Well, you made it past the title. So, let’s discuss the medical and behavioral reasons your dog is making poop part of his diet, and how you can break the habit.
Believe it or not, there are medical reasons that can trigger this behavior. Keep reading to learn more.
- Enzyme deficiency. It the wild, your dog’s ancestor had a diet that matched her surroundings. When wolves and wild dogs eat prey, they consume the entire kill, guts and all. Over time, the enzyme in the prey’s digestive system became necessary for dogs to properly digest their food. Modern dogs have a much less exotic diet. Without the enzymes from raw food, they can’t completely absorb their food. Although canines do produce some natural enzymes, more are needed. This means they poop out essential nutrients. They eat the poop to recover the nutrients.
- Parasites. Intestinal parasites can be absorbing the nutrients your dog needs.
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Some dogs have almost no digestive enzymes in the pancreas. If your dog has this situation going on, he will start losing weight and suffer diarrhea. Eating stool may be an attempt to recover nutrients.
- Diabetes and thyroid problems. Dogs become hungry all the time when they have thyroid issues or diabetes. If your dog is on steroids, this causes the same symptoms. So, poop starts looking yummy.
- Other deficiencies. If your puppy gets older or doesn’t have a proper diet, she can develop a hydrochloric acid deficiency. Hydrochloric acid breaks up protein during digestive process. With this problem, Fido could start dumpster diving and eat non-food items like plastic.
- Bad digestion. As disgusting as it is, your dog could start eating the stool of other household pets. This can indicate a myriad of conditions. All you can do it pay attention to the behavior, then consult with your vet.
- Not enough food for size or breed. One thing you can do is research the amount and type of food that is recommended by pets for your dog’s breed and size.
If you’ve taken your dog to the vet and received a clean bill of health, then maybe it’s time to look at her behavior for more clues to why she likes poop so much.
- Cleanliness. My dog Sara had seven gorgeous puppies. She used to eat their poop just after they were born. When mom dogs do this, it’s an attempt to keep the area clean to protect her pups.
- Puppies. Puppies are bubbly, loveable balls of fur. Sometimes, they just do stuff to see what happens. Unfortunately, that includes trying a banquet of feces. Cross your fingers that the stage passes fast.
- Scavenging. Your dog’s idea of a fun scavenger hunt often veers to the disgusting. Sine their instinct is to sniff poop and pee, eating it isn’t that much of a stretch for some canine explorers.
- She’s bored or trying to get attention. Bored animals, like their human counterparts, will try almost anything to relieve boredom. If poop is the most interesting thing in the area. Well, why not? Alternately, your dog could just be trying to get your attention. If you yell or discipline them when they eat poop, even this negative attention can reinforce the gross habit.
- Kennels and puppy mills. Dogs in kennels or even pet shops can be highly stressed and develop bad habits as a way of dealing with stress. Dogs born in puppy mills are often underfed and kept crated their whole lives. So, poop starts looking good.
Dogs who are stressed (is he in a kennel all day?) may relieve stress by eating poop.
- Me too. Younger dogs can learn this bad behavior from older peers. This is especially true for puppies. Correcting the behavior immediately may stop the behavior from becoming a habit.
Tips to Break the Habit
Keep it clean. Removing the temptation is a great place to start. So, pick it up and dispose of the poo when you walk your dog.
- Very interesting. Keeping your dog stimulated can seem like a lot of work. However, getting a few chew toys or having another pet can go a long way toward keeping her entertained when you aren’t there.
- Diet changes. Try putting him on a raw diet of quality proteins. This gets the needed digestive enzymes into his system. Raw tripe is high in digestive enzymes. Although it may be unappetizing to us, your dog will love it.
- The pineapple approach. Add a teaspoon or tablespoon of canned pineapple to your dog’s food.
- Trace mineral bonanza. Add kelp to your dog’s diet. This helps with dogs who have a hydrochloric acid deficiency. You can also add apple cider vinegar to make up the deficiency.
- Poke the poo. Visually check your pup’s poo for parasites. A vet can help you treat your pet to get rid of unwanted parasites.
People love their dogs, even when they’re being weird. The things people do for their four-leggers are astounding, but totally worth it.
Disclaimer: Although we have done careful research to provide you this information, we still recommend you consult with your vet before changing your pet’s diet.