Most of the dogs today have a dirty secret & it is, eating people. You are not the only one who hates this because there are many dog owners who hate this problem. Regarding vet, many dogs munch their own or other animal’s feces, & this is known to be “Coprophagia”
It’s not only you who hates it when a dog eats poop but also many people have this same problem. It’s disgusting when a dog drinks from the toilet, licks butts & eats own feces. But you need to understand that dogs do not understand what is right and what is wrong so it’s our responsibility to teach the appropriate behavior. You should never punish the dog rather you need to discourage this habit.
Why dogs eat feces
Dogs eat feces because of behavioral and psychological reasons & this behavior is known as coprophagia.
It may seem disturbing from a human perspective but it’s normal from a dog’s perspective. Dogs tend to eat anything they find on the ground or in the trash.
Did you know?
Every one in six dogs (16 percent ) have a serious habit of eating feces & they were caught in eating feces five times
Every one in four dogs ( 24 percent) were found in eating feces at least once.
Why Does puppy eat feces?
Normally mom dogs eat feces to clean up their babies & many puppies follow this behavior. when the puppies become four to nine months of age they are most likely to imitate this behavior.
Humans learn language by observing others just like that a puppy will learn many things & will follow them in future whatever their mother does. So if you notice that your mother dog is cleaning up the puppies by eating feces you need to wave your hand or chase the mother dog or puppy. If you take this seriously from the beginning then you can easily change this nasty habit of your dog & puppies.
Why dogs eat feces
Dogs are pack animal & canine have a natural habit of eating its prey by whole they also eat the guts. Normally many dogs do this because it contains the proper amount of digestive enzymes which is very important for dogs. This ingredient (digestive enzymes) is very important for the digestive process of the dog.
However, if the dog doesn’t get the chance to get these enzymes they may become unable to absorb the food. Remember dogs have these enzymes but it’s not good enough to continue the proper digestive process.
Exocrine Pancreatic insufficiency
When a dog is producing a very little amount of digestive enzymes in the pancreas they start to slowly starve which is known as pancreatic insufficiency. When this happens a dog may loss weigh, suffer from diarrhea, and depressed. That time they start to look out for it & start eating feces since there is not sufficient amount of enzymes in the body.
IF your dog is having diabetes and thyroid and steroids then that’s another reason behind eating feces.
As you dog ages he might be dealing with hydrochloric acid deficiency & also have a bad diet which often causes poor digestion. When this happens the dog is most likely to have poor digestion & end up by eating feces because it contains proper nutrition. Hydrochloric acid breads protein & it’s an important part of the digestive process.
Dogs who suffer from poor nutrient absorption are often seen in eating feces. Remember, not the only dog eats feces but also cat can do the same thing.
If a dog doesn’t get enough food that he needs then he may end up by eating feces.
Not only medical reasons but there are some behavioral reasons that can also cause a dog in eating feces
Normally mother dogs tend to clean up their puppies by eating feces. This cleanliness nature is later followed by the puppies.
When the puppies see their mother in eating feces they also follow this behavior since the puppyhood.
Dogs tend to get attached by the scent. When they found some new smell they become very curious. That’s another reason behind dog eating feces.
This might sound weird but it’s seen that some dogs who become bored can investigate with their feces & thus sometimes they end up eating it. Often dogs are seen in playing with their feces when they no longer find something to do.
This doesn’t sound right but it’s true that some dogs may eat feces because of having stress.
When puppies are born, mother dogs want to clean their babies to attract predators with scent cues. Puppies since then see this & follow this behavior.
Hiding the proof
If you punish or yell at your dog when he has an accident in the house then it will make him insecure & next time he will try to hide this proof & may eat feces because of it. So you should never punish your dog.
Seeing other dogs
Just like humans, dogs can also copy other behavior. If a dog sees another dog in eating poop then he may do the same thing.
Taking the dog to the vet
Whenever you notice that the dog is eating own feces try to figure out the underlying cause. As we discovered earlier that some dog tends to eat feces if there are insufficient nutrients in their food. These dogs are known as coprophagic dogs. So it’s a good idea to take these coprophagic dogs to the vet.
Why dogs choose poop over the reserved food.
A lack of vitamin B is often caused by coprophagia. Which makes them in eating feces.
Unaware dog owner
Sometimes dogs behavior often depends on the owner’s behavior. Believe it or not but some dogs eat their feces to get the attention of the owner. Remember dogs are attention seeker when you don’t give any attention to the dog
Breaking the habit
After observing the dog who eats feces it’s important to consult with the vet. You may need to take a dietic plan, & proper medication that your vet recommends. You can take the advantages of For Bid which is an Adopls meat tenderizer & this can give a smell of stool which can help the dog. However, the thing is that these products help only for a short period of time.
Another way you can stop this is, putting the hot sauce over the poop. When your dog tries to eat it it will create discomfort pleasure & the dog will start ignoring eating feces.
However, 62 percent of coprophagic dogs eat stools daily and more than 35 percent did it very quickly. Also, more than 80 percent of the coprophagic dogs normally eat only fresh stool. Among those dogs, most of them ignored stools which were older. This observation clearly shows why dogs become coprophagic.
Behavioral techniques and management techniques are not very useful. If you chase your dog away while approaching the stool it won’t work rather the dog will come back. You can teach the dog Leave it a command. Or the reward stimulation.
Training the dog to leave the poop alone
You can put the muzzle in your dog & when the dog approaches the stool simply take her away with leave it a command.& reward with good treats. This will help your dog to understand that you don’t accept this behavior.
We all dislike this problem however if you want to changes this bad behavior you need to have enough patience and consistent then it can work. Remember no dog can change behavior overnight & it takes time to change such behavior.
How to stop dog from eating feces.
Sometimes dog which having Vitamin B deficiency can have these types of behavior. So it’s important you provide food with a high level of Vitamin B ingredients.
If your dog is potty trained then he will get to know that poop is bad.
Tips to stop dog eating feces
Sometimes puppy can eat poop to get the attention. So if you feel at the puppy it will make him think that you’re enjoining the moment which actually unconsciously rewarding the behavior. So if this is the case first few times you need to completely ignore the puppy.
Puppies tend to be energetic & they can become bored very easily. So You should take her for exercise for an additional 20 minutes. You can take advantage of aerobic exercise two time every day. You can give more additional toys which can keep him busy all the time.
Make your dog understand that poop is bad.
Always give healthy food
Teach your dog on how to use the potty
Put hot sauce in the stool & the puppy will feel discomfort & start avoiding eating poop.
Emily Anna is a dog lover who is studying Veterinary Nursing and Bioveterinary Science at University of Bristol. She is a regular author of this blog & also a former author of Lucky Pet Dogs and One Dog Day Care.