Current or past dog owners of all breeds have doubtless wondered, at one time or another, why dogs eat poop. The activity is highly disgusting, quite gross, and carries with it a host of budding dangers.
Dog owners can take a small measure of comfort, however, in the understanding that they are not alone, and that many dogs exhibit similar behavior. Properly referred to as coprophagia, the ingestion of feces may indicate additional psychological or dietary problems.
Potential Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop
There are a number of actual reasons why dogs eat poop. One of the most obvious justifications is that the dog is simply hungry, or is attempting to tidy his living space.
Dogs who are not provided with regular nutrients or those who live in dirty surroundings often take the initiative to fix those dilemmas themselves, even if it means consuming their own feces.
The fact dogs eat poop can also be symptomatic of bigger health concerns. It is possible that such a dog is in need of nutrients because it has been invaded by worms or parasites which extract vitamins and minerals from other types of food.
The possibility exists that these dogs are physically unable to obtain the necessary nutrition from the dog food provided by their owners.
Some dogs eat poop due to nervous energy, or as a way to copy the actions of their owners, whom they have seen trying to tidy the surrounding area. In some cases, a dog may simply be attempting to copy what they have seen other canines do.
The key is to realize that regardless of the reasons why dogs eat poop, there are procedures available to help you correct the behavior with relative ease.
Ways to Change the Habit
When dogs eat poop, they must be analyzed for health troubles, particularly if he or she only recently started exhibiting this behavior.
Because the eating of poop could be indicative of the presence of worms or parasites capable of taking the dog’s nutrients, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian right away.
Should the veterinarian find no health problems that wouldn’t explain the behavior, and if you have been unable to discover any other obvious causes, it is important to figure out exactly what might be the root of the dilemma.
Begin by maintaining a poop-free environment by cleaning your yard carefully each day and by making a clean sweep of paths usually traveled by the dog.
If there is no underlying health concern causing the dog to eat poop, the problem is a behavioral one which is curable through modification.
Fixing the Activity
There are other, creative methods that are likely to assist curb this most undesirable habit. You may be shocked to learn that hot pepper or bitter fruits would represent more unlikeable flavors to a dog than poop would, but it is the truth.
Another surprising, yet true fact is that giving the dog a massive bite of pumpkin puree daily will cause the poop to be far less appealing to them. You may also find it worthwhile to issue a stiff verbal admonition or shoot the dog with a spritz of water whenever you see dogs eat poop.
Beating your dog’s coprophagia is best accomplished by concluding and destroying the underlying cause of the problem.
However, if your dog is a highly socialized one who visits dog parks or other people’s homes regularly, you must be even more vigilant. Stay on top of the behavior, monitor their activity at all times, and never allow them to lick you or anyone else.