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 to dogs.
- 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
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 coprophagia in dogs (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 can be altered but could require you to experiment with different solutions before understanding what is most effective for your dog’s specific needs.
The table below briefly describes the most common causes of dog coprophagia and its solutions. Then, read the detailed recommendations below.
Problem #1 – Nutrients lack
If the dog does not have enough nutrients, it will fill this shortage in different ways. For example, it can start eating plants, waste from the garbage, or its own waste.
But why does the dog who is getting enough food lack vital nutrients? There could be two reasons for 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 various foods that it usually wouldn’t eat.
- Bad food. Poor quality dog food could cause nutritional deficiency. Cheaper foods usually have filler ingredients such as corn, rice bran, soybeans, corn hulls or 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 checkup. 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 food made of real meat 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 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 for digestion.
If you are in search of good dog food, I recommend checking out Chippin. It is made from natural products and recipes are developed under the guidance of veterinarians. Check out their menu.
Here are a few easy methods for dog owners to increase the number of enzymes in 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 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 poop. The second option is ideal 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 a 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 products like Stop Coprophagia and chewable tablets that also make dogs' excrement taste unpleasant.
The other option is to give your pet “condiments” along with its snack. For example, you can add in the hot sauce or cayenne lemon juice or vinegar, and then watch your dog perform its act. Likely, 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 extraordinary for your pet to dump his waste throughout the area it considers part of his personal space. Certain dogs are OK 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?
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 doing it at home in a crate or 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 crucial to have positive reinforcement instead of discipline when dealing with these situations. It helps to prevent causing your dog anxiety over the habits of its stool.
Keep some of its favorite treats in your possession. Then, 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. But, as incredulous as it might sound to us, boredness is the primary cause of coprophagia for certain dogs.
The dog may be stressed due to the dramatic changes that occur in its daily life, such as moving to a new place or lossing a family member. Like humans, everyone can handle stress differently. Some can be depressed, other dogs may develop aggression or destructive behaviors. others might refuse food, and some might eat everything, including feces.
A dog that isn’t constantly stimulated mentally and physically will frequently find its methods to expend energy and keep itself entertained.
How can you help the dog?
Giving your dog additional regular exercise and constantly stimulating its brain can alleviate stress and boredom. A tired and happy dog is less likely to engage in disgusting behaviors like eating poop.
There are many options for exercise as well as engaging your pet’s brain. So 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 eats poop?
Feces eating is common among 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.
Do I need to punish a dog for eating feces?
Punishments can create fear in your dog and make it feel anxious. Disciplining a dog from eating the feces or any other problems will not solve them but usually makes them more difficult.
If you reward your dog with treats after poop and is satisfied, it will not want to return to its nasty 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. For more information, visit the AKC website.
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