We know you love your pups, with all their quirks included, but there’s little as off-putting as watching your dog devour poop, whether it’s their own or another animal’s. And, unfortunately, many of us hoomans have witnessed this behavior in our favorite four-legged friends.
For some first-time dog owners, it can be downright concerning. Is this normal behavior? Are they sick? And why would our dogs eat their own poop?
According to the American Kennel Club, coprophagia, or the habit of eating dog poop, is actually quite common — even considered normal amongst puppies and mothers. Many mothers will clean up their puppies’ poop after excretion for up to three weeks; the pups often follow suit.
So, Is It 0kay For My Dogs To Eat Poop?
Short answer: It depends. It’s technically OK. for dogs to eat their own dog poop. At the end of the day, it won’t cause harm to your fur baby, if they swallow some of their own excrement (although there could be cause for concern if your dog is doing it in spite of their training).
It’s a different story for cat poop or another dog’s poop, however. It can cause big health complications if your dog eats another animal’s excrement; there’s a risk of contracting parasites and other diseases. If you have a cat in your home, be sure to clean up the litter box immediately to minimize the risk.
There are many reasons your adult dog might be eating poop — both behavioral and medical. We always recommend consulting with a trusted veterinarian to eliminate the possibility of major health issues.
Here are some of the reasons your dog might be eating their own poop:
- Nutrient deficiencies in their normal diet
- Parasites, malabsorption syndromes, or diabetes
- Anxiety as a result of harsh punishments in training
- Seeking attention from owners
- Learned habits from smelling feces on their mother’s breath
When you take your fur baby to the vet, they’ll be able to assist in deciphering the cause and provide appropriate responses, so you can help your pup kick the habit.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Poop?
Whether or not it’s okay for them to do, no owner loves the idea of theiryour pup eating dog poop and then licking theiyour face — and we know they’re you’re not going to give up those face kisses.
Luckily, there are quite a few ways to address the habit. After you take your pup to the vet to clear the above medical issues, try one of these ways to stop your dog from eating poop:
1. Supplement with vitamins
One of the reasons your dog may be eating their own poop is due to nutrient deficiency. By adding supplements to their daily meals, you might be able to curb the taste for dog poop — and in the process, get a healthier, happier fur baby.
Purposeful supplementing today is often the key to avoiding tomorrow’s issues. If you’re reacting to coprophagia, look for multivitamins that contain Vitamin B. It’s hypothesized to help the most with a poop-eating habit.
2. Clean up their living space
Though often overlooked, providing a clean environment for your fur baby is key for behavioral coprophagia. This means scooping dog poop from the backyard, regularly cleaning your cat’s litter box, and picking up your fur baby’s poop immediately while on walks.
It also means providing healthy and nutritious alternatives, so your pup doesn’t have to turn to poop for their meals. In short, the less opportunity your fur baby has to eat poop, the less likely they are to make it a habit.
3. Provide good training
Good training is at the core of every good pup. Practice commands like “Leave It” or “Come.” Then, when your fur baby looks intrigued by their own excrement, you can use the commands to avoid a nasty meal.
Be sure to include a tasty treat to encourage them to choose to obey! This will also help overrule any coprophagia as a result of hunger.
P.S. As an immediate solution, take care of your fur baby’s dental health! PawTree’s Dental Sticks are a great way to improve oral hygiene, while also taking care of their teeth in the long term. In other words, the face kisses can continue!
We know your pup’s health and happiness are always at the forefront of your mind. With purposeful supplementation, training, and a little care for their environment, you can avoid issues in the future — and accept more face kisses in the now.