What Can I Do to Stop My Dog From Eating Poop? This will actually work for you.
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Everything pet owners need to know about this annoying habit
Dogs are the cutest beings on this planet. That is, of course, unless we catch them in the act of ingesting their own or other animal’s poop. In addition to being grossed out by our sweet furry friend, we can’t even approach our dogs because of their extremely bad breath. So, we ask ourselves why would they even do this, and more importantly — what can I do to stop my dog from eating poop?
First, let’s make something clear: dogs are no strangers to eating feces. In most cases, there isn’t anything wrong with our pets — they just like how the poop tastes. However, it is normal that owners want to prevent their dogs from eating stool. So, let’s learn more about this bad habit and why our dogs are attracted to ingesting poop.
What can I do to stop my dog from eating poop — reasons dogs are attracted to feces
We need to find out the causes of poop eating before trying to find the right solution for the problem.
One of the most common issues is coprophagia, which is a condition that creates the urge to consume stool.
Whether dogs consume their own poop or feces of another animal, coprophagia is relatively normal for many of them. So, there is a huge chance that our dogs are healthy and that it is just an annoying habit.
However, eating poop can be a sign that something is wrong with the pet. In order to prevent something happening to their dog, owners should inform themselves of possible reasons for consuming feces.
It’s in their nature
A lot of dogs are introduced to eating stool as soon as they’re born. Their mothers have a strong instinct and desire to take care of them. So, while cleaning their puppies, a mother often ingests their poop.
Therefore, from the time they were puppies, dogs have considered stool ingesting to be a fairly normal activity. Some puppies start eating poop at a young age because the odor from their mother’s mouth confuses them or they want to imitate their parent.
In addition, dogs are, as humans, very curious when they are young. So, it is possible that puppies start eating feces out of curiosity. Many dogs will grow out of this activity over the years, but a lot of them continue to eat poop even as adults.
Furthermore, dogs can be attracted to other species’ poop. The most logical reason for the attraction is the high amount of protein in other animal’s food. For example, since there is a lot of protein in cat food, owners shouldn’t be surprised if they catch the dog in their cat’s litter box.
They are hungry
If their dog suddenly starts eating feces, owners should think about the possibility that their pets need more food. Dogs that are starving will eat anything to survive.
On the other hand, there are dogs that are obsessed with eating. Voracious pets will eat anything, including poop, even if we feed them properly. In fact, if they happen to like the taste, which isn’t unlikely, voracious dogs will make poop their regular snack.
Something is wrong with their health
In some cases, certain medical problems can cause dogs to eat feces. If an adult dog suddenly starts ingesting poop, it is possible there are medical reasons behind it.
So, it is important to visit a veterinarian in order to check the dog’s health. The following health issues could be the reason they’re munching on feces.
An unusual condition
Pica is a condition that causes dogs to eat items that are not meant to be eaten. Those items are usually objects that carry the owner’s smell. But, poop could also be on that list. So, if a dog suddenly experiences coprophagia, owners should take it to the vet to check if it has this condition.
Not getting enough digestive enzymes
A lot of processed food doesn’t contain enough nutrients that help a dog’s digestive tract. So, it is possible that there is a lack of digestive enzymes in our dog’s diet.
These enzymes help the digestive system by absorbing the food, so their deficiency will lead to harder food processing and serious health issues. Shortage of digestive enzymes could lead to dogs pooping undigested nutrients. So, it is likely that undigested nutrients in the stool would attract our dogs and that they would want to eat it.
The lack of digestive enzymes can lead to pancreatic insufficiency as well. This condition prevents dogs from creating digestive enzymes in their pancreas. The consequence is the same — dogs would want to consume their poop in order to get nutrients they missed out on.
Besides these conditions, there are other health issues that could prevent dogs from absorbing needed nutrients. Poop eating can be the cause of vitamin deficiency in our dog’s food. As such, if dogs find nutrients they need in their stool, their instinct would probably tell them to eat it again and again.
Another common health problem dogs could encounter is a parasite infection.
Parasites absorb nutrients. So, dogs could try to supply themselves with nutrients they require from the stool.
Ravenous dogs will eat anything. However, if a dog has an increased appetite, owners should not dismiss them as greedy right away.
There is a chance that the dog has a health problem that causes it to be hungry enough to eat poop. For example, thyroid disease and diabetes could boost their desire for frequent snacks.
Dogs are anxious and stressed
It sounds weird, but anxiety and stress are not uncommon in dogs. Just like humans, our pets have self-protecting mechanisms.
Eating poop could be a dog’s way of relieving stress and anxiety. So, owners should keep that in mind while looking for reasons their dog is eating feces.
They are lonely
Experts say that dogs that live among people are less likely to eat their poop than dogs that live alone. Therefore, if our pets have to sleep in the backyard, we can at least make sure that we spend enough time with them during the day.
They are scared of punishment
If the owner’s first instinct is to yell at the dog or punish it for eating poop, they ought to think twice about it. Punishment can be ineffective, as the dog might think they’ve done something wrong by purely pooping. As such, when they poop again, they might eat the feces to remove any proof of their “misdoings.”
Dogs want owners’ attention
If a dog feels neglected or just loves the attention, it could go to great lengths in order to get it. So, it is possible that a dog will start eating poop to provoke the owner’s reaction.
They are bored
It is important that we entertain our dogs every day. Pets can do a lot of things out of boredom, and eating poop could be one of them.
What can I do to stop my dog from eating poop: Risks of ingesting poop
Since eating feces is not normal for humans as it is for dogs, we ask ourselves — is this annoying habit dangerous?
Well, it can be. The health risks depend on whose number two our dog ate. Nothing can happen to a pooch that likes eating his own discharge. However, coprophagia could be a side effect of a health issue.
If the poop is from another dog, or another animal, there is a possibility that the dog is at risk. Owners should closely monitor dogs that have ingested poop for a couple of days to see if anything unusual happens.
Poop contains remains of everything the animal has ingested, so it is likely that there are some substances in it that could cause a reaction. The dog can be sensitive to food that other animals’ organs absorb without problems. Also, there is a possibility that the dog accidentally takes in dangerous medication. In fact, there is a risk of ingesting parasites and bacteria too, which can cause other serious issues.
So, everyone should pay close attention to dogs that love eating poop. If they experience nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, or lethargy, owners should take them to the vet immediately.
What can I do to stop my dog from eating poop: Practical advice and strategies
Now that we understand why our dogs eat poop and the risks this entails, we need to answer the burning question — what can I do to stop my dog from eating poop? Here are possible solutions to the problem.
Clean after the dog
What can I do to stop my dog from eating poop on a daily basis?
Well, we can prevent our dogs from snacking on poop by removing every trace of it right away. Owners shouldn’t forget to inspect their yards and terraces and remove any remaining stool from there. In addition, those who have other animals, especially cats, should clean litter boxes every day since dogs find cats feces very delicious.
Entertain the pooch
What can I do to stop my dog from eating poop due to boredom?
As many of you already know, there is a possibility that our behavior could be the cause of coprophagia. Our dogs can be bored, so they find ways to entertain themselves. In addition, if a dog wants our attention, it will do things that could provoke our reaction.
So, in order to prevent the dog from eating feces, owners should engage them in physical and mental activities. Dog owners should play with their pets every day and give them as much attention as they can. What’s more, owners can find brain-stimulating games on the Internet and see if the dog likes them.
To sum up, boredom and lack of attention can cause dogs to find entertainment in eating poop. But, if we amuse our dogs regularly, it is possible that they’ll kick this annoying habit once and for all.
Provide needed supplementation
Lack of vitamins, especially vitamin B, could be the cause of poop ingesting. So, pet owners should check if the lack of vitamins is the reason for coprophagia. They should talk to a vet about enriching their dog’s diet with needed vitamins.
Solve the dog’s digestive enzyme deficiency
The lack of enzymes in our dog’s food is one of the main reasons they resort to eating stool. Therefore, before they do anything, owners should take their dog to the vet in order to confirm their theory.
If their suspicions are confirmed, and their pet has an enzyme deficiency, owners should make sure that the dog gets as many digestive enzymes as possible. For example, raw food contains needed digestive enzymes, so they should incorporate it into their dog’s diet.
Adding raw green tripe or supplements like papain could provide our pooch with enough enzymes. In any case, consulting the vet is a fine idea, as they’ll know how to boost the dog’s health and eliminate issues that might have made it a poop eater.
Regularly analyze the pet’s stool
In order to prevent potential disease spreading, it is important to regularly analyze a dog’s fecal matter. Checking stool for parasites and bacteria will give owners an opportunity to act fast and prevent serious issues these could cause.
Add taste-aversion products to the dog’s food
What can I do to stop my dog from eating poop because it likes the taste?
Well, the answer can be really simple. Owners can add something to their dog’s food in order to make its poop unpalatable. Spraying products that contain chamomile, monosodium glutamate, garlic, or parsley can make the stool less attractive to dogs. However, it is important to ensure that the dog is not allergic to any of the ingredients found in these products.
Train the pup
The most efficient way to prevent our dogs from eating poop is to train them. Obedient dogs will react positively to owners’ commands, so the issue will be easily resolved.
If our pets have trouble following commands, the most important thing is to just draw their attention to something other than poop. For example, immediately after our dog’s poop, we can reward them with a treat. Instead of focusing on what just came out of their bodies, they will concentrate on the treat they get when they’re done.
There are other ways to distract dogs from feces, but it all comes down to changing our pet’s focus as soon as they defecate.
Owners should also avoid punishing their dogs. As we have already mentioned, pets could associate punishment with poop, so they would want to get rid of any evidence that could potentially get them in trouble. In addition, experts say that punishment is not the most effective way of teaching the dog to behave. So, there is no need for unnecessary harshness or yelling.
What can I do to stop my dog from eating poop? — Final thoughts
Poop eating is a gross and annoying habit that can lead to or be the side effect of serious health issues. Even though a lot of dogs don’t have any real reasons for eating feces, poop ingesting could be a sign that something is wrong with our pet.
Hopefully, this article will help dog owners understand the reasoning behind their pets’ behavior and provide useful answers to anyone who asks — what can I do to stop my dog from eating poop?
But, remember — whether we are dealing with a medical problem or just a bad habit, the most important thing is to be gentle and patient with our best friend.