You took your dog for a walk; You just finished telling your neighbor how well he was behaving when you suddenly caught him eating poop. Eeeooww! What could be driving your dog to do this?
Caprophagia (the technical term for defecation) is a nasty but not uncommon behavior among dogs. The good news is that eating feces will not harm your dog in general. You already know the bad news; It is nauseous, dirty, and produces the worst breath odor imaginable. If your dog eats the feces of other animals, there is a risk of parasite transmission.
Wonder of eating poop
No one is quite sure why dogs do this; however, there are several possible causes. He may just like to do that. Dogs interact with the world with their mouths; They like to carry sticks in their mouth and like to chew toys or bones.
Dogs also love things that have a strong odor, and droppings also fall into this category. While it may sound strange, fecal eating behavior is just your dog’s way of studying things that are interesting to him.
Puppies who are confused and eating poop
Puppies will sometimes eat their own feces during toilet training. The reason they do this is because they are still unsure of where they are allowed and not allowed to defecate. They’ll ‘destroy the evidence’, fearing they’ve done something wrong. This type of cleaning behavior can also be seen in adult dogs living in the home.
Mother dogs will often eat their puppies’ feces while cleaning them. This is probably an instinctive behavior. In the wild, eating the puppy’s feces will make predators less likely to find its vulnerable offspring.
One of the most common theories about why dogs behave this way is that they try to make up for deficiencies in their diet. Herbivore droppings can provide vitamins that are not included in your dog’s normal diet.
Cat food is rich in protein, so a cat litter box can be attractive to your dog. As a cat litter box can be toxic to a dog, it’s imperative that you get this behavior under control immediately.
Prevention of eating poop
The easiest way to deal with this problem is to do something as soon as your dog has done. Some people recommend spreading chili, Tabasco sauce or paraffin on the stool to ‘worsen’ its taste. There are also additives for your dog’s food that will taste while eating but become bitter when digesting and therefore make the stool inedible. Unfortunately, these methods are not effective in all dogs.
In general, the best solution to dealing with caprophagia is to be gentle but precise when trying to discourage it, and above all, to be consistent in the discipline you create. If your dog has additional nutritional requirements, you should also talk to your vet about who might be able to identify those requirements.
Do you want to know more about how you should feed your dog? Click here.