Dogs and Poop Eating
Of all the offensive and annoying habits that man’s best friend has, poop eating tops the list. Well, we can’t really say phew, after all, if it doesn’t taste nice, they won’t indulge in it. In fact, the habit of dog eating has made dog lover and owners return a dog to the pound or opt for euthanasia.
The behavioral attitude is common among canine and is known as coprophagia pronounced (kop-Ruh-fey-jee-uh). It is quite a mouthful, but this is the habit where dogs fine poop a delicacy. Although, this is repulsive, don’t worry as there are remedies to stop your dog from eating poop. The instinct of poop eating in a dog can be traced back to their ancestral past; dogs are scavengers known for hunting and scouting for their own foods, poop is just one way of feeding to stay alive from death or starvation. Even though, they have evolved to staying with humans, that innate behavior is still somewhere deep within them.
Why do dogs eat poop?
- First, they are born to eat poop. Yes, dogs are animals that eat poop, so if your dog is a poop eater; the best way to tackle is through proper observation to prevent it from eating poop.
- Dogs that indulge in poop eating were discovered to be dogs that are not well-fed or lack the proper nutrients or supplements in their diets and eating poop is a way to make up for lack of nutrients or curb hunger pangs.
- Dogs are smart animals that pick up habits by observation. So, this is two scenarios that could make your dog eat poop. First, when you nosedive your dog into his poop as a means of punishment, he will eat his poop to avoid being punished next time. Secondly, when you pick up their poop as they watch, it will do the same by eating the poop to help you.
- Poop is smelly to you, but to the dog the flavor and scent are pleasant. It has to be for them to want to eat it. The dog’s poop will smell nice considering the balanced diet and the flavorful dog food in the market is sure to make their poop smell nice
- Dogs like to get busy and eating poop is one way of killing boredom.
- Illnesses such as diabetes, Cushing’s, and thyroid disease increase the dog’s appetite to eat and poop is a substitute when there is nothing to eat.
- Dogs that suffer from anxiety also eat poop.
- Dogs that are kept in isolation are at a higher risk of eating poop than dogs that live with humans or associate with them more often than isolated dogs
- Puppies that eat poop get the habit by the smell they perceive from their mum after cleaning them.
- Dogs that have their foods in close proximity to their poop area gradually learn to eat their poop as it smells alike.
You should take your dog to the vet if you notice that it feeds on poop. Note: most dogs don’t eat their poop but that of other dogs. So a vet is the best way to get a comprehensive diagnosis of what is wrong with them.
How to stop your dog from eating poop
There are several remedies to stop your dog from eating poop, they are:
Training your dog: a good training and better understanding of the -stay and leave it- command will make a whole lot of difference. This will let the dog know when to or not to eat poop.
Pick up the poop: this should be done immediately under any weather. If your dog poops during the winter, don’t wait for the ice to start melting before you start cleaning as this will give room for the dog to eat their poop
Diet and Supplement: most dogs that eat poop are either lacking the right nutrients or their foods contain foods that it can’t digest. This will make the dog look for ways to supplement the deficiency. Natural foods that can prevent your dog from eating their poop are pineapple, pumpkin, star anise, and cayenne pepper among others; also add more grains or digestible foods to their meal.
Exercise: bored dogs eat their poop. Proper exercise for a dog will prevent behavioral issues in dogs, and dogs that are well exercised will be too tired to go poop eating. You should try rewarding your dog with a treat and snacks to reward the dog for obeying a command or when they pass by poop with stopping to sniff or eat it.
Keep the kennel clean: always clean your dog’s kennel after each poop section. If the area is clean and poop free, there will be less risk of the dog eating poop.
Treat the poop:
This involves adding substances to the poop that will prevent the dog from eating the poop. However, this method signifies that you are guilty of your dog eating poop. Substances such as pepper sauce and lemon juice will deter the dog and over time they might just kick the habit.
Coprophagia is a nasty habit but it has a solution. Don’t live in silence but seek help from dog experts to curb the habit.