Have you ever noticed your dog eating poop and wondered why they are doing that?
Well, this has a scientific term for it called coprophagia. Dogs eat poop for different reasons. Sometimes it is normal and sometimes it is a sign of an underlying issue. However, it’s uncommon for adult dogs to eat their poop or another dog’s poop as it can be quite harmful.
Some reasons why your dog might be eating poop are:
Maternal Instincts: When female dogs give birth, they tend to eat their pups' faeces for about 3 weeks of lactation, to keep their pups safe and clean. This is an instinct done by all-female dogs after they give birth.
Hunger and Starvation: If the dog is kept hungry for long periods, they will search for different ways to fill their stomachs like they are eating their poop or if kept with another dog, then theirs.
Like the taste: Dogs will not only eat their or other dog poop but any other animal’s poop that they find. This can happen considering the food that is digested by other animals is tasty and can be pleasing to the dog. Sometimes the faeces can be nutritional but most of the time it is best avoided.
Fear and anxiety: Dogs have different coping mechanisms when they are scared or stressed about a particular thing. Eating poop can be counted as one. However, when a dog is punished due to reasons related to faeces, they will try their best to get rid of it to avoid punishment. Therefore, according to them if there is no evidence there is no punishment so they eat the poop.
To get your attention: Doggo's will do anything to get you to pay attention to them. They know that if they act out or do something that you do not like will get them your attention, they will start repeating it every single time. So if you react when they have previously eaten poop, they will do it again to get you to pay attention to them.
How will dogs get affected by eating faces?
Many bacteria and dangerous parasites can travel to humans and animals when in contact with stools through mouth or saliva. This is very much applicable for dogs too.
When a dog eats their poop or other dogs or animals poop, they are at a risk for ingesting the eggs of intestinal parasites and possibly harmful bacteria that can quickly lead to illness. A doggo that eats the faeces of their own or other animals should be examined by a veterinarian.
If you cannot keep your dog from eating poop, be sure to wash your hands well with a lot of soap and water if you are in contact with your dog's mouth/saliva. A dog eating poop can also develop a foul breath by eating poop. Dental care can help the breath, but it's best to prevent stool-eating completely.
How to get the doggo to stop eating poop?
- You need to first make sure to clean out any animal or dog poop from the places you know that your dog might frequently go to.
It is also very important to make sure to pick up your dog's poop when taking them for a walk. Always keep them on a leash when taking them to poop. You can use the waste scoop to make this task super easy and fuss-free for you!
- When their attention goes towards the poop, try distracting them by using different techniques that will distract them from going towards the poop like their favourite treat.
- You can also try the "leave it" command. Effectively train them to obey your command to control this habit.
Dogs consuming poop is not healthy and can be the cause of many health issues. Therefore it is always important to keep an eye out for when they start going towards any poop around them. If you are unable to help control this habit of theirs, make sure to consult a veterinarian or an animal behaviourist to understand what can be done.