Why do Dogs Eat their Poop?
Life can be tough, for animals
as well as humans. Most of the dogs, if not trained
properly or if they suffer from dietary deficiency
etc. end up eating their own poop. This consumption
of poop is formally known as coprophagia, and it
is a natural behavior that is found in some animal
Why does it happen?
Human beings have difficulty understanding
exactly why dogs eat their poop. Dogs have been
known to eat poop from various sources, such as
other dogs, cats, and rabbits. This is a habit that
is most prevalent in puppies, and certain breeds
are also more susceptible to Coprophagia. From a
human’s point of view, it is repugnant, and
we can’t help but wonder why dogs eat poop.
There are many theories regarding
animals consuming poop. It might be the result of
a dietary deficiency, and the dog suffering from
the same is compensating for a loss of nutrition
by eating poop. Another theory, from the medical
community, proposes that a dog might be experiencing
malnutrition, starvation, intestinal disorders,
or parasitic infestations. However, most of these
illnesses are very rare.
Puppies have been known to eat
their poop when they are being housebroken, and
this may be the result of physiological and behavioral
factors. Physiologically, the digestion of food
is not always complete, and puppies will see nutritional
value in their poop.
Behaviorally, some breeds are frequently
attracted to undigested food in their poop, such
as rice, corn, or peanuts, viewing these foods as
a snack. Behaviorally, many pets eat their poop
when they are being trained because they do not
know whether they should eliminate on paper in the
home or on the ground outside of the home. If a
dog eliminates in the wrong place, it might experience
stress and try to hide the evidence of their wrongdoing
by eating it.
What can be done about
To stop this unwanted and unhealthy
behavior dogs must be kept in optimal health; otherwise,
they will develop illnesses that can result in eating
First, have your veterinarian check
your dog for parasites. The animal may lack essential
bacteria in his system. Also, parasites can compromise
an animal’s immune system and allow other
illnesses to occur. Take your dog to the vet for
a regular checkup, and take notes at the appointment.
This can help keep your dog healthy between appointments.
Second, make sure your dog takes
a vitamin every day. Vitamins are inexpensive, readily
available, and they can be placed in a dog's bowl
with the animal’s food, or they can be given
directly to the dog as a daily treat.
Third, keep your home clean, inside
and out. This includes keeping the dog’s bed
washed and sanitized on a regular basis.
Fourth, provide distractions for
your dog. When you see your dog eliminate, use a
command to call the animal away from the elimination
area. As soon as the dog leaves the area, give him
verbal and physical praise. Keep a ‘pooper
scooper’ handy and pick up the dog poop after
calling the dog away from the elimination area.
Make it a point to walk around the yard each day
and pick up any poop that may have been previously
left in the yard.
How can it be prevented?
As a rule, dog owners want to keep
their dogs from eating poop. Not only is eating
poop a health risk, it is a very unattractive sight
for family, friends, or visitors.
The importance of cleanliness and
home sanitation cannot be overemphasized. Once the
dog is housebroken, the chance of his eating poop
inside the home is minimal. However, the dog is
likely to go back to its pre-housetraining habits
if the house smells like poop or urine.
The best way to keep a home clean
is to develop a weekly cleaning schedule and maintain
that schedule without fail. If the dog does eliminate
inside the home, it can be quickly and easily detected
because the rest of the home will not have an odor.
If the dog does eliminate inside the home, the poop
should be removed immediately, and the elimination
area should be sanitized immediately.
An additional benefit of maintaining
a housecleaning schedule is that you will not have
to worry about cleanliness or odor if an unexpected
visitor comes into the home.
You can control the cleanliness
of your home, and you can control what your dog
eats. One way to keep a dog from eating its own
poop is to put food additives in the dog’s
regular food. Food additives provide nutrients that
the dog needs and, as a result, these nutrients
will keep the dog from eating its poop. Consult
the dog’s veterinarian to make sure that your
dog is receiving food additives that are safe and
effective for your dog.
Finally, take your dog outside
for a ‘potty walk.’ Using a leash, wait
until the dog poops, then call the dog. The leash
is only used to keep the dog from the poop if he
tries to eat it. When the dog leaves the poop and
comes to your side, give it verbal praise and a
All of the above information must
be performed consistently. This way, the dog will
know what to expect when he tries to eat his poop.
Also, consistent cleanliness, training, and maintenance
should give you the results you want; your dog should
stop eating poop.
Train Your Dog to Obey You and
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking