For pet owners, this is definitely not a new thing. To some people, it may be very disgusting, but to animals, it is an absolutely safe habit. Funny enough, some animals may fall sick if they do not eat their own feces. The American Kennel Club stated that one out of every four dogs had been seen feasting on their own feces.
You might be wondering; why would any dog consider eating his own poop to the extent of making it a habit and how can you stop your pet from eating his own poop?
Actually, there is no genuine reason why dogs eat poop; there are only numerous explanations behind the habit. Initially, it is an entirely natural habit especially for mothers that have just put to bed, to clean the bottom of their cubs after they defecate for up to three weeks consecutively. Additionally, puppies also exhibit the habit.
For dogs, eating their own poop is entirely safe. The only dangerous incidence is when a dog eats the feces of other animals, not knowing if it has been contaminated with harmful pathogens. Nonetheless, some pet owners find poop-eating very nauseating.
Therefore, the question is how can we stop our dog from poop-eating?
Nutrition is a crucial factor, even though it is not the primary cause of dogs eating poop. Perhaps you feed your dog with cheap low-quality plant-based dog food such as Purina, Pedigree or Iams foods; you might have to switch to foods with better nutritional value. Several people have said that dogs eat their poop, looking for proteins and nutrients they feel is absent in their food. Absurdly, this is absolutely true as some pet owners feed their dogs with plant-based proteins when what they actually need is animal protein.
It is generally accepted that dogs eat their poop when they lack Vitamin B. However, it is advisable to include other vitamins to their diet to balance the nutrient content.
In efforts to produce dog food on a large scale, the dog food industry no collectively produce dog food richer in fiber and lower in animal protein compared to the original diet for dogs. However, some pet owners have been successful in the field of producing meat tenderizers containing the enzyme Papain for their dogs.
This should have probably been listed as the first point! Undoubtedly, your dog will not have to chew on poop if you clean it immediately it drops or as soon as your dog leaves the bathroom. Although it might be very stressful, having to monitor your dog just to pack droppings, it is, however, an effective method especially if you can buy pooper scooper and cleanup bags at a pet store. Perhaps this method is very irritating for you; you can patronize pooper scooper brands to help you out. If not, then all required of you is just to pack the poop with your hands covered with the pooper scooper!
Perhaps in your absence, your dog suffers from intense separation anxiety or other types of fear. If yes, then you have to note that not only does stress cause your dog to eat poop, it might also cause your dog to exhibit destructive behaviors such as Happy Tail Syndrome, which causes the dog to aggressively wag its tail, resulting to self-injury or unconscious damage of your properties.
In case your dog eats poop and suffers from anxiety at the same time, there is a high tendency that the two incidences are related to one another. Therefore, if you get rid of your dog’s anxiety issues, you might also naturally cause your dog to stop eating poop.
Using commands such as ‘leave it’ and ‘come’ will definitely prevent your dog from eating his droppings. The routine will encourage your dog to run to you for a treat. While your dog is distracted, you will have the opportunity to pack his droppings to prevent him from eating it in your absence.
Doing this will also cultivate in your dog, the habit of running to you for a treat if he does good things, therefore, erasing his interest in poop-eating. Also, the routine will also help with overall potty training of your dog. If you give your puppy treats when he defecates outside, your pup will cultivate the habit of not eliminating indoors. In a nutshell, your pup will interpret any action that comes with a treat reward as a good one.
The Aversion sprays come in tastes that dogs dislike. Therefore, by spraying them on your furniture, you are preventing your pets from chewing on them.
On the other hand, you should endeavor to spray on your Dog’s poop too. Not only will this keep him away from his bitter poop, but it would also cause your dog to lose interest in anything that looks like poop. However, you have to make sure that the spray is safe for your dog’s consumption!
Just like other habits, there is always a reason behind your dog eating poop. The idea here is finding out what exactly is the cause of your problem. In the case of poor nutrition, the only solution is getting a food substitute that will provide your dog with the necessary nutrients. In the case of anxiety, you should invest time in finding a solution to your Dog’s anxiety. However, it is noteworthy that some puppies eat poop because they grew fond of the habit; therefore, they will grow to abandon the attitude eventually.
Author Bio: My name is Chris, I’m 33 and write about dogs when I’m not playing with my two furry employees of the month, Loki and Volly. As a dog lover, agility trainer, and social media specialist, there is always enough work to do and never a boring day around! After having literally written hundreds of articles, there is still no short supply of knowledge to be gained and I’m surprised with unusual requests every now and then.