Let me show you How to Stop Puppy from Eating Poop. If you are the parent of a new puppy, you have worked hard on potty training him or her. You go to the potty spot, take them out regularly, and of course have tons of treats available for a job well done.
But there is just one thing that’s making you feel annoyed and possibly concerned about your puppy’s health: The fact that your puppy chows down on his own poop. If you have cats, you might notice your puppy eating the clumps in the cat’s litter box.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. This article will tell you the hows and whys behind this phenomenon, how you can help it, and other ways to help your dog break this behavior.
Why Do Puppies Eat Their Own Poop?
The first step of how to stop puppy from eating poop is to understand why they do it in the first place.
The name for the eating of stool is coprophagy. Puppies and dogs do this because they are bored, they want attention, or because they fear being punished. You may be surprised to learn that this behavior is actually very common in puppies.
Even though the act itself is disgusting to us humans, there is a cause behind it. As pet owners, it is our job to address the issue in an appropriate and swift manner, so the habit does not carry on throughout the life of your dog.
If you see your puppy eating his own poop, do not be alarmed. You should be concerned, but do not react in such a way that might cause the puppy to feel alarmed. This could lead to repeated undesirable behaviors surrounding the eating of stools as well as other behavioral issues.
It Starts Early
Puppies may begin eating their own stools when they are in the litter. Mothers eat the poop of their puppies. This is actually normal, and it is an act of cleanliness on the mother’s part, as well as an effort to protect the pups from predators who might smell the defecation and come searching for the puppies.
Despite the fact that there are no predators living in your home, this is something mothers do instinctively, and it is present in different creatures all throughout the animal kingdom. The mother will do this from the time her puppies are birthed to the moment they become weaned. Because puppies learn by watching their mother, they may copy her behavior and in turn, eat their stools.
The mother herself will actually stop this behavior naturally: that is, once the pups are old enough to leave their den to poop as well as eat solid food. The puppy, on the other hand, may continue to do this until they grow up a bit more. Once again, it is important to remember that this behavior is learned-combine this with the natural, curious nature of puppies and you get them eating their own stools.
A good breeder will help discourage such habits before puppies go to their new home. Cleaning up immediately after the puppies before they have the chance to smell and taste it is critical in helping to prevent this habit from forming or continuing.
How to Stop Puppy from Eating Poop. Why Else Might A Puppy Eat Stool?
It is not unheard of to see your puppy eating the poop of other dogs as well as his own. However, so long as your pup is eating a balanced diet that is full of nutrients and consists of good, quality food, this behavior should not continue, and your puppy will grow out of it.
If your puppy fails to stop this behavior, you will need to consult a vet or dog trainer. Later, we will discuss what to do if your pup cannot stop this behavior.
Be sure to rule out any of the below problems that might be contributing to your dog’s desire to consume his own defecation.
If your dog is experiencing poor digestion, addressing this could be the way to know how to stop puppy from eating poop. The food he is eating could be lacking in nutrients that are digestible and therefore coming out just as it did going in. Or, the puppy may have an issue with their digestive system. In cases like this, the stool tastes just like the food they ate earlier.
So, the answers are plain to see: switch to a higher quality dog food so that more nutrients are digested. Your vet can offer you some suggestions on quality food. If your issue lies in your dog’s digestive system, you will need to have your pet examined by a vet.
Getting Attention: If you respond to this behavior in a way that your puppy enjoys-even if you get upset-your dog may continue to do it just because they know you will react to it. Even though your reaction is not a favorable one, your dog still reacts because he enjoys getting that extra attention from you.
If your dog, unfortunately, contracts a worm or other parasite of the intestinal variety, he may be having his nutrients sapped as a result of this problem. The dig will then try to supplement his lack of nutrients with stuff that is even remotely able to be consumed. On the flip side, your dog may not be getting enough food to eat. Aim to feed your dog about two to three times each and every day. For advice about your dog’s specific food needs, be sure to talk to your vet.
Being stressed out
If your puppy feels stressed out, they may respond by eating their own poop. They could feel stressed about being in a new home, or an environmental factor that has changed and brought stress into the house like a new pet or baby. Keep your dog as stress-free as possible to avoid this behavior from occurring.
If your pup is left alone for extended periods of time, he or she could get very lonely and eat their poop or even play with it as a means of relieving the boredom they feel.
And, some puppies may just eat their own poop because they like it. Even though this may not be the explanation you want to hear, the best thing you can do is make sure your dog is distracted with a toy or treat so you can pick up the defecation as quick as you can so as to prevent him from eating it.
How to Stop Puppy from Eating Poop. Will Grown Dogs Eat Their Poop?
Most pups, upon reaching adulthood, will grow out of the desire to eat their own poop, or other dogs’, for that matter.
However, some dogs will continue to do it-and some might start doing as adults. It can be very confusing, not to mention concerning, for owners.
Rule Out Major Health Issues
If your adult dog has never engaged in the act of eating his own or others’ feces, and suddenly begins doing it, look for other red flags. Symptoms like weight loss, acting lethargic, changes in his behaviors, and discomfort, plus diarrhea and vomiting, are all causes for concern.
You should make an appointment with your vet right away. Eating fecal matter can be connected to intestinal tract ailments and ailments pertaining to other parts of the body like the liver, the brain, and more.
Focus On Diet
After you rule out any health issues related to your adult dog eating poop, all the techniques that you would use with a puppy for breaking the habit of coprophagy are useful for adults, too. You should switch to a diet that is of the highest quality and easy to digest.
You should make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise and increase the amount of this if necessary. You should also make sure your dog is getting adequate attention.
Owners and walkers alike must be diligent about quickly cleaning up feces. Keep your dog on his lead at all times while walking outside, and make use of deterrents that prevent dogs from eating stool. Distract him with toys if he displays an interest in consuming feces, and offer a treat when he listens and stays away from poop.
Understand that mishaps will still happen. Feces of a certain animal, such as the cat or the horse, are often enticing for a dog. As unappealing as this sounds, they are just too good to miss for your pooch. You, as the owner, have to be mindful of these animals are part of your life and prevent consumption from happening.
Own Cats? Be Mindful
Since many people own cats, it is especially important to understand why you should not let your puppy or dog eat the feces your cat leaves behind.
- Your dog or puppy likes cat feces because their poop contains protein.
These “crunchy treats” are readily available and easy to get, all thanks to the open litter box in your cellar or bathroom.
This behavior is repulsive to anybody who sees it, not to mention dangerous.
- Diseases and parasites can be contracted by dogs if they eat the feces of your cat (or feces of cats they find while outdoors, for that matter).
For instance, your cat may be host to parasites of the internal kind that your dog may get by eating cat poop. Hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms and their eggs can all be in cat feces. When your dog eats the fecal matter, he becomes infected. Roundworms, for instance, produce over 175,000 eggs each day. They can live in feces for years. Tapeworms lay eggs in packets and your dog can swallow them when eating cat feces.
As you may already know, these are dangerous to dogs and can be deadly if they are not treated. If you suspect worms in your dog, get a stool sample to your vet as soon as you can.
- Toxoplasmosis is another threat your dog faces if he ingests cat feces. If your cat eats an infected mouse, their feces become infected with what is known as toxoplasmosis gondii. These are then contracted by your dog when they eat the poop. You may notice your dog acting lethargic, having diarrhea, not eating as he normally does, and losing weight.
Furthermore, if your cat eats an infected rodent or bird that has salmonella, your dog can contract this, too. Watch for a dog that is feverish, experiencing diarrhea, or vomiting, and speak to a vet right away.
How to Stop Puppy from Eating Poop. Potty Training and Poop Eating
Puppies learning to go potty on their own may actually eat their own poop because they fear negative repercussions as a result of going poop in a place they shouldn’t have. If you as the owner respond in a negative way or display anger at your pup for having an accident, they may attempt to avoid this aggression by eating their own poop.
If you are having trouble with potty training your dog, We have a great product. It really works, and you will have a great time as the program is easy to follow and use. Best of all, it works with any dog of any age, regardless of their past.
How To Prevent This Behaviour
Now that you understand the reason why dogs and puppies eat their own (and sometimes other dogs’) feces, we can take steps to prevent it from happening, and break the habit altogether.
- Firstly, make sure you are feeding your dog a healthy diet that is balanced and nourishing.
Your dog’s digestive system will be healthy, and he will feel satisfied knowing he has all the nutrients necessary. Opt for top quality kibble and wet foods. Brands we like are Blue Buffalo and Beneful, although you should speak with your vet about the best brand for your dog.
You want to make sure that the kibble has proteins sourced from meat, instead of grains. Grains are harder for dogs to digest. Kibble that contains wheat gluten should also be avoided. Gluten is not as nutritious as meat protein and is more apt to be contaminated.
- Make sure your dog gets enough exercise.
Keep him occupied with things to do. Chew toys and treats like chewable sticks (we like Purina Busy brand) are good ways to keep your dog occupied. You as the owner, can take your dog out for extended walks, or even go to the dog park for some extra fun and socialization with other dogs. You can play games like fetch and frisbee with your dog-anything to burn up all that energy and provide him with a positive outlet.
- Verify that stressful situations in your home are reduced to a minimum.
Keep things nice and quiet as you can, and talk to your dog about what’s going on. Keep him away from stuff that stresses him out, and take him for a walk to help calm him down. You can also introduce the smell of lavender, as this scent is known to be calming for dogs. Your dog may also require medication for something that is making him very stressed, so be sure you speak with a vet to rule out any issues that run deeper.
- Next, you will want to keep the feedings and potty times consistent and predictable.
If you keep him on a regular feeding and potty schedule, you can predict when he will go potty and therefore make it easy to quickly clean up the stool before he has a chance to eat it. Feeding regularly will also make issues that some owners face like obesity and overeating easy to avoid.
- You also want to make sure your dog is living in a clean environment.
As the owner, you should be ready to clean up feces right away after your dog is done going to the bathroom. If he lives in a clean environment, there are no chances to eat the poop in the first place. Keep poop bags and your shoes and coat by the door so that you are ready to clean up the feces quickly. While you are out there with your dog, take the chance to teach him the “No” or “Leave it” command.
You say “no” when your pup is chewing on something he shouldn’t, so do the same when you see him chewing on fecal matter.
- Lastly, make sure the feces of your dog does not taste appealing.
You can add meat tenderizer to the dog’s food, and the end result is that the fecal matter will end up being unappealing. You can also make use of canned pumpkin and pineapple in your dog’s food-these are both natural approaches to making your dog stop eating his own poop. Bear in mind that these techniques will only work when we are with the dog and are able to modify his food on the spot.
Furthermore, some dogs may not respond to these foods in a positive way (some might have an allergy; others may not eat their food thanks to the added deterrent). You can also make use of store-bought supplements or aids from your vet, which we will talk about in the upcoming section.
Coprophagy Deterrents for Dogs and Puppies
There are two categories of coprophagy deterrents for dogs. Some come in the form of repellents that you place directly onto the feces. Others are in the form of additives that make the taste of the fecal matter unappealing to a dog. You should find one that looks good and then speak with a vet before use.
The following are non-toxic but are repulsive to dogs and puppies.
- NaturVet Coprophagia Deterrent- This product contains a mix of yucca, enzymes, and chamomile to aid dogs in stopping the consumption of feces. These are soft chews that your dog will enjoy eating. Users noted that the odor of the dog’s feces changed; presumably, this is the reason dogs stop eating it.
- Bitter Spray-This comes in a few different scents-some are a lemon, some are an apple, some simply smell unappealing. You can apply this to fecal matter, and your dog will find their smell and presumably their taste to be unappealing. This should lead to the eventual cessation of your dog eating his feces.
- Tabasco- put some Tabasco sauce onto your dog’s fecal matter and this should discourage him from desiring to consume it. Dogs do not like spicy foods, and this sauce is known for its spicy properties.
The following may be added to your dog’s food:
- Can pumpkin- This natural food boosts the nutrient content of your dog’s food, so he is less likely to seek additional nutrients from fecal matter. It also serves as a weight loss aid for overweight dogs filling them up faster, can aid in the loosening of the bowels, and is an antioxidant.
- Pineapple -The acidity in this fruit will change the taste of the feces, so it is no longer tasty to a dog. Only a few chunks will do the trick.
- Forbid-The The front of these packets states that it is sold only to veterinarians, so talk to your vet about getting some of this food additive. This is a simple and easy to utilize powder that can be mixed into the food your dog eats and will thus curb the urge to consume feces.
- It is safe to use, and there are no side effects that have been reported. The breath of your dog will also show improvement. It works by making its way through the GI tract of your dog and using vegetable protein as well as sodium glutamate to make feces taste pungent. This will prevent your dog from eating these feces, and as he associates a bad taste with his poop, he should eventually quit eating it.
Wrapping It Up
We hope that this article about how to stop your puppy from eating poop has been helpful. Much like the art of potty training, this is a task that will require you to be patient and very mindful when it comes to keeping an eye on your dog. The best thing to do is stay positive and patient with your puppy-the habit will be broken eventually.
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A. Depending on how stubborn the puppy is but between 3 to 7 days.
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