In other cases, your pup may even eat his own poop, or worse, the poop of another dog or animal. For any pet owner, this would be considered disgusting and concerning.
But why do dogs eat poo? Dogs eat poop for several reasons. Although their actions may seem rude to humans, your dog’s motive may not be.
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Why do dogs eat poop?
If your dog is eating poop, it could be for several reasons.including anxiety, attention, isolation, confinement, or inappropriate association with food, according to the American Kennel Club.
Some dogs with severe trauma may eat their own poo to avoid further reprimands. Others will eat poop to provoke a reaction from their owners, so it’s best not to overreact.
Dogs that are often kept alone away from humans may eat poop. Likewise, dogs that are placed in tight, confined spaces, such as overcrowded kennels, may also consume feces.
If your dog’s food is near where he goes to the bathroom, he may confuse the smell of food and feces, leading him to associate poop with eating.
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Is it normal for dogs to eat poop?
Eating poo, scientifically known as coprophagyis not uncommon in dogs.
According to a 2018 study in Veterinarian Medicine and Science, 16% of respondents said their dogs were “frequent stool eaters” meaning they were caught eating poo less than or equal to six times. However, nearly 77% of owners said they had never seen their dogs eat poop.
Some of the reasons dogs eat poop are relatively normal. For example, nursing dogs will eat their babies’ poop to keep an area clean, according to PetMD.
Additionally, some dogs eat the poop of other animals, including horses, because the feces contain nutrients. But this behavior should be discouraged because there can also be harmful bacteria in the poo, according to PetMD.
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Will my dog get sick from eating poo?
Eating poop can definitely be a concern for a pet owner, as it can make your dog sick.
If your dog eats his own poo, that’s fine, but there’s always a risk of illness. Especially if your dog eats the poop of another dog or animal, there is a great risk of infectious diseases or parasites.
Consult your veterinarian if your dog has eaten poop and exhibits behavioral changes or symptoms.
How do I stop my dog from eating poop?
To prevent your pup from eating poop, you can consider vitamin or enzyme supplements. These can help if your dog is eating poop due to a lack of certain nutrients, like vitamin B, the AKC says.
There are also various deterrents on the market that make pooping less palatable to your dog.
Other methods to prevent your dog from eating poop include training, – using commands like “leave it”, – keeping a watchful eye during walks and cleaning up poop immediately.