Seeing your dog eat its own poo is definitely not a nice experience, and it is likely to trigger immediate concern and anxiety as to the reasons for such behaviour, as well as to how it can be stopped for good. Right off, you should know that dogs eating poop is normal behaviour for them, and it is we humans who find it disgusting.
Despite that, your dog eating poop could be a pointer to some underlying problems, in which case you need to attend to it quickly. Even if it’s not as a result of any other problem, your dog eating its own poop is just not nice, and there are ways through which you can get it to stop.
Coprophagia is the clinical term for eating feces, and in order to find a solution to it, it is important to first find out what could be the cause of the behavior. The first thing you should attempt to rule out as being the cause is nutritional deficiency.
It is commonly believed that dogs eat poo, whether theirs or another dog’s, in order to make up deficiencies of certain nutrients in their diet. Check the quality of your present dog food, and if it’s of low quality, change to one that is of better quality. If you feed your dog a home-cooked diet, you should be careful to ensure that all the food groups are present in their correct proportions.
Another thing you should check is if your dog is having digestion issues. When a dog has poor digestion, a lot of the nutrients in its food will not be absorbed, and this will often make the dog instinctively eat his own poo in order to absorb the nutrients that are still present in it. In order to rule out this possibility, it might be necessary to have a vet examine your dog.
Apart from medical issues, Coprophagia can sometimes be the result of behavioral patterns. For instance, dogs (especially puppies) that are bored may simply begin to play with and eat their poop as a playful and investigative activity. The fact that the owner will often respond to such behavior in one way or the other may even encourage the dog, as it will begin to see it as a way of getting its master’s attention.
Mimicking is another possible cause; puppies might learn to eat poop from watching their mother clean excrement from the nest by ingesting it. A lack of variety in their diets could also lead dogs to seek out novel food sources.
Can This Be Prevented?
Solutions that are considered effective in keeping dogs from eating poop include adding small portions of pineapple or Courgette to the dog’s meals. Both have the effect of making the poop taste very unpleasant, thereby making it unattractive for eating.
In the short term, it is very effective to simply clean poop as soon as your dog excretes. In the long term however, you should train the dog to leave poop by giving it a more rewarding alternative, such as a treat.
As stated before, we tried everything we researched when our little lady started to eat her own feces and we had success in preventing her doing this with the information we found in the downloadable digital guide ‘Eliminate Pottymouth‘ and a couple of other sources on the internet. It took a couple of weeks but thankfully she no longer eats her poop. We highly recommend this guide.