You may have seen your dog eat poop once. Why do they do it? Why do dogs eat poop?
Of each and every disgusting habit that our canine companions have, drinking from the toilet, rolling in the mud of the quagmire, licking their butt, etc, nothing beats the disgusting practice of eating poop.
There is a scientific name for this habit: coprophagia (kop-ruh-fey-jee-uh), and also behavioral and physiological reasons why certain dogs view manure as a delicacy. If you have a poop eater, don’t despair; there are ways to discourage the habit. The truth is that it has not been deeply investigated by science, there are few studies in this regard, eating poop is a relatively common phenomenon. In 2012 research presented at the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior annual conference, scholars led by Dr. Benjamin Hart of the University of California, Davis, found that:
Hart wrote: “Our conclusion is that eating fresh feces is a reflection of an innate predisposition of ancestral canids that live in the wild and protect members of the pool from intestinal parasites present in feces that may occasionally end up in the area. den / roost. “Their study consisted of 2 separate surveys of about 3,000 dog owners.
Although it’s disgusting to human sensibilities, it really isn’t that bad from a canine point of view. Dogs evolved as vultures, eating what they found on the ground or in the garbage can, so their haute cuisine ideas are somewhat different from ours. In his Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, animal behaviorist Steven R. Lindsay states that coprophagia “may be one of multiple appetitive survival behaviors that have evolved to address the periodic problem of starvation.” In other words, when food is scarce, you cannot be picky.
Eating poop is normal for mothers and puppies
For certain species, such as rabbits, eating fecal droppings is a totally normal way to get key nutrients. In truth, if you prevent rabbits from doing this, they will develop medical problems and the young will not thrive. Fortunately, dogs don’t need to get nutrients like this. However, it is a normal and natural behavior in certain stages of the canine life. Mother dogs will lick their puppies to help them remove and clean their poop throughout the first 3 weeks. Puppies will naturally engage in this behavior as well, eating their feces (known as autocoprophagia) and those of other dogs (allocoprophagia), as well as cats and other animals. Certain dogs find horse manure and chicken droppings particularly attractive. Eating their poop is harmless, but consuming other animals’ poop can lead to medical problems if the stool is contaminated with parasites, viruses, or toxins. In most cases, this behavior will disappear before the puppy is about 9 months old.
Certain facts about dogs that eat poop
When it occurs in puppies, coprophagia is generally considered a part of the process of exploring the world around them . Most of them will be satisfied with an inhalation, but some will want to eat it, like little humans who put everything in their mouths. A strange fact: dogs rarely eat loose, malformed stools or diarrhea. They seem to be more attracted to hard poop. The frozen ones, in particular, are swallowed with pleasure. In his study, Hart made other observations about poop intake by dogs:
– Coprophagia was more common in multi-dog households. In households with just one dog, only 20% did, while in households with three dogs, the figure rose to 33%.
– Bitches were more likely to do it than males.
– 92% want fresh stools, which are only 1 or 2 days old.
– 85% only ate those of other dogs, and not theirs.
Why do dogs eat poop?
If your adult canid starts eating manure, you should ask your vet to rule out medical problems such as:
Typically, dogs start eating their poop due to some kind of environmental stress or behavioral triggers, including:
– Diets deficient in nutrients and calories
– Malaabsorption syndrome .
– Diabetes , thyroid disease, Cushing’s disease and other conditions that could cause an increase in appetite.
On many occasions, dogs start to eat their carra due to environmental stressors or other triggers:
Isolation : Studies have proven that dogs that are left alone in kennels or basements are more likely to eat poop than dogs that live close to their people.
Restrictive confinement : Spending too much time confined in small spaces can cause the problem.
Anxiety : Often as a result of a person employing harsh punishment or methods throughout home training. According to this theory, dogs can evacuate and then eat their excreta to get rid of the test, but then they are punished further. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Attention seeking – Dogs eat their poop to get a reaction from their humans, who will inevitably react. So, if you see your dog doing this, don’t overdo it.
Inappropriate association with real foodstuffs: Dogs that are fed very close to their feces can make a connection between the smells of foodstuffs and those of defecation and will not be able to tell the difference.
Living with a sick or elderly dog : Sometimes a healthy dog will consume feces from a weaker canine member of the household, especially in cases of fecal incontinence. Scientists hypothesize that this could be related to the instinct to protect the herd from predators.
How to prevent your dog from eating poop
Veterinarians and dog owners have seen improvements with a handful of strategies, including:
Vitamin supplementation : There is a long-standing theory that dogs eat feces because they are missing something in their diets. Vitamin B deficiency, in particular, has been the main suspect, and studies have supported this. In 1981, scientists tested synthesized fecal microbial activity thiamine, a B vitamin. Other research found other remaining nutrients.
Enzyme supplementation : The modern canine diet is higher in carbohydrates and lower in meat-based protein and fat than the ancestral canine diet. Certain people have had success with a meat tenderizer that contains papain, an enzyme.
Unpleasant Tasting Products : The theory is that some flavors and odors are as disgusting to dogs as poop is to us, and that splashing certain amounts of these substances on the poop will make it less attractive. Many of these products contain monosodium glutamate, chamomile, derived from pepper plants, cassava, garlic and parsley.
Perhaps the best way to stop the problem is through methods of training and improving the dog’s environment, including:
– Keep the canid’s living area clean , including the garden, so that there is no poop to catch.
– Cat owners must keep the litter box clean or out of reach of the dog.
– Watch your dog on walks and immediately collect their droppings as soon as they are expelled .