Why does my dog eat poop?

Video: Dogs Who Eat Poop: How To Stop It

You`d be surprised how many puppies do this! Find out how your dogs `poop-eating` habit gets started, why it can be dangerous, and what to do about it.

Because as nasty as it seems to us, for most puppies and dogs, coprophagia(eating their own feces and/or the feces of other dogs/cats/horses etc)seems perfectly normal.

For many it"s a behavior that they grow outof once they leave their momma and littermates, but for others it canbecome a habit, but it"s a habit you need to discourage because at worst itcan have serious health consequences... and at best it"s justyukky!

All sorts of myths and guess-work abound as to why dogs behave this way, the most common being "Does he have worms?" and "Is he missing some nutrients in his diet?"

Occasionally these can be the problem, but usually not. So, let"s take a closer look at why dogs eat their poop....

About Coprophagia

"Coprophagia" is the proper name for stool eating, and you might (or might not!) be surprised to learn that it"s anormal canine behavior.

Video: Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

A momma dog keeps her nest/den clean by eatingthe feces of her young puppies. As they pups grow, they copy thisbehavior and try to "help mom with the cleaning up". Poop eating seemsperfectly normal to them.

Although, once weaned and out of thenest, many puppies tend to stop this practice, others continue thehabit even when they"ve moved to their "forever homes".

Generallypuppies will forget about their desire to eat their feces within a few weeks, but for someit can become a long-lasting pattern that leaves their owners scratchingtheir head and sighing... "WHY on earth is my puppy eating poop?"

Is It Bad Or Dangerous For My Pup To Eat Poop?

Generally speaking, coprophagia isn"t dangerous, just unpleasant and"icky". This is especially true when your pup or dog just eats his ownstool.

BUT, if little Fido seems intent on snacking on everyrandom poop he finds, or thinks "kitty crunchies" from the cat litterboxare the best treats ever, then it can become hazardous to his health.

Many of the most dangerous and contagious dog illnesses are transmitted through feces. If your pooch ingests the poop of a sick dog, he could get very ill himself.

The same applies to cat poop, plus cat litter isn"t a great thing tobe swallowing at the best of times! It can "clump" together and cause anintestinal blockage, or at the very least make your puppy vomit.

Parasites such as worms can also be transmitted through the ingestion of feces, that is not something you want for your puppy.

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop - Does He Have Worms?

Sometimes coprophagia in a dog can be a side effect of a worm problem. A parasitic infestation makes a pup extra hungry because the worms are getting all the nutrition from his food.

Video: How To Stop My Dog Eating Cats Poop? Or His?

However,usually the puppy is already a "poop-eater" anyway. Most puppies havesome worms at some time, and these are generally taken care of by theroutine puppy deworming which takes place at the same time as hereceives his vaccinations.

Don"t rely on coprophagia to diagnose a case of worms, if your pup hasworms, you"re much more likely to see symptoms such as ....

  • Loss of weight. A puppy with a worm problem often looks skinny, but has a round, "fat" or distended little tummy
  • Dull, coarse coat
  • Worms in his stool. You might be able to see worms in his poop, or in severe cases he may even vomit up worms (yuk!)

Is There Something Missing In His Diet?

The answer to this is usually "No". The majority of puppies and dogswith coprophagia are fed good, nutritious food which provides a balanceddiet.

For a stray dog who has to fend for himself, and is oftenon the border of malnutrition, stool eating may be the result of extremehunger and a need for nutrients. But for a well taken care of pet, it"shighly unlikely.

However, if your puppy is eating a food which contains a lot of additives, fillers and so on, a high proportion of that food is indigestible to him and a good percentage of it is passing through hisdigestive system pretty much untouched!

When this happens, the stoolsmay seem more attractive to your puppy, after all - they"re made up of alot of the ingredients he finds in his food bowl.

Changing over to a high quality/premium dog food that your puppy can actually digest fully can be helpful in these instances.

What To Do About Poop-Eating Puppies

Thereare a few things you can do to discourage/prevent your pup from takingpart in his very own "poop fest".....

Look At His Diet
Be sure that you"re feeding your pooch a high quality, nutritious diet. A good dog foodis highly digestible and results in fewer stools, and those stools aredefinitely less attractive as potential snacks because they"re not fullof the undigested fillers and junk that cheaper, lower quality foods contain. Take a look at my 10 Best Dog Food Choices for more on this.

Don"t Overfeed Him
Watch that you don"t give your pup too much food. Overfeeding can resultin undigested dog food in his feces, which makes them smell and tastereally good to Fido!

Scoop The Poop Regularly
Scoop the poop from your yard promptly. Don"t just leave it there andwait for the weekend (or whenever), to clean up. Do it on at least adaily basis.

Use A Leash For Potty Breaks
Keep your pup on a leash when you take him out. If he"s a dedicatedstool eater use the leash even if he"s just going "potty" in the backyard. If he tries to nibble on his stool, tell him "NO" firmly and "pop"or tug his leash as a correction. Redirect his interest right away witha treat or a game.

Try A Little Of The Hot Stuff!
You can try pouring hot sauce (or something similar) onto the stoolpiles. It will make them a lot less appetizing to your puppy. Of course,if you"re going to take the time and trouble to do this, it"s just aseasy to pick them up.

Or Try Meat Tenderizer
Some people find that a bit of meat tenderizer sprinkled on their dogs" food can make the stools less palatable.

Use Coprophagia Deterrents/Remedies
To eliminate the stool eating, there are a few simple but effective products available that can be added to your dogs food.

Once the food containing these productshas passed through Fidos" digestive system, the resulting feces arevery unappealing!

If you"re tired of asking "why does my dog eat poop?",try one of these to break that nasty habit....

Prozyme Original

NaturVet Soft Chews


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