- Why do dogs eat poop
- Problem #1 – Nutrients lack
- Problem #2 – Dog likes the taste of poop
- Problem #3 – Instinct to maintain purity
- Problem #4 – The dog is afraid of punishment
- Problem #5 – The dog is stressed or bored
Some dog owners notice that their pet has a nasty habit – eating poop. The good news is that there are a variety of natural solutions to manage it.
In this article you’ll discover how to stop dog from eating poop using home remedies. We will also discuss the most popular reasons for this problem and whether poop eating might be harmful for dogs.
Why do dogs eat poop
Of course it would be wonderful to know what our dogs think when they eat poop. But this is unreal. However, specialists are aware of several causes that can trigger dog’s coprophagia (coprophagia is the act of poop eating).
Read the following possible behavioral reasons and their solutions carefully to determine which one is most likely your dog’s case. Most dogs’ behavior is able to be altered but could require from you to experiment with different solutions before you understand what is most effective for your dog’s specific needs.
The table below briefly describes the most common causes of dog’s coprophagia and its solutions. Read the detailed recommendations below.
Problem #1 – Nutrients lack
If the dog does not have enough nutrients, it will try to fill this shortage in different ways. For example, it can start eating plants, waste from the garbage or own waste.
But why does the dog who is getting enough food, could possibly be lacking vital nutrients? There could be two reasons to this:
- Intestinal parasites. The presence of parasites is a frequent medical reason for malnutrition, which can cause your dog to be more hungry than usual. Your dog is even willing to consume a variety of foods that normally it wouldn’t eat.
- Bad food. Poor quality dog’s food could cause nutritional deficiency. Foods that are cheaper usually have filler ingredients such as corn, rice bran, soybeans and corn hulls as well as altered corn starch. Although these ingredients can help your pet feel well-fed, they provide the least amount of nutritional value.
Take your pet to the veterinarian for a check-up. The vet can look for any internal parasites which could be stealing nutrients. Also, he conducts blood tests to check for mineral or vitamin deficiencies.
A dog’s health checkup must always be your first step anytime your pet shows unusual behavior.
Giving your dog quality dog’s food made of real meat that is listed as the primary ingredient or even, more importantly, organic dog food will ensure that all its nutritional needs are being fulfilled. As the body restores its proper levels of vital nutrients your dog will stop eating poop.
A supplement to your dog’s daily diet by the addition of a multivitamin could help stop coprophagia, too. Find vitamins that are free of preservatives and have probiotics to provide beneficial digestive enzymes. The role of enzymes is crucial in digestion.
Here are a few easy methods for dog owners to increase the amount of enzymes into your dog’s stomach:
- pure honey (1 teaspoon daily);
- fresh green tripe, freeze-dried tidbits or chew sticks that have been dehydrated;
- bromelain and Papain supplements;
- chewable probiotics.
It will allow the dog’s stomach to absorb more nutrients and to stop poop eating.
Problem #2 – Dog likes the taste of poop
A healthy dog may eat poop, because it likes it. For some people, the idea of it is incomprehensible. However, some dogs eat poop because it appears to be delicious. Why? While nobody has the answer however, it is believed that dogs can smell the undigested nutrients in the poop of other dogs, cats and other animals.
What is to do in this case?
There are two distinct ways to make the smell less appealing. The first one is designed only suitable for dogs taking their own poop. The second option is suitable for any poops. You can try both methods to choose a suitable one.
Method #1 to stop dog eating poop
Some products affect the taste of dog’s poop to cause it to be unpalatable. This includes food items like:
- canned pumpkin;
- raw zucchini.
Try adding a 1-2 tablespoon to the dogs’ food bowl, then alter the amount based on the outcomes. Meat tenderizers are believed to work the same way also.
There are also special products like Stop Coprophagia as well as chewable tablets that also make dogs' excrement taste unpleasant.
The other option is to give your pet “condiments” along with its snack. You can add in the hot sauce or cayenne lemon juice or vinegar, and then watch your dog perform its act. It is likely that it will soon realize that poop is not as delicious as it was in the past.
Problem #3 – Instinct to maintain purity
In nature, dogs will keep their “home” clean. It’s a common instinct shared by all species of animals.
It may be very strange for your pet to dump his waste throughout the area it considers to be part of his personal space. Certain dogs are fine with this, however some pets are so driven by their nature that they try to “clean up” the only method they have.
What is to do in this case?
In this situation the best option is to scoop up and eliminate your dog’s waste right away. Use a pet waste scooper or baggies for pet waste to prevent contact with it. Keep the environment neat for it and stool eating will disappear in the past.
Also read my post on how to keep dog out of litter box.
Problem #4 – The dog is afraid of punishment
A dog who has had a problem with doing it at home in a crate or in a part of the yard may experience anxiety when it needs to poop. If it’s chosen as an appropriate place, it might believe that he has done something wrong, and will attempt to conceal the evidence in the only way available by stool eating.
Ways to solve the behavioral problems
It is important to have positive reinforcement instead of discipline when dealing with situations like this. It helps to prevent causing your dog anxiety over the habits of its stool.
Keep some of its favorite treats in your possession. Each time it finishes in a proper place and goes away without eating evidence, you can give it a sweet treat or two, and heap praise on it. Repeat this process until it can associate toileting in the right spot with the positive experience.
Train Your Dog to ‘Leave It’. If your dog doesn’t recognize the command ‘leave it’ this is the time to introduce it. You can teach the dog not to eat stool and stay away.
Problem #5 – The dog is stressed or bored
Your dog might become a poop eater because it’s believed that there’s nothing more to do. As incredulous as it might sound to us, boredness is the primary cause of coprophagia for certain dogs.
The dog may be in stress due to the dramatic changes that occur in its daily life, such as the move to a new place or loss of a family member. Like humans, everyone can handle stress differently. Some can be depressed, other dogs may develop aggression or destructive behaviors, while others might refuse normal food while some might eat everything, including their own feces.
A dog that isn’t constantly stimulated mentally and physically will frequently find its own methods to expend its energy and keep itself entertained. The dog will then be punished with either a lack of attention or put in a cage, which can lead to anxiety and boredom. This could turn into an endless cycle.
How can the owner help the dog?
Giving your dog additional regular exercise and constantly stimulating its brain can alleviate stress and boredom. A dog who is tired and happy is less likely to engage in disgusting behaviors like eating poop.
There are many options of exercise as well as engaging your pet’s brain. Find a way to add some much-needed stimulation to a dog’s daily routine.
Instead of the same routine stroll around the quarter, go to a different area of town and explore the “uncharted” territory. The different sights and smells of a different setting could be a fantastic way to exercise your dog’s mind because the brain processes all the information that its senses are absorbing.
What to do when my puppy eating poop?
Feces eating is a common occurrence with the puppies who are just one year old because they’re naturally interested in all things around them, even pee.
But, this phase tends to be temporary, and your puppy will eventually become used to it independently.
Is eating poop harmful for dogs?
If the dog is eating its own poop, there aren’t many things that could go wrong.
However, eating the feces of other animals’ is a different story and your pet could contract parasites and/or infectious diseases. In addition, it is at risk of eating any residual medication that another pet might have consumed.
That is why you should be sure to contact your veterinarian if your dog begins to exhibit symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea following a meal.
Do I need to punish a dog for eating feces?
Punishments can create fear in your dog, and can make it feel anxious. Disciplining a dog from eating the feces or for any other problems will not solve them, but usually makes them more difficult.
If you reward your dog with treats after it has poop, and it is satisfied, it will not want to return to its bad habit.
If you are a dog owner, and you want to stop poop eating problem, try the listed methods:
- go to your veterinarian to identify any health problems;
- remove any pet poop as soon as you can;
- intensify physical and mental exercise;
- take every step to make the smell as bad as it can be.
And you should not punish a dog for such behavior.