December 30, 2011

Why Does My Dog Eat Poo?

Filed under: Dog Behavior — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 12:20 am

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While it is a truly revolting habit, many dog owners are confounded and confused by their dog eating poo.  Although it may seem counter-intuitive, there are a variety of environmental and biological reasons why dogs eat poo.  This article will detail not only the reasons why dogs eat poo, but also ways you can get your dog to stop this dirty habit.

There is a variety of reasons why your dog may eat poo, which can lead to your dog developing Coprophagia (i.e. the habitual and deliberate ingestion of eating poo that is neither incidental nor accidental).  First off, some veterinarians argue that dogs were “born” to eat poo, since their ancestors ate poo too survive – their ancestors ate anything that was edible.  Secondly, dogs may learn this behavior from their mother, who eats the poop of her newborn puppies to keep the environment clean.  Alternatively, in a multi dog household, the lesser member of the hierarchical wolf pack will eat poo as an act of submission.  Another possible explanation is that dogs eat poo as a result of house training lessons – when an owner gets mad at a dog for defecating inside, the dog will commence eating its poo, in order to get rid of the “evidence.”  Some veterinarians suggest that the reason why dogs eat poo is because it contains many nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy functioning system.  In fact, some argue that a dog’s system is not yet well adapted to the new modern diet, which contains more plant proteins and less meat.  As such, this reasoning suggests that dogs eat poo to replenish the necessary nutrients to facilitate proper functioning.  The last possible example is environmental.  Some suggest that dogs eat poo in order to gain their owner’s attention, especially if they are bored or lonely.  Further, by scolding the dog for eating poo, it only reinforces the behavior.

So, now that you are aware why your dog eats poo, how can you get him/her to stop eating poo?

In addition to the following below advice, you should take your dog to your veterinarian to seek council.

dog eats pooFirst and foremost, you must make sure your dog gains all necessary nutrients.  You can ensure this by feeding your dog a high grade level dry kibble.  If you do not feed your dog a kibble with enough nutrients, the problem will continue, and perhaps worsen.  Additionally, you should think about supplementing your dog’s dry kibble with dog vitamins.

Many of the possible reasons explored above have one thing in common: stress.  Thus, if you eliminate your dog’s stress and anxiety level, it is likely that your dog will stop eating poo.  Make sure your pet dog has enough exercise and that you are giving him/her praise for their good behavior.  If the dog is still anxious/stressed, think about taking him/her to a certified trainer.  Additionally, think about using a natural stress-reduction remedy.

This next point goes along with the last point – it is imperative that you keep your pet occupied and happy.  Play games with your dog and make sure that he is occupied through companionship and toys.

Lastly, maintain a clean living environment.  If things are clean and in order, which includes having the dog feces picked up and removed from the environment quickly, then there will be no need for your dog to eat the waste.  A clean environment will also help alleviate stress.

2 Comments »

  1. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you!
    However, how can we communicate?

    Comment by Taren — February 6, 2013 @ 11:24 pm

  2. Taren, there are many ways we can communicate! You can continue to leave comments in the comment box below each post, send us a comment/message through our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/1stPetNaturals, tweet us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/1stPetNaturals, or send an email to info@1stPetNaturals.com. We love to hear from you and will always get back to your questions through whichever means you choose to message us :).

    Comment by 1st Pet Naturals — February 12, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

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Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.