New owners of dogs love their puppies to no end. But finding out that your puppy eats poop, with little conservation regarding whose poop it is, will put you off of the whole experience. Starting from its own stool to the litter deposits of a cat and taking it as far as the manure of a cow or horse, it’s as disgusting a habit as it gets. And then imagine having to clean the poo-vomit your dog throws up because he can’t digest it. Yes, yes, you get it. You don’t need details.
It’s usually puppies who show this sign and eventually grow out of it. But some dogs stay with this issue on a life-long basis, and that will definitely need some getting used to. So how to stop dogs from eating poop? We are here to talk about this issue and share some tips on how to train your puppy/dog out of the habit.
Why Do They Do That?
Dogs will eat their own or their fellow animal’s poop, notwithstanding the species. There is also a technical term for this habit: coprophagia. Typically found in young puppies to help themselves with boosts of normal bacteria.
Puppies sometimes pick up this habit from their mothers, who are known to eat their nursing pup’s feces to clear up the scent from predators. Mother dogs usually stop eating once their pups wean, but the puppies can continue to eat droppings as a matter of habit.
They are capable of outgrowing this habit, but some dogs tend to cling to poop-eating for life.
There could be a number of reasons why they do this:
Sometimes your dog may misunderstand you entirely. Waving your hands, chasing the dog, and shouting (because you are disgusted) could mean the exact opposite of what you are trying to convey to your dog. For all you know, your dog could think it’s playtime. Chasing is a rewarding behavior for your dog.
On other occasions, it’s a result of boredom. Left alone for long enough, your little buddy could turn to entertaining itself with the only thing it can find- poop in the yard.
Bad-quality, low-quantity food
If their diet contains poor-quality food, your pup will resort to dining on their own waste. If their food does not get digested well, the dog’s feces may present itself as a supplement because it looks the same to them as when they first ate it. Sometimes your dog may even try to eat its own poop when they have a heavy infestation of worms.
There are certain health conditions, too, that can cause coprophagia. Certain illnesses pertaining to the small intestine or pancreas can result in malabsorption and indigestion. Other conditions, such as diabetes and thyroid disease, can boost their appetite if their regular diet is not fulfilling enough. If they persist in showing signs of illness despite a good-quality diet, you must talk to your vet to make sure they are not suffering from an illness on the inside.
Sometimes a dog can eat its own feces if they are under a lot of stress. Some of the major stressors are moving into a new home after being adopted. Harsh punishment for poop eating can also trigger anxiety, leading to a vicious cycle. Your pup will likely be so scared of punishment for eating poop that it may eat the poop in a last-ditch attempt to hide the “evidence.”
How To Stop Dogs From Eating Poop
It is ideal to put a break to this behavior before you no longer have control over it. Feces has a hoard of parasites that can get transferred to your pup. Eating droppings could pose an entirely different health risk, with diseases such as E.coli, Salmonella, giardia, or parvovirus. Now that you have finally landed on a page that unpacks how to stop dogs from eating poop, here are some natural deterrents to put a stop to this behavior are:
Ask your vet if your dog needs digestive enzymes, which can be available only on prescription. That could help enhance digestion and absorption, making their poop less “tasty.”
Pre and Probiotics
This can help your dog with improved digestion, a better immune system, and nutrient absorption. You can choose a multi-strain product with a high CFU per dose.
Adding a couple of tablespoons of canned pumpkin can increase the fiber content and make their poop less palatable. Make sure you use pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
Vitamin B Supplements
If your dog does have malabsorption issues or a Vitamin B deficiency, a B-complex injection can be recommended by your vet.
Meat tenderizers may be one of the cautionary tips where you test out other methods and keep this one for the last. Tenderizers contain onion, garlic, and high sodium, which is known to be toxic to dogs. There are, similar to pineapples, no scientific proof to support this theory.
Well-cooked grains in a limited amount
Oats, rice, and quinoa make great grains for your dog to eat.
Add high-fiber veggies to your pup’s diet, like kale, green beans, spinach, and broccoli.
Old legends say feeding dogs pineapples (not canned) can make their poop taste bad to them. This fact is not scientifically backed.
There are quite a few recommendations that will show up on Google on searching for home remedies for how to stop dogs from eating poop. But you must be wary of which one you try because your dog may not be tolerant of the stuff you try. It is always the best idea to check with your vet before you take any steps.
For instance, the idea of sprinkling crushed breath mints into your dog’s food does not take into account the fact that some mints contain the sugar substitute xylitol- which is known to be extremely dangerous to dogs.
If it gets difficult to manage your dog’s habit of eating poop, consider deterrents. Also, consider your dog’s pre-existing conditions and talk about it with your vet so no interactions occur between drugs.
We would recommend that you try the natural diet deterrents to balance out your pup’s gastrointestinal system before shifting to commercial options. Your quest for how to get dogs to stop eating poop should start with something simple before reaching complicated methods.
Natural or chemical, whichever tips you think of taking up, the safest way to go is to ask your vet.
If you have thoughts to share or experience with your dog eating poop and you want to tell us how you went about it, leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.
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