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Why do dogs eat poop? How can i stop it

“Coprophagia” is the medical term for Eat chairs. It comes from the Greek “copro”, which means manure, dirt or excrement, and the Greek “phage”, which means “eat”. If you know what it is, unfortunately, it won’t get any tastier. It is probably one of the roughest habits our dogs can have. While it is not uncommon for our dogs to eat grass or other things you shouldn’t like. This is still a habit that should be corrected fairly quickly if the behavior is not health-related.

Dogs of all ages can suffer from this syndrome and it is actually so quite common in puppies. It can be so frustrating as an owner to deal with this problem regardless of your puppy’s age. They shit in a second, the next second it is over.

Ultimately, the question is why dogs eat feces and What can we do to stop it?? Below you will learn how to best deal with coprophagia and why this happens frequently.

Why does my dog ​​eat poop?

It is quite common for dogs to eat their own droppings (this affects around 16% of dogs), and there are many possible causes. While most are and can be behaviorally fixed with time and patience. There are some medical causes that you may also want to consider. Let’s look at the reasons why your dog may be eating its droppings.

Medical causes

Exclude medical causes first when your dog starts eating feces.

Any disease or condition that increases the palatability of a dog’s stool can increase coprophagia. This includes indigestion and difficulty in absorbing nutrients. Common diseases that cause coprophagia are exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (The body has difficulty digesting fat, which means dogs are hungry and have fat in their feces. They will often try to eat it to re-examine the fat.) And bacterial overgrowth in the gut.

Conditions that cause excessive hunger can also increase stool consumption. This can include diabetes and Cushing’s disease. Excessive calorie reduction can also increase dog coprophagia. Therefore, make sure that this is not due to your dog eating low-calorie dog food.

Conditions that cause nutrient deficiency, including poor nutrition, can also cause pica – eating non-food items – and This can include stool.

because so many conditions can cause coprophagia, it can be diagnose frustratingly. It’s a good idea to talk to your vet about a diagnostic plan. Depending on your dog’s age and other symptoms, they may take blood or stool samples, or try a simple diet change to see if this makes a difference. Once medical causes have been ruled out, you can start investigating causes of behavior.

Behavior and habit

Dog behavior and habit of eating feces
Unfortunately, dogs can adopt bad habits when eating feces.

In most cases, people eat from the chair is a behavior or a habit– albeit frustrating to change. It is believed to have evolved from the time when dogs were wild and lived in caves that had to be kept clean, orderly, and free from parasites. Eating stool is more common in dogs that are kept with other dogs.

Dogs usually eat stools less than two days old – some people believe that this adds weight to the theory that dogs eat feces to reduce the risk of parasites, as many parasites are unwilling to infect new dogs until they have spent a few days to weeks outside of the body. Getting rid of the stool while fresh could have been one way to reduce parasite exposure in the cave.

It is not uncommon for puppies to eat stool and explore the world at a young age. This should not be recommended at the first sign to ensure that it is not a problem. It may be particularly common dogs that have been improperly trained in the house (i.e. dogs that have been deregistered for bowel movements or whose noses have been rubbed in the poop) – possibly because these dogs want to link the feces to the rejection and want to get rid of the evidence.

Unfortunately, while most dogs grow out of habit with a little persuasion, others become obsessed and quickly peel off every poop they can find, even if they go for a walk. A large proportion of dogs with coprophagia in one study were described as “greedy”, but they did exist No similarities in age, gender, or diet. Breaking this habit can be very difficult, and professional advice is often helpful. While most dogs practice coprophagia on their own, some prefer the stool of other animals. Some fecal matter may be more attractive if the dog that it comes from has recently eaten something that makes their stool smell different, such as fruit or seafood.

Is Coprophagy Ever Normal?

Mother dog eating puppy's droppings
It is perfectly normal for mother dogs to eat their puppy’s droppings.

Yes! Most mammals, including dogs, feed on their baby’s droppings to ensure they are kept clean and the smell does not attract predators. If your dog suddenly appears to be coprophagic and has just been born, don’t worry!

Some animals use coprophagia to get the most out of their diet. Rabbits, for example, produce soft, damp stools when they eat grass for the first time – a result of bacterial digestion from the grass. They then eat these chairs to get extra food they missed the first time. It is an essential part of rabbit digestion!

Why shouldn’t my dog ​​poop?

Aside from being just disgusting, there are some good reasons why you should keep your dog from eating feces. The vast majority of intestinal worms are passed from pet to pet by accidentally or deliberately eating feces.

The poop also contains many bacteria. While many of them are killed by stomach acid, some survive and can make your dog sick. If your dog has sores or sore teeth, these extra bacteria can also cause great damage. Don’t forget that many dogs, especially puppies, can lick faces– Obviously, this is not hygienic and can make some people, especially children, very sick.

How to stop coprophagy

Prevent dogs from eating feces
There are several ways you can keep your dog from eating feces.

Unfortunately, that can be a very serious habit of breaking. If the behavior you notice occurs in a puppy, it’s a good idea to fix it as soon as possible to make sure it doesn’t become a bad habit.

Pick up the stool

One way to break the habit is to periodically remove the stool from your dog’s presence. This usually involves your dog going to the toilet on a leash, leaving once he has gone to the toilet, and returning to remove the chair later.

If you are out and about while your dog goes to the bathroom, make sure you Do not leave the chair unattended– You should ask a family member or friend to lead the dog away or to handcuff him out of reach while dealing with the chair. If you have more than one dog, this can be difficult and you are unlikely to work without a family member.

Positive reinforcement of “leave it alone”

In one study, this was the most effective treatment for coprophagia. The owners trained a keyword “leave it alone” in the house and rewarded their dogs for not eating a piece of food or dropping food. Then they applied the command to the chair and gave their dog many rewards when they left the chair and left. This is a very welfare-friendly teaching method and highly recommended.

Please remember to make sure your dog can do this behavior indoors and outdoors with standard nibbles every time before trying to apply it to something more tempting like a treat, and your dog should be able to do something tasty to leave 100% of the time inside and outside before trying to apply it to the chair. The too fast advancement in the teaching chain is a common reason why this fails.

Bitter substances for chairs

Some people apply aversive bitter substances to the chair. The idea is that the dog eats the chair and the taste stops them from doing it again. This method is not generally considered effective since dogs taste different from us – no surprise given all the disgusting things they love to eat!

In addition, this means leaving the chair in place, which is not hygienic for dogs, people, and other animals that can use the space. Since removing the chair from your dog’s 100% guarantee that it will no longer eat it, it is probably better to do so.

Food additives

Most commercial treatments for coprophagia include food additives. To use them, apply a non-aversive powder, liquid, or snack to the food digested it becomes a bitter substance. Your dog’s entire feces taste disgusting within 24 to 48 hours.

This does not work like the direct application of bitter substances to the poop. However, it can be useful for animals that eat their feces so quickly that owners don’t have time to use another method – for example, animals that eat feces directly from their own soil. Again what is bitter for us can’t be like that to a dog, but some products may work for some dogs.

These methods only work if they are fed to the dog at every meal, including large amounts of goodies or chewing. This is because they have to coat every chair so that they can work. Even if they seem to be working, they must continue for so long that the Habit is completely broken.

Final thoughts

So is coprophagia normal? Possibly. However, this does not mean that it is a good idea to keep your dog running, as it poses a health risk to both him and the people he comes in contact with. The most important thing is to go to the vet first to rule out possible medical problems.

Once you and your vet have ruled out medical causes for coprophagia, it’s a good idea to consult a behaviorist to see if you can reverse this nasty habit. With positive reinforcement, patience, and the right training techniques, you can usually get a healthy and well-behaved puppy within a few weeks.

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