Why dogs eat poop may be a bit of a mystery to many if not all, we have some insight that may help you understand a little bit more behind this habit.
Poop eating is known as coprophagia, and is a common canine indiscretion. From droppings in the backyard, the cat’s litter box, or their own poop, this behavior can be quite concerning to most pet owners.
Coprophagia creates a major risk for intestinal parasites and is obviously not pleasant for doggy breath. If it is dramatic enough, poop eating behavior can also cause nutritional deficiencies.
Common reasons for this ongoing stool / poop eating can include:
- Nutritional or calorie deficiencies in their day to day diet
- Intestinal parasites resulting in nutrient malabsorption
- Enzyme deficiency
- Disease or medication resulting in increased appetite
Dogs lacking day-to-day stimulation may also turn to poop as a toy. Some dogs even learn the behavior from others.
What to Do if your dog is a Poop Eater
If you have caught your dog eating poop, don’t panic. Other than a good tooth brushing, there isn’t much that you need to do. Routine intestinal parasite screening and parasite prevention should be part of your dog’s regular wellness routine.
If your pup is a perpetual poop eater, however, we should talk. Please visit your veterinarian to be sure that there are no underlying health issues. Once your veterinarian has ruled out medical causes of coprophagia, you can try the following:
- Altering the taste of your pet’s stool with a diet change or supplements.
- Training your pet to wear a basket muzzle safely while outdoors.
- Changing your poop pick up strategies.
- Teaching your pooch to “leave it” on command.
- Enriching your pet’s environment/entertainment/stimulation.
Understanding why dogs eat poop may be a little more complicated than one would think, but there are many ways to evaluate and address it.