Before you panic or feel that you’ve failed as a furparent, stop right there: an alarmed or panicked reaction from you can negatively impact your dog, and lead to even more poop eating! So calm yourself, and read on as we give you tips on how to tackle this behaviour of your pet.
The Fecal Attraction At A Young Age
PetMD explains poop eating as something dogs do out of boredom, to get attention, to avoid punishment, or because of health issues. More often than not, poop eating in dogs come from an underlying cause.
Puppies may begin eating poop while still in the litter. The mother dog eat her puppies’ poop to keep the “den” clean, and protect them from predators drawn to the scent. And like the saying goes, puppy see – puppy do.
Once the puppies begin eating solid food, the mother usually stops her poop-eating behavior, but the puppy may continue to do so until he matures some more.
A well-balanced, and nutrient-rich diet should keep your puppy from eating poop. But if it continues to do so, here are some potential reasons:
- Poor digestion – in some cases, they think it’s a leftover of their meal.
- Boredom – if left alone for a long time, they find relief from eating poop.
- Stress – Don’t add to it by scolding your dog too much!
- Hunger – consult with your vet if this can be the reason.
- Attention – your dog might be doing it because of your reaction, or might be hiding away evidence so you leave them alone.
- Enjoyable – distracting your dog, and cleaning up poop quickly might do the trick.
Older But None the Wiser: Adult Dogs Eating Poop
If your adult dog suddenly develops the habit, along with disease-like symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea – consult with your vet. Coprophagia, or eating poop, can be a sign of a disease in the intestinal tract, liver, brain, or others.
If you’re convinced that your adult dog is healthy, the tricks used in dissuading puppies from eating poop will also work for adult dogs. A switch to a better diet, more exercise, more play and (positive) attention, diligence in cleaning up after poop, and rewarding your dog when he avoids the poop can help. Other tips from the American Kennel Club include: supplementing with vitamins, supplementing with a papain enzyme, and using ingredients like garlic or parsley to make the taste of poop less appealing to dogs.
Sploot View: Perseverance Brings Results
The poop-eating days of your doggo can be made short with a healthy diet, and checkups with your vet. Being mindful of your reaction and response will be a big help, so be patient as they rid themselves of this behavior.
Watch out for more posts on how we can keep our pets happy and entertained! Follow our blog for more educational updates on taking care of your dog.