Aren’t we all curious beings? Every time there is something too amusing, our basic instinct is to go there or try that thing before our excitement fades away.
Dogs, too, behave like us! They are also curious about many things. Their excitement is always on another level. Our furry companions are fascinated by many things that make them go–woof!
From eating candy bars to chasing a butterfly, dogs are amusing animals. It not only makes them happy but also us! Their excitement brings joy to everyone, but our furry friends shouldn’t be trying or find things amusing that aren’t good for them or, least to say – gross.
What is something that, if your dog tries, can be gross? The answer is—only if they ate poop!
What Do You do When Your Dog Eats Poop?
Dogs find many things delightful, even their poop! Yes, it sounds appalling, but that’s the truth.
They do not understand what is good for them and what is wrong. Dogs are impulsive and act on their present excitement. As dog owners, we are supposed to take care of them and ensure they eat nothing bad for their health.
But what do you do if your dog eats poop? How do you clean it, and what must you do to ensure it doesn’t harm them in any way?
Let’s discuss what we can do if your dog ate poop and understand preventing this in the future.
Why Do Dogs Eat Their Own Poop?
It may seem pretty gross, but that is quite common. Dogs eat many things which they should not but eat anyway, including fecal matter. Not only dogs but also puppies. Your dog eating poop is an ick factor for you.
The practice of eating feces by dogs or pups is called coprophagia, and scientists do not fully understand it, according to Gary Richter, DVM, a veterinarian health expert with Rover and the owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital.
“Nutritional deficits causing coprophagia are relatively uncommon if the dog consumes a properly balanced food, which is essentially any brand that is readily accessible on the market. In reality, eating feces is primarily a behavioral problem rather than a health problem, “Richter opined.
According to Russell Hartstein, a certified dog behaviorist and trainer in Los Angeles and the owner of Fun Paw Care, dogs eating excrement is entirely natural, even though there isn’t any concrete proof to support any specific theory.
1. Natural dog gene instincts
Dogs act on their natural dog instincts, which makes them do wild things like eating poop. They do not know, nor will they understand, the things that are bad for their tummy. As dog owners, we have to be patient with them. Dogs can be trained very well, and if you are willing to do it for your dog, you can prevent them from eating poop in the future.
Dogs are omnivores, meaning they scavenge, feed, and enjoy weird tastes and smells, including disgusting pungent smells and objects to play with and eat. Dogs frequently consume items with no nutritional value out of amusement or because they find them to be intriguing, “explains Hartstein”.
Bonus Read: Dog Ate Toilet Paper: What You Should Do
2. It can be due to nutritional deficiency
It is not always easy to look out for any nutritional deficiency in dogs, but as dog owners, we always have to make sure that our furry companions are eating a healthy balanced diet! So if your dog has been eating poop, that could be a sign of nutritional deficiency.
This can be due to malabsorption or any underlying medical conditions.
Depending on which nutrients are deficient, there are different symptoms; however, the following are the most typical ones:
- a dull or thin coat
- scaly, flaky, or dry skin
- being too thin or too fat
- Skin conditions such as sores, inflammation, and itching
3. Age can also contribute to poop eating
According to the American Kennel Club, a dog’s natural activity at specific life stages includes eating poop.
When a new pup is born, its mother licks them for the first three consecutive weeks to clean them. This behavior encourages the pups to mimic their mother and begin eating their poop and other dogs’ poop!
4. Medications or any medical condition
If your furry companion has medical issues like Cushing’s disease or thyroids, it can increase hunger pangs and lead to poop eating.
An adverse effect of various medications, including some antihistamines, benzodiazepines, and steroids, is increased hunger.
5. Behavioral triggers
Although it hasn’t been established scientifically, some professionals think boredom, worry, and chronic stress may be factors contributing to coprophagia.
Dogs who are left alone or spend excessive time in crates or other small spaces are more likely to consume feces.
According to the AKC, anxiety brought on by rigorous training techniques or punishments can also cause the behavior.
Do Dog Get Sick Eating Poop?
Poop, also known as “Fecal matter,” is gross for a reason because it is an excretion of our body. It is evident that excretion is a process of cleaning toxins out of the body. That is why eating poop can make your dog sick. Poop contains parasites that were excreted, and if your furry companion consumes the excreta, they might induce themselves with parasites like :
How Do I Clean My Dog’s Mouth?
You can begin cleaning your dog’s mouth with a dog wipe. Wipe your dog’s mouth and face both to get rid of any poop which can be leftover. Only use dog toothpaste and refrain from using any human toothpaste, as it can cause allergic reactions in the dog. Use a curved brush, or you can finger brush to brush your dog’s teeth.
If the smell isn’t gone, bathe your dog properly with dog soap or shampoo. Give your dog water to drink to help them clean their mouth. And make sure to feed them after cleaning to get rid of any parasites or germs from their mouth, as dogs’ saliva will neutralize them.
Read also: Can You Wash A Dog With Dish Soap?
Can My Dog Die Eating Poop?
No, your dog won’t die from eating poop. Eating poop is not dangerous for your dog unless your dog or cat is eating the poop of sick animals. Sick animal poop will surely make your dog sick. Some foods are dangerous to your dog, but eating poop can only cause gastrointestinal issues and parasitic infections, causing your dog to throw up.
How Do I Prevent My Dog From Eating Poop?
Whether a pup or an adult dog, there are some ways you can prevent them from eating poop. Let’s discuss how we can break their habit.
- Eating a balanced diet: The ideal food for your dog’s nutritional requirements can be further discussed with your veterinarian. However, in most cases, if you’re giving your dog the right amount of a commercial dog food brand, they should already be receiving those essential nutrients.
- Potty train them: Potty train your dog. “Your dog should be trained to urinate and poop when called. One of the objectives of toilet training is to do this, and if your dog is pooping on cue, it dramatically simplifies your job, “proclaims Hartstein.
- Clean them immediately after poop: Clean your dog immediately after poop as it can make them go woof again and in no time will be all rolled up in poop. Remove your dog from that space and clean them properly to avoid this.
- Put on a leash: Whenever you and your dog go for a walk, always have a leash on them to prevent them from following their instincts or curiosity to find things and play with them like “poop.” Having a leash ensures that you have control over them, and they won’t go out looking for anything gross and then consume them.
- Train your dog: Training will help your dog to act on commands and not just follow their natural instincts. Following natural instincts does not always mean that it is good or will cause no harm. Therefore, your dog will follow your commands before they act on their natural spree.
Dogs are impulsive animals who act according to their curiosity and instincts. Trying to control them on a leash or in any way will often lead you to get pulled by them. That is how dogs are! However, if you follow all the above instructions as guided, surely but steadily, your dog will stop eating poop. Remember that they rely on us to take care of them, so we better take care of them and love them no matter what!
Meet Madison Phillips, your compassionate guide to pet well-being. With experience from VCA Animal Hospitals and Laxton Vet Clinics Bellaire Inc. Madison honed her skills and embraced the balance of medical expertise and compassion, through her articles, she simplifies pet care, whether you’re a newbie or an experienced pet parent.