Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Many a four-legged friend has the most unpleasant habits. Probably the most disgusting is eating feces, maybe even the feces of other animals.

Some dogs will gorge themselves on the droppings of other dogs and cats as if it were a special delicacy. Dog owners are usually less than happy about this expansion of the canine diet.

Unfortunately, eating feces is not just an aesthetic matter. Eating other people’s excrement also poses health risks. And that applies to both the dog and its people.

Why is my dog ​​eating poop?

First of all, I can reassure you that eating feces is not normal behavior. With the gut feeling of disgust, we are right.

In technical jargon, fecal eating is referred to
as coprophagia.

Neither the domestic dog nor its ancestors, like the wolf, eat feces under normal circumstances. The only exception is the mother dog, who eats her puppies’ droppings.

Eating feces for energy

The reasons for the unsavory behavior are different. A possible reason for the feces eating could be a deficiency symptom in the dog. However, this is very unlikely with today’s complete feed.

However, it can occur in dogs that have lived on the streets or in very difficult conditions. These animals usually try to eat anything they can eat so as not to starve.

High-performance dogs such as sled dogs or greyhounds often eat feces after great exertion. It is believed that they want to make up for the loss of energy quickly.

This behavior is much more common in poorly managed kennels. If the hygiene conditions are not appropriate, the animals begin to eat their feces or that of their fellow animals.

Eating feces as a behavioral problem

Most of the time, however, eating feces is simply a behavioral problem in the dog. It can be observed, for example, in dogs that are often alone or are not aware of their position in the pack.

  1. The dog eats feces.
  2. The human behaves correspondingly excited
    and thus unconsciously gives the animal more attention.
  3. This in turn ensures that the dog eats feces again
    to draw attention to itself.

A vicious circle begins that you can only end with consistent education.

Break the habit with consistent education

If your dog is one of the poop eaters, try to find the cause first. It is in your interest and that of the dog to get rid of this behavior as quickly as possible.

Can you rule out that feces eating is an underlying disease? Then you have to stop this behavior with a lot of patience in your upbringing. Use positive reinforcement and extra exciting treats.

Banning is usually much more tedious and doesn’t work as well as a tasty substitute. It is important that you always discover the unsavory pile before your dog and that you remain consistent.

Pancreas hypofunction as a disease?

A disease of the pancreas, on the other hand, is a very serious reason why the dog eats feces. The so-called pancreatic insufficiency, i.e. an under the function of the gland, is a very serious disease.

hypofunction of the pancreas ensures that the dogs are always hungry despite sufficient meals and lose weight significantly.

The reason is the lack of digestive enzymes. These dogs cannot adequately absorb the nutrients from food. That’s why dogs are constantly looking for food. A worm infestation can also tempt the dog to ingest more feces.

If dogs eat cat feces, there is a danger

Every dog ​​eats poop for a variety of reasons. Eating feces is not only out of the question for most dog owners from a hygienic point of view.

It also poses health risks. This significantly increases the risk that the dog will catch parasites such as worms.

In addition, the risk of a viral infection such as parvovirus or hepatitis also increases. Salmonella can also be transmitted in this way.

If the dog eats cat feces, this can be dangerous if its owner is pregnant.

Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted through cat feces. The dog then transmits the virus to humans. This disease is harmless to adults but can cause serious harm to the unborn child.

Frequently Asked Question

Is it bad if dogs eat poop?

If your dog regularly eats feces, it is not only unpleasant, but in the worst case, it can also affect its health. Three common consequences of coprophagy are Worms and parasites: Some parasites lay their eggs on feces, from which larvae develop.

Is it bad if puppies eat their poop?

When puppies eat feces, this seems to help build their intestinal flora. One could therefore perhaps speak of natural behavior in these two cases. But there are also many other situations in which poop eating is not normal. The reasons for coprophagia are varied.

What is wrong with a dog when it eats feces?

A very common reason for eating feces is the disturbed intestinal flora of the dog. A large number of good bacteria live in the healthy intestine, which the few bad ones, i.e. pathogenic bacteria, can tolerate and keep in check.

Why do young dogs eat poop?

Eating feces is normal behavior in dogs

Young dogs sniff at their legacies and then bite into them. The feces of the mother animal is eaten preferentially. As a result, the puppies absorb important intestinal bacteria.

When do dogs eat their poop?

Poor hygiene, overcrowded kennels, and a lack of contact with people can lead to frustration in the four-legged friends. This can manifest itself in a dog eating its feces. This cause applies primarily to young dogs.

Why is my dog eating other animals’ poop?

Some dogs have a very strong instinct to defend their territory. If there are feces from other dogs in its territory, the dog may eat the feces of its supposed rival to remove its markings.

Is cat poop harmful to dogs?

Sure, it’s gross, but is eating cat poop bad for the dog? The answer: Absolutely. Many dogs eat cat poop and have no health consequences. Nevertheless, harmful bacteria and parasites can be transmitted to your dog when consuming feces.

What to do if your dog has eaten feces?

Immediate actions to take after a dog eats feces

It is best to wear gloves to avoid the possible transmission of pathogens. Also, remove feces from your dog’s mouth. It can be helpful to give the four-legged friend an apple to eat first.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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