Let’s be honest with one another. There’s nothing more unpleasant for a pet parent than seeing their dog eating poop.
Coprophagia is the practice of eating poop or faeces. In most cases of coprophagia, it is purely a behavioral problem. However, there might be some medical problems that can contribute to coprophagia.
Here are some reasons why your dog eats poop:
- Medical problem: Many dogs eat their faces due to some underlying medical problem. It can be a sign of diseases of the intestinal tract, the liver, or brain.
- Malabsorption: If your dog is eating its own stool, the poop may consist of undigested food. That’s an indication of malabsorption.
- Boredom: A bored dog is a destructive dog. Some dogs may be eating stool because, in their mind, there’s nothing much else to do.
- Attention seeking: Poop-eating might be similar to other negative attention-seeking behaviors. Dogs eat their own poop to get a reaction from their humans, which they inevitably will.
- Anxiety and stress: Like people, every dog handles stress differently. Some may become anxious, destructive, or develop destructive behavior. Some dogs even start eating their poop due to stress.
- Nutrient deficiency: Some experts suggest that dogs with nutrient deficiency, particularly thiamine – a B-vitamin, eat faeces.
Tips to stop your dog from eating poop
Here are some useful tips to stop your fur buddy from eating poop.
- Prevent boredom
Try to keep your fur buddy busy and active. This will make them stay away from activities like eating poop. Invest in a good variety of interactive dog toys and indoor puzzle toys.
- Prevent depression and stress
Try to get creative to spice up your dog’s daily routine and bring some much-needed stimulation to his life.
- Remove dog waste quickly
Removing waste quickly is a promising method to prevent your dog’s access to stools. Keep the dog’s living area and yard clean. Get to know your dog’s bathroom break patterns and remove the stool as soon as it happens. This requires constant supervision and consistency.
- Make poop taste less desirable
Feeding foods like pineapple, pumpkin, raw zucchini or meat tenderizer seemingly changes the taste of dog poop and makes it underside for dogs. Try adding some amount of these foods and adjust the amount according to the results.
- Train your dog ‘Leave It’ command
Try to teach your dog “leave it” and “come” commands. For this, teach your furry pal to come to you for a treat as soon as he has done his business. In this way, your dog will develop a habit to run to you for a treat, instead of reaching for the stool.
- Feed Your Dog a Balanced Diet
Try to feed your dog a well-balanced homemade nutritious diet. The nutrient requirements of dogs increase as they grow or indulge in more physical activities.
- Use a Supplement
If your dog shows symptoms of nutritional deficiency, consider adding a good canine multivitamin to your dog’s diet.
- Treat the underlying medical problem:
You can speak to your vet to rule out any medical problems. Your vet may treat the problem or recommend any medication.
Pet parent tip: Dogs learn by positive reinforcement techniques. Don’t punish your dog if he eats his poop. It will not fix the problem but only make it worse.
Our Final Thoughts
Let’s face it, we don’t know what goes through our dog’s minds, but vets suspect various culprits that trigger the urge for dogs to eat their poop. You can try different tips and tricks to see what works best for you and your dog.
Shoot us a message and let us know if this blog was helpful. Until next time everyone!
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Hart, Benjamin. et al. (2018), ‘The paradox of canine conspecific coproophagy’, Veterinary Medicine & Science, 4(2), 106-114.
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Unger, Julie. ‘Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?’, Dogs Naturally Magazine, 21 December. Available at: https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/16-reasons-dogs-eat-poop-and-what-to-do-about-it/ (Accessed: 2 January 2022).
Stregowski, Jenna. ‘Why Dogs Eat Poop and How to Stop Them – Coprophagia in Dogs’, The Spruce Pets, 7 June. Available at: https://www.thesprucepets.com/why-does-my-dog-eat-poop-1118288 (Accessed: 2 January 2022).
AKC Staff, ‘Why Dogs Eat Poop and How to Stop It’, AKC, 5 November. Available at:
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/why-dogs-eat-poop/ (Accessed: 2 January 2022).