Why Is My Dog Eating Poop All Of A Sudden? That is the question you have asked today. Most dog owners when they see this behavior happening immediately get disgusted and stressed by this. My Brother had a dog which would do this horrible habit and I remember my Grandfather saying “You should get rid of that dog”. Thank goodness times have changed and this problem can be stopped quickly and naturally.
Why Is My Dog Eating Poop All Of A Sudden?
Every now and then, we get reminded by our dogs that we are, indeed, different species. Sure, it often seems as if they are about to speak — if only we would give them more time! What’s more, they sometimes do strange things that remind us of humans, like giving goodnight kisses and wrestling for fun.
However, some types of behavior, like coprophagia, could easily drive dog owners insane. So, as soon as they notice it, they immediately start googling why is my dog eating poop all of a sudden a dozen times a day.
Is there a cause for concern? Of course. If dogs were supposed to eat poop, then why would we ever have to buy them kibble? The fact is that this sort of behavior is abnormal and should be stopped as soon as we notice it.
Yet, before that, we have to figure out why coprophagia is even a thing in the dog world. Is there something we might be…missing out on? Are dogs eating poop because they need it to survive? Or, is there a more sinister reason behind it? Without further ado, let’s answer the “why is my dog eating poop all of a sudden” conundrum.
Why is my dog eating poop all of a sudden
As well as General malnutrition It could be a combination of any of these:
- Intestinal parasites
- Underlying Disease
- Boredom and Curiosity
Sometimes, dogs can resort to eating feces if they are not getting enough food from their owners. It’s in their nature to seek out more food in that case. And, they will eat anything and everything they find if it will let them live another day.
However, we know that most dog owners are not intentionally starving out their dogs. There is one thing, though, that might make you think, “Why is my dog eating poop all of a sudden” — wrong eating schedule.
Most dogs are quite gluttonous, and they will continue eating until they cannot breathe anymore. What’s more, they are prone to stealing human food or begging for it.
In most cases, we willingly give them everything they want. However, what we fail to understand is that sometimes, eating just one or two meals per day with a huge break in between can make a dog quite ravenous. Thus, it will seek out poop so that it can curb its hunger until the next meal.
The solution is simple, of course. We just have to introduce a proper eating schedule, preferably one that consists of three meals. Additionally, we ought to resist the temptation of giving the dog-human food, i.e., something that’s highly processed. The pooch might not have the right digestive enzymes (or enough of them) to process that kind of food. So, once it comes out, all the nutrients, if there are any, are eliminated as well.
Sometimes, the dog’s diet is the real issue
On another note, let’s say that we are feeding our dogs with kibble and avoid giving them human food. That’s the goal, right? But, instead of staying healthy, our dogs start eating poop, even though we’re doing everything correctly.
If that’s the case, then we have to check what we’re giving them. Dog food manufacturers will often advertise some kibble as the best kind there is, but that’s not what we should believe. The only way to find out what’s in the kibble is to check the ingredient list. If meat by-products and grains are high up on the list, the dog might be having trouble digesting the food. So, once it poops it out, it eats it, purely because it can smell there is more food in the feces. Besides, it didn’t get enough nutrients because it couldn’t digest the food, so it’s basically eating the feces as a supplement.
Another reason might lie in enzyme deficiencies. Dogs that eat dry, processed food may seek out feces because poop, especially that of another animal such as a rabbit, is full of digestive enzymes. In essence, they’re on a biologically inappropriate diet, which makes them look for other sources to combat their chronic enzyme deficiency.
Now, the thing about intestinal parasites is that the dog has to eat poop to ingest them. That would make our theory of the dog eating feces all of a sudden a bit strange, right? That is unless the pooch has been eating it without us knowing it.
Since dogs are great at hiding toys and all their misdoings, the idea of them secretly eating poop is not that far-fetched. What’s more, if they do eat it, even just once, they might ingest the parasites. As a result, once they incubate, dogs continue eating poop because the parasites are feeding off the nutrients found in their food. In essence, they’re not getting everything they need, so they have to look for it elsewhere.
If we suddenly notice that our dog is eating poop, it might not be a one-time thing. Eating feces is not normal, and in any case, it can cause bacterial infections of the gastrointestinal tract, which would lead to other issues. Additionally, the dog might eat feces of other animals, which might be contaminated, i.e., contain some microorganisms that won’t sit well with the pooch at all.
Sometimes, other animals’ poop smells and tastes better than the dog’s. Therefore, it will go after it, especially when we’re not looking. That could easily spell disaster, as one of its favorite poopy treats, cat’s feces might contain organisms such as toxoplasmosis. What’s more, if our dog eats poop from unvaccinated dogs, for instance, it can contract the parvovirus, which, if left untreated, leads to death.
Among the most common medical causes of dogs eating poop, there are also some serious diseases. For example, if something’s going on with its small intestine or pancreas, the dog won’t be able to absorb the nutrients properly. Thus, it will try to get them from the poop, as it can smell there’s some food at least left in there. Additionally, thyroid disease and diabetes sort of have similar symptoms in dogs as they do in humans. Their appetite might increase. Therefore, if they cannot find food in the house, they’ll opt for the next best thing — whatever came out of their bodies.
Stress in dogs is a serious issue, as it can lead to a host of behavioral problems. When a dog is under a lot of stress, it can start chewing on all sorts of things, wreaking havoc around the house. However, one of the more disgusting stress-related antics is definitely eating feces to soothe itself.
Stress is often related to changes in the dog’s environment. For example, if its favorite family member moves out, it might start eating poop to combat any emotions that might be causing it stress.
Additionally, stress is one of the most common reasons puppy mill dogs eat poop. Since they are often left in small crates and have to fight for attention, food, etc. with other dogs, all of them are under a lot of stress. Thus, they need something familiar so that they can soothe themselves. They cannot just relax or go through any of the techniques we as humans have at our disposal. The thing that’s most familiar to them at that point in their own poop because it probably reminds them of their mothers.
In line with stress, we also have anxiety. Anxious dogs will try to soothe themselves in times of trouble, especially if they have separation anxiety. Our pooches are social creatures, and they thrive whenever they’re getting enough attention and playtime. So, if we fail to give them what they need, they become quite anxious and try to look for other things to do because they’re distressed.
Separation anxiety is a huge issue purely because we cannot stay with the dog all the time. If it hasn’t learned how to play by itself or just relax at home, its poop is likely to spark some curiosity in it. What’s more, given that anxiety and stress go hand in hand, poop eating will be the self-soothing mechanism it chooses. After all, if the dog is anxious about us not returning, it will again need something familiar so that it can calm down.
Boredom and curiosity
No matter how gross it may seem, dogs see poop as something new and possibly delicious. Therefore, sometimes, the only reason a dog might be eating poop is just plain old curiosity. Dogs use their mouths to learn more about the world, and it doesn’t matter to them if eating feces is frowned upon or not. They will try to eat it and will often indulge if each new bite reveals something new.
On the other hand, sometimes they are just bored. If dogs are often alone and they lack attention, the only way to entertain themselves is to do something to kill some time. To them, poop eating isn’t that boring. It lets them do something with their mouths for a few minutes, AND it curbs their hunger.
Hygiene (usually out of fear)
Let’s face it — poop eating is downright gross. In general, it is a type of behavior we as humans absolutely avoid taking part in. However, dogs love poop, as it smells nice to them and taste amazing. So, for them, it’s another chance to eat their lunch.
With that in mind, it’s safe to say that dog owners don’t react well to poop eating. They think it’s disgusting, which is fair enough. But, because they cannot comprehend why a dog might eat feces, they sometimes have an unfavorable reaction to it. They either try to stop the dog by chasing it around, or they resort to punishment and yelling.
Chasing the dog around because it ate some poop would just show the dog this sort of behavior is fun. If it gets it the attention it needs, then it has to be good, right? On the other hand, any sort of punishment could scare it, so much so that it would try to hide the poop by eating it. In essence, fear would make it clean up after itself each time it passes stool.
Finally, learned behavior could also be the cause, especially if we’re talking about a puppy. Most of the time, when dogs have puppies, they will try to clean them up and protect them from predators by eating their poop. The puppies see that, and they learn that eating feces is something good. After all, if their mother is doing it, and she knows best, then it must be something nice!
Luckily, once they start pooping outside and not in the den, the mother stops cleaning up after them. After a while, even this type of learned behavior stops, as the dogs don’t have a daily reminder of it. Still, as you can see, there are other reasons it might start again in their adulthood.
If you’ve been trying to get Google to give you the answer to why is my dog eating poop all of a sudden, know that it can come down to a variety of things. Dogs might display the symptoms of some diseases and be bored at the same time. Likewise, they might be anxious because they are not getting enough food.
In the best-case scenario, this poop-eating habit is just something the dog will overcome in a few months. However, it’s always better to stay on the safe side. If poop eating is something the dog has never done before, and it’s not a puppy who’s just starting to learn more about the world, taking it to the vet for a check-up could give you a more detailed answer and help you rule out potential health issues.