The disgusting habit of poop eating in dogs, known as coprophagia, is a difficult dilemma for any pet parent. However, it is actually common as around 16% of all dog owners have encountered this problem at some point in their dog’s life.
While harmless in general, dog poo eating can sometimes lead to infectious diseases or parasite infestation in your beloved pet. The nasty habit can also lead to gastroenteritis that, in turn, can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop?
There are various reasons your dog may pick up the bad habit, the most common of which are issues with his diet, gut health, as well as environmental triggers. These include:
• Isolation - Studies reveal that dogs kept in cages or basements are more prone to poo eating compared to dogs that live close to their humans.
• Restrictive Confinement - When dogs are confined in small spaces, they are more likely to eat their poop. Thus, it is not surprising to see coprophagia in dogs rescued from crowded shelters.
• Anxiety - When a pet parent imposes punishments or harsh housetraining methods, dog anxiety may set in. Based on this theory, your dog may choose to eat his own poop to eliminate any “evidence” of his mistakes. However he is still punished and the cycle just goes on.
• Seeking Attention - When your dog wants to get affection from you, he may eat his own poop. So, if you see your pet doing this, do not ignore it, but don’t overreact.
• Underlying Health Conditions – Health disorders like Cushing’s disease, thyroid disease, and diabetes, among others, may cause an abnormal increase in appetite in your dog.
• No Proper Association with Real Dog Food - If you feed your dog very near the area where he defecates, he might not be able to differentiate the odors of real food and that of poop.
How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop
There are various ways to stop your dog from doing this disgusting habit. Veterinarians and pet owners have seen improvements with these useful methods. These include:
• Medical Solutions
1. Proper Supplementation - Veterinarians can determine if your dog is lacking in vitamins, particularly Vitamin B. Proper diet supplemented with vitamins may help stop your dog from poop eating.
2. Restoring Your Dog’s Gut Health - This doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re starting to give your furry baby gut supplements, you might as well give them probiotics that have probiotic support and enzymes that they may be lacking as well.
• Dietary Remedies
1. Pineapple or Pumpkin – Add some pineapple or pumpkin bits to your pet’s meals. He won’t mind the taste, but he will definitely find his poop unappealing to eat.
2.High Quality Food – Feed your dog with high quality dog food regularly.
3. Preventive Measures - Perhaps the best way to stop this problem is through proper training and environmental management strategies which include:
4.Always keep your pet’s living area clean. Make sure that the surrounding areas are also clean, so he wouldn’t find any poop to pick up.
5. When you go out for a walk with your dog, always be attentive. Supervise your dog in all your walks.
6.Make sure to give him enough mental stimulation and physical exercise.
7. Give your fur baby the proper training. Work hard on commands, especially “leave it” and “come”. Your dog might not understand it at first, but patience will go a long way if you want to achieve this goal. There are also many potty training aids to assist in this technique.
Stopping your dog from eating his own poop requires some conscious effort on your part. It might take time, but with proper training and environmental management, your lovely fur baby will not resort to poop eating any longer.