why do some dogs eat their feces

***If your pup is a chronic poop-eater, consult with your veterinarian. ***
Eating poop. If you haven t seen your dog do it, I m sure you ve seen someone s dog do it. But why do they do it? It s so disgusting. Technically referred to as coprophagia, the eating of feces is commonplace among dogs for a variety of reasons. According to the, the motivations your dog may have for eating its own feces include perfectly natural doggie instincts, but may also indicate some form of malnourishment. For the most part, dogs eat their poo because old habits die hard. Though our pups tend to be domesticated and housebroken, they still have the mentality that they live in the wild. In a state of nature, dog parents would often eat the feces of their young to keep their nest clean and prevent predators from being alerted by the smell.


Another reason may be that in the absence of food, dogs ate their poop for the minimal nutritional value it offered. Since your dog doesn t live in the wild, 1. Flavor It might actually taste good to them. This is likely the result of being fed too much people food, enriching the feces with the residual scents and flavors of human cuisine. 2. Boredom While you may never have tried to kill time by eating out of the toilet, your dog doesn t have a smartphone or an Xbox to keep herself busy. 3. Anxiety Coprophagia can be one of the compulsions triggered by anxiety if your pup suffers from it, not unlike compulsive chewing. 4. Spring Cleaning Not spring necessarily, but if you have a backyard full of poop, your dog might just be doing the cleanup you should be doing. 5.


Attention-seeking Behavior Do you react loudly every time your pup reaches for a bite of poo? Your dog might anticipate that reaction and simply do it to get you to pay attention to her. 6. Avoiding Punishment If the dog has been rebuked for pooping in specific places, then they may conclude that it is necessary to dispose of the evidence. 7. Monkey See, Monkey Do Your dog may simply be imitating the behavior of other dogs it knows. While gross to think about, it does happen. And shouldn t you know why your dog does the things he does? You can t get a more expert opinion. Featured image via For a species that tends to be portrayed as noble, intelligent, and discriminating, some dogs sure do love to eat poop. Their fecal snacking extends to foreign excrement, litter boxes, and even their own waste.


Some have been to contort their bodies and devour a number two as it exits, refusing to let the waste go to waste. Why do some dogs become fecal vacuums while other turn their nose at it? Theres no one definitive answer, but there are a few pretty reasonable suggestions. Benjamin Hunt, Ph. D. , a veterinary behaviorist and professor at the University of California, Davis, published a study in 2012 that surveyed 3000 pet owners. His research discovered that 16 percent of the sampled dogs had practiced coprophagiaeating poopat least five times. Of those, nearly all had devoured another dogs deposits. Interestingly, over half of the guilty parties were identified as greedy eaters who would snatch food from tables. Hunt also learned multi-dog households were more likely to encounter the behavior, possibly because their backyard doubles as a fecal buffet.


These poop munchers likely all have one thing in common: mommy issues. Puppies dont have the reflexes at birth to initiate urination or defecation on their own, and they require their mother to stimulate them, says Nick Dodman, a professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Mom licks their behinds, eats whatever they produce, and also cleans the nest of larger deposits the only way she can. Puppies are greeted by their mum eating feces. To them, thats what the world does. While some outgrow the behavior, other dogs keep eating, typically preferring fresh stool over stale offerings. (In Hunts study, most turd tasting was done less than 24 hours after elimination. ) Dodman theorizes diets that are low in residue tend to produce softer, tastier movements, and that switching to a high-fiber menu may prompt an aversion to poop.


The texture is completely different. Instead of a tasty toothpaste, its something more like cardboard. Of course, that wont stop your pet from gobbling someone elses leftovers. Its sort of like trying to give up cigarettes, Dodman says. If a dietary change doesnt work, its best to pick up waste often so theyre not temptedor get a poodle. Of all the animals in Hunts sample, the breed had no documented habit of scatological snacking. Additional Sources: Canine Conspecific Coprophagia; Who, When and Why Dogs Eat Stools [ ]