Why Dogs Eat Poop

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Happy Puppy

Okay, so your dog ate a little poop, don’t panic. Yes, it’s gross, but he may have a good reason for doing it. Your pet could be showing you that something could be wrong with his digestion or he is mimicking behavior. You don’t need to guess. At Academy Animal, we’re committed to providing quality care to your pet. If you’re concerned about your dog’s eating habits, we can provide services based on your needs.

Why dog poop attracts dogs

Before we carried them in small purses and invited them into our homes, dogs were scavengers–eating just about anything for survival. Sometimes, your dog eats feces because he’s bored, hiding evidence of a potty accident or simply because he saw another dog doing it. It’s actually harmless unless it’s from another animal because you don’t know what parasites or disease other animals may be carrying.

Feeding on dung is scientifically known as coprophagy. It’s not a disease, just a fancy word to describe anything that eats poop. This isn’t appealing to humans, of course. However, dog’s sense of smell allows them to pick up on scents he knows will help him. Did you know:

  • Poop has leftover minerals that provide nutrients
  • Puppies eat poop because they’re curious
  • Mothers eat their puppy’s poop to keep predators away and
  • If a member of a dog pack is sick, another dog will eat his poop so predators don’t sense a sick animal

Poop-eating symptoms and prevention

Eating poop won’t make your dog sick the way chocolate does, but he could already be sick and that’s why he’s eating it. Diabetes, Cushing’s, thyroid disease and other conditions that increase appetite could be the issue. As a precaution, take him to the vet for a check-up. There are simple solutions to stop your pet from eating feces like:

  • Purchasing food complete with vitamins and nutrients your dog needs
  • Using playtime and exercise as a distraction
  • Using taste-aversion products like hot sauce and pouring it on their poop to make it less appealing
  • Teaching your dog commands like “leave it”  
  • Peppering his food with a little pineapple juice so his poop taste bitter

If you’re concerned that your pet is eating poop because his health is in danger, take him to a veterinary hospital right away. When you contact Academy Animal for your pet’s needs, you receive quality services, practiced since 1977.

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