Dog eating stool: owners may be pretty surprised and react with a touch of disgust when their dog decides to ingest what just came out the other end.
This can be a pretty common practice in the wild, where dogs may eat their own feces and other animal’s feces as well.
The habit of eating feces has a name that may sound complicated, it is called coprophagia. But why do dogs really eat their own feces?
From a health related point of view eating feces may be the result of some malabsorption issue affecting the dog that produces the feces. The feces may contain some undigested food resulting somewhat appetible to the dog. A vet should check why these dogs are not absorbing nutrients properly.
In other cases the dog may be lacking nutrients that may be found in feces or the dog may simply be hungry.
A common cause is a dog eating too fast and therefore, the food is undigested thus feces are tastier. This affects those dogs that finish their bowl of food in seconds. You can slow the dog down if he eats too fast by adding large pebbles in the food bowl. You must be very careful though if he tends to eat rocks-. Some dogs especially Golden Retreivers just love to ingest non food items. Som make sure the dog is monitored or the rocks large enough to prevent him from trying to ingst them.
Some dogs have also been seen eating their feces when they have been punished for inappropriate elimination. The pet perceives that the presence of feces are bad when the owner sees them around and therefore decides to eat them to make them magically disappear.
In any case regardless of its causes,eating feces is bad because the dog may ingest parasites continuously infecting and re-infesting itself.
The behavior must be stopped. Here are some tips:
- Make sure the pet’s diet is complete and that he is fed properly.
- Slow him down if he eats too fast.
- Use some special products available to put on the feces to make them taste awful. These can be found at any major health store. You may ask for “Deter” or “Forbid”.
- If you catch your dog in action say “NO” loud and get his attention to something else.
- Pick up feces the best you can so there are less chances of enforcing the behavior.
- Prevent boredom by providing plenty of stimulation.
- Try to give your dog some canned pineapple as this will make his feces very distasteful.
- You can also try to put some chili pepper of bitter apple spray directly on the poop so he will hopefully become discouraged.
Hopefully, the remedies above should deter your pet from continuing to engage in this distasteful habit, more often than not a combination of remedies seems to be the most effective versus trying only one.
Please have your dog checked out if you suspect there are health related causes and have him regularly dewormed to prevent re-infestations.