Dogs are the kind of furry, lovable creatures that just make you want to squeal in happiness and swoon over the cuteness of their faces. Suddenly, the mood changes as you realize that furry ball of sweetness is currently chomping down on poop. Yeah, poop. Good luck getting a kiss now!
This habit is more common in dogs than most will admit. Approximately 10 percent of dogs will eat their own poop whereas 85 percent of dogs will feast on the poop of other animals. This strange and disgusting habit is called Coprophagia, and is defined as “A dog who eats their own poop”. If your dog exhibits signs of Coprophagia and makes a lunch of their own feces, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong. Dogs tend to eat their own poop (and cats too) for a variety of reasons ranging from a digestive issue to stress-related issues. Perhaps your dog isn’t receiving a properly balanced diet to suit their needs or you just brought home a rescue dog which can be stressful for both the owner and canine.
Why Does a Dog Eat Poop?
-There is an imbalance in their digestive processes and they are trying to correct the issue
-Your dog is fed a primarily kibble based diet and they are lacking in enzymes
-Dogs suffering from anxiety or stress
-Puppies weaned too young from their mother
-Puppy mill dogs who have to fight for food and forced in a crate for hours on end with no stimulation or affection
How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop
There are several tips available for dog owners whose puppies won’t stop eating their own poop. Some of the tips can be executed by the dog owners and others would need a helping hand from a professional. A partial list of tips to curb your dog of their feces-loving ways is:
1. Provide your dog with a nutritionally balanced diet, with added supplements; enzymes, minerals, etc.
2. Remove your dog’s feces as soon as possible
3. If your dog is trained for a potty pad, remove it from their presence until they are ready to use it
4. If your dog does their business in the yard, consider putting a small amount of hot sauce over the feces to deter the dog from ingesting more
5. Provide both physical and mental stimulation – engage your dog in a long walk or game of tug-of-war to prevent boredom or stress
6. If the problem persists, consider the use of over-the-counter medications that can help curb the urge for a snack
If your dog is a closet poop muncher, you will probably feel equal parts disgusted and worried. Luckily, a dog should not develop any major health problems indulging in the unpleasant snack of poop. Always talk to your veterinarian if your dog persists with this behavior as it could show signs of a pancreas or digestive issue. With a little bit of patience and effort, you can be back to lapping up the kisses and love of your furry friend, without wondering just where their mouth has been!