Has your dog gotten into the gross habit of eating their own poop? Or even eating poop from other dogs or cats in the house? This is a very common thing among puppies and younger dogs.
Many times, this may be normal behavior, but there are some medical issues that would cause your dog to eat poop. There are several steps you can take to stop your dog from eating poop (listed further down the blog post). If your dog has suddenly started eating poop, it may be best to see your vet make sure nothing is wrong with them.
Let's dive into a few reasons why your dog may be eating poop:
Parasites: If your dog has parasites, they will be competing for food with these parasites. This will leave them feeling hungry and possibly eat their own poop.
Dietary deficiencies: Diets low in B-vitamins have been suspected as a cause of dogs eating their own poop.
Malabsorption disease: Some dogs cannot properly digest and absorb their food. This leaves them very hungry and often very thin. If they are hungry, they will look for anything within reach to eat; this may even be their own poop.
Other Medical Diseases: There are diseases that cause an increase in appetite, such as Cushing’s disease, hypothyroid, or diabetes. If your dog is not eating enough food, they will look for anything to eat, even their own poop.
Medicine: Certain medications such as steroids: Steroids can make your dog drink more water and be very hungry. After they eat their food, they will look for other things to eat, even poop.
If your dog has just started eating their poop, it is best to take your dog to the vet. They can run bloodwork and examine your dog to see if there is a medical reason that your dog may be eating their poop. Many times, these can easily be treated.
This can even be triggered due to an environmental or stress-related event such as:
Anxiety: If your dog has anxiety, they may eat their poop as a way to help keep them calm.
Recent Move: If you just moved, your dog may not know where to to poop. They may poop inside and know that this is wrong. They may also eat their poop as a way to hid that they accidentally pooped inside
Being Isolated: If your dog is isolated from the family, they may start to misbehave and poop in their cage or room. They may even eat this poop.
Another Dog is Sick: If another dog is your house is sick and possible pooping in the house, your other dog may eat this poop. This is due to their ancestors who would eat other dog’s poop to keep prey from
Boredom: If your dog is bored, they may go outside and eat poop from the yard.
If your dog is eating their own poop or poop from another animal in the house, there are many things that you can do to stop this unwanted behavior. Here are actions you can take prevent your dog from eating poop:
Giving Vitamins: If your dog is eating poop because they are not getting the essential vitamin and minerals in their diet, you can give them a daily vitamin supplement. These are usually in the form of a tasty treat that your dog will love.
Giving Enzymes: Digestive enzymes that contain amylase and lipase will help your dog’s food break down easier. This will help your dog absorb these nutrients and feel fuller.
Giving poop deterrent products: There are certain poop deterrent products that you can get from your local pet store to help stop your dog from eating their poop. Most of these products contain monosodium glutamate, chamomile, derivatives of a pepper plant, yucca, or parsley. Other things that you can try are adding pineapple or meat tenderizer that contains papain to their food. Some people will even follow their dog around, and when they poop, sprinkle their poop with hot sauce to help deter them from eating their poop.
Picking up Poop Right Away: As soon as your dog poops in the yard, pick it up so that they cannot eat their poop. Many times, after a few weeks or months of doing this, you have broken them of their habit of wanting to eat their poop.
Keeping the litter box out of reach: Some dogs will only want to eat kitty poop. Keeping the litter box in a hidden area away from your dog’s reach will help. Even using a litter box lid or putting the litter box up on a counter so that your dog cannot reach.
Work on training: You can start working with your dog on simple commands such as leave it. You can teach them not to eat their poop by directing their attention to something else and teach them no and leave it.
Take your dog for a walk every day: If your dog is eating their pope because they are bored, take them for a walk around the block or toss the ball outside for them some. By using up some of their extra energy, they may not want to eat their poop.
Have them examined by your vet: Some of the reasons for your dog eating their poop is because they have an underlying disease. Make an appointment with your vet to have them thoroughly checked out. Your vet can run blood work to quickly and easily determine if your dog has health issues causing them to eat their poop.
While your dog eating their poop can be a very gross habit, there are reasons that they may be doing this and many things that you can do to stop them from eating their poop.
With a little training and being proactive after a few weeks, you can quickly stop this habit. Your vet is a great place to start to make sure that your dog does not have an underlying disease causing them to want to eat their poop as well as they can give you advice on what to do to help stop your dog from eating their poop.