymes.
Unfortunately, when we domesticate dogs, we tend to feed them and make them live in our modern lifestyle. This means that we make our dogs food and sometimes feed them on what we are consuming.
This leads to malabsorption of food and poor digestion.
And because your dog will experience indigestion, he is most likely to poop undigested foods. Some dogs eat their poop right back which may lead to consumption of parasites and vomiting. When nature requires your dog to consume these enzymes from its prey, domestication limits this possibility.
Other possible signs of enzyme deficiency include diarrhea, yellow and smelly stool. Feeding your dog raw foods is a possible solution, but still insufficient for your dog.
This is because they have been exposed to various environmental factors such as refrigeration.
However, you can treat enzyme deficiency by making a few changes to your pup’s, diet, to ease digestion. You can also talk to your vet for digestive enzyme supplement for your dog.
ii) Pancreatic Insufficiency.
Normally referred to as the exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, the condition is one of the leading causes of enzyme deficiency. It is the inability of the pancreas to produce enough enzymes to ease the digestion of your pup.
Your dog eating poop and throwing up might be caused by this condition, especially if you are talking about a German Shepherd dog which is predisposed. However, this does not mean that other breeds cannot be affected by this condition.
The pancreas is responsible for producing the digestive enzymes required for complete digestion and absorption of nutrients into the blood system. Coprophagia is related to EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) but with necessary supplements and care it is likely to diminish.
In other cases, a dog eating poop and throwing up might be caused by behavioral factors such as boredom and anxiety. Your dog will develop separation anxiety if left alone for some time. Some dogs actually will develop separation anxiety simply because you have left for work. This might lead to your dog eating poop.
The environment in which you keep your dog is also a subject to consider when talking about your dog eating poop. This might be a common occurrence in lactating dogs when they are trying to clean up after their young ones. It is important to clean the environment of your dog to curb poop eating behavior.
Just like we watch what we feed on, you should also make sure that your dog is fed. This means that you will have to come up with a schedule to feed him, and also monitor the amount of food your dog seems to consume. This way, you will make sure that your dog is well-fed, contributing to a healthy digestive system.
If you have puppies with you, you should be vigilant as they get curious about things around them. This can cause your dog eating poop and throwing up later, especially if they have sensitive stomachs.
However, puppies will do this in the process of exploration and grow out of the habit with time.
Another contributing factor to the behavior of your dog eating poop and throwing up is stress, boredom, or attention-seeking. If he is feeling ignored, the habit of consuming their poop, just to get your attention.
Even though coprophagia is common in dogs, it can be a sign of other underlying health problems such as diabetes. It is also a possible cause of infections such as gastroenteritis which will lead to your dog vomiting.
If your dog who is eating his or other animal’s poop, you should adopt measures to keep your dog from that habit. This ranges from your dog’s diet, his environment as well as his health.
Diet for your dog.
Diet is an important factor to look at when you are looking to keep a healthy and happy dog. Coprophagia is as a result of malnutrition in most cases even though there are other factors contributing to the vice. What you feed your dogs will determine their health and happiness.
In the modern lifestyle, we often feed commercial dog food to our dogs. These products contain food components such as grain, meat, fruits, and even vegetables. However, deciding on which commercial foods to buy for your dog might require you to consult your veterinarian.
Breed, size, and age of the dog will mostly determine the nutritional requirements in order to feed your dog properly. Even though commercial dog foods are safe, administering the right amount of food and the frequency of feeding is also a necessity.
According to Pets.WebMD, puppies of six months and under should be fed three or four times while adult dogs require feeding one or two times daily. However, it is important to avoid overfeeding your dog as well as feeding processed foods like chocolate and fatty foods.
Also, you should not forget to give your dog dry food for his teeth, as well as wet foods for extra moisture in his body.
5 ways to curb your dog eating poop and throwing up.
a) Has your dog tested for worms?
Parasite infections are also a common cause of coprophagia. If your dog has been eating poop, you might consider taking him to a vet to test for worms. In the case he has worms, the vet will be able to advise you on how to deworm your dog.
Due to your dog’s nature to pick, eat and lick different things, even ones that are disgusting, he is exposed to getting parasitic worms. If your dog has shown signs of eating poop and vomiting, you should consult your vet who will examine your dog and administer the right medicine to deworm your puppy.
b) Pick waste up regularly.
Whether behavioral or health problem, your dog will eat poop because he can see and smell it in the first place. If you keep your dog in the house, there is a chance you have a designated pooping area for him. You should always make sure that any waste is picked up regularly, and his sleeping place is clean at all times.
If you leave your dog in a kennel, you will also have to make sure that it is clean and hygienic for your dog. Dogs that are used to being closed in might get bored in the day and might eat up their poop. To avoid this, make sure the kennel is clean at all times, and also you might consider buying toys for your dog to play with.
This will keep him busy when you are gone and also happy that he lives in a clean place.
c) Exercised your dog regularly.
Amidst our busy lives, we sometimes forget that our dogs miss us when we are away working or going about our normal human business. This creates anxiety and tiredness, especially if you lock your dog in a kennel or house. Boredom is also a cause of coprophagia, whereby your dog will eat poop just because he enjoys it or needs your attention.
To make your dog happy and healthy, you should take morning and evening walks. This will be a form of exercise as well as a way to spend more time with your dog. Alternatively, you can play with your dog with a tennis ball or any other games you may enjoy.
d) Make poop undesirable.
Your dog will eat poop right back because he likes the way it smells, and tastes. That’s gross, right? However, it is also true but there is something you can do about it. By making dog poop undesirable, you will be completely curbing the habit.
One way of making his poop undesirable is to add canned pumpkin or pineapple in your pup’s food. This will make his poop undesirable and so your dog will not consume it. You can also use odor spray to keep your dog off eating poop which may cause him health problems.
Adding meat tenderizer or hot sauce in the poop will turn your dog away and he will not consume his poop, or any other pet’s.
e) Intensive Training.
Dogs that have compulsive coprophagia may need extra training to curb the vice. This might need extra energy and time focussing on your dog to study his behavior and thus correcting them. This might sound easy to do but it is not actually easy in practice.
Training your dog is not going to be an easy task but it is quite rewarding. Potty training will curb the habit of your dog eating poop and throwing up.
Potty training for dogs is way harder than even teaching a child to use a potty. However, this does not mean that it is impossible but it will need you to invest your time and energy to train your dog.
You should use words like, ‘go potty’ to make him get used to it. It can turn out to be a disappointment when he ends up soiling the floor instead. In this case, you should refrain from punishing or yelling at him. This will only make him even more afraid but he can always do it when you are not around.
Potty training is best done to puppies rather than adult dogs. This is because you will be able to develop a schedule to feed him so as to be able to predict his pooping time as well. Puppies are most likely to relieve themselves when they wake up, and a few minutes after they feed.
When you are training your pup to use the potty, you restrict him from accessing open areas like inside the house. This will keep him from pooping anywhere, and instead, he will learn to relieve himself in the potty/pad.
If he happens to be out of his kennel or crate, you should have someone supervised at all times. This means that even when you are playing with him, you should instruct him to take several trips to the potty.
With time, he is going to get used to using the potty and you should not have a problem with dog poop in your house anymore.
Training your dog out of the coprophagia habit is important in keeping a happy and healthy dog. By training him to use the potty, it will be easier for you to clean up waste as well as curb the habit of eating poop.
In addition to this, the goal of keeping a happy dog is making sure that he is healthy, well-fed and taken care of. You should always create time to play with your dog and also exercise him to reduce anxiety.
As much as your dog eating poop and throwing up might be behavioral, it can also be a sign of underlying health problems. Always check with the vet to be sure that your dog is healthy.