Dog owners wonder why their dogs eat poop when they are well fed. And most importantly, when dogs do eat poop, is it harmful?
Why do dogs eat their own faeces?
- Animal researchers trace their origin and the dogs’ ancestors—the wolves. With the wolves’ instinct to protect their own pack and themselves, they tend to eat their own faeces. This accomplishes two things: to hide their tracks from surrounding dwellers and to protect themselves from intestinal parasite eggs before it would hatch.
- With more number of dogs in a household, the more drawn they are to eating their own poo and other dog’s poo. In connection to their lineage, when an injured wolf or the weak link of the pack poops, a wolf would attempt to clean it up by eating it. That instinct may have lasted until the present. After all, it goes all in favour of the dog’s natural instinct—to protect their pack. Furthermore, bitches are more likely to engage with this activity for that sole reason of protecting her pups.
- What’s more concerning is when dogs eat their own faeces because of medical causes. For this reason, canines would scavenge any accessible edible-looking substance as he is more hungry than usual. The resulting stool smell is relatively close to the food that the dog has previously consumed prompting him to eat the ‘food’ again. As this is a cry for help, it is advisable to ask for a veterinarian’s diagnosis.
- At times, a pooch consumes faeces out of boredom, loneliness, anxiety, or stress. Some dogs do it to spite owner for attention.
- This is experimental for puppies. They get the chance of sniffing, chewing, or eating anything within their reach. The pups may have smelt poop’s stench from the mother’s breath and attempt to mimic the behaviour.
When dogs eat poop: health impact
Try to eliminate such practice before health problems arise such as:
- Nutrients and calories deficiency
- Diabetes and other medical condition
How to stop a dog from eating poop
Regardless of the dog’s nature to eat poop, it is still a bad habit. We have to discourage this undesirable behaviour. What can I do to stop my dog from eating poop?
- Clean it up before your dog gets in contact with it. Preventing access is the best way to correct bad practice.
- Teach your dog the commands ‘leave it’ and ‘come.’ This is helpful during public walks and when your dog is trying to sniff any faeces.
- Avoid the incorrect drill technique of ‘sticking the dog’s nose’ in their stool because it could further encourage the bad habit.
- For dogs with medical problems, they should immediately be checked and treated by veterinarians.
- Will feeding the dog a pineapple stop eating poop? Yes, it is one of the preventive measures you could perform. Put a spoon of canned pineapple or pineapple juice to the food bowl. Consider the size of your dog on which to use: a spoon, a teaspoon, or a tablespoon.
- Serve two to four tablespoons of canned pumpkin with the dog food each day.
Dogs eating cats’ poop (when there are cats and dogs living in the same household)
What do cats eat that appears appetising for dogs? Cats are known as hypercarnivores. A cat’s diet follows 70% meat. Their bodies need high amounts of protein, hence, cats’ digestive system is fixated on processing protein and less on other components such as carbohydrates. As a result, their faeces appear appealing to eat with its odour, texture, and even the taste.
In addition, canines are natural scavengers. At some point in our lives, we have seen our pet dog rummaging through our things and garbage. The cat poop that smells and tastes edible is an attractive dessert for a dog.
- Aside from the things mentioned above, it could also be because of boredom, anxiety, or nutritional deficiency.
- Find a spot that is inaccessible to your dog and put your cat’s litter tray. An animal behaviourist once said that training your dog for a command to leave the litter tray alone is a waste of time. Your pooch may find it satisfying each time he scores a snack from it. It’s easier to hide away the litter tray from the dog’s reach. Elevating it somewhere only your cat can comfortably jump is recommended.
- If you can’t find a perfect spot, invest in a litter tray with ‘dogproof’ features like a closed top. However, be prepared for determined canines that would try anything to get what they want.
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