Coprophagia, the act of dogs eating feces, is a behavior that can be puzzling and concerning for many dog owners. While it may seem unappetizing to us, there are several reasons why dogs engage in this behavior. In this post, we will explore the possible explanations behind coprophagia and provide practical steps to address and manage this issue.
Why do some dogs eat poop?
1. Nutritional Deficiencies:
- Dogs may eat poop if they lack certain nutrients in their diet. They instinctively try to obtain these nutrients by consuming feces.
- Ensure that your dog's diet is well-balanced and meets their nutritional needs. Consult with a veterinarian to determine if any dietary adjustments or supplements are necessary.
2. Natural Instincts:
- In the wild, some animals eat feces to maintain a clean living area. Dogs may have inherited this behavior from their ancestors.
- Provide your dog with a clean and hygienic living environment. Regularly clean up feces to discourage this instinctual behavior.
3. Boredom or Attention-Seeking:
- Dogs may engage in coprophagia if they are bored or seeking attention.
- Keep your dog mentally stimulated with interactive toys, puzzles, and regular exercise. This helps prevent boredom and reduces attention-seeking behaviors.
4. Medical Conditions:
- Certain medical conditions, such as malabsorption issues or enzyme deficiencies, can contribute to coprophagia in dogs. Another cause could be internal parasites which can rob your dog of vital nutrients leaving them looking for the lack in other areas.
- If you suspect a medical issue, consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.
What can you do about it?
1. Ensure a Nutritious Diet:
- Feed your dog a well-balanced diet that provides all the necessary nutrients.
- Consult with a veterinarian to determine if any dietary changes or supplements are required to address nutritional deficiencies.
2. Clean Up Immediately:
- Remove feces from your dog's environment promptly to reduce the opportunity for them to engage in coprophagia.
- Maintain a clean living area and dispose of waste properly.
3. Provide Mental Stimulation:
- Engage your dog in regular physical exercise and mental enrichment activities.
- Offer interactive toys, puzzles, and training sessions to keep their mind engaged and prevent boredom.
4. Train and Redirect:
- Train your dog using commands like "leave it" or "drop it" to discourage them from eating feces.
- When you notice your dog showing interest in feces, redirect their attention to a toy or treat.
5. Consult a Professional:
- If the behavior persists or becomes a serious concern, seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or a veterinary behaviorist.
- They can provide specialized advice and assistance in addressing coprophagia.
How Poochie Moochie Can Help ....
- If you aren't a raw feeder, consider a transition to a species appropriate diet. Poochie Moochie can help answer any questions you may have about feeding raw.
- Feed 3-5 Proteins per month as each different protein can bring a varied nutritional profile to the 'bowl'
- Enhance the diet with add on items such as: Quail Eggs, Bone Broth, Fermented Goats Milk, additional Organ Meats, Omega Oils, Super Food Blends, Vitamin Supplements
- Give a Prebiotic/Probiotic to help keep the gut microbiome healthy and prevent leaky gut
- Give a Digestive Enzyme (we have combination Pre/Probiotic + Digestive Enzyme Formulas. The digestive enzyme can help your pet get the most out of their food. If there is a lack of certain enzymes this can help with the deficiency
- If it is behavioural, we can offer you some great choices for stimulation and entertainment. Also, giving raw meaty bones or none rawhide chews are a great natural way to occupy the mind and satisfy the dogs natural instinct to chew
Coprophagia is a behavior that some dogs engage in for various reasons. Understanding the underlying causes and implementing appropriate strategies can help manage and reduce this behavior. By providing a nutritious diet, maintaining a clean environment, offering mental stimulation, and seeking professional guidance if needed, you can address coprophagia and ensure the well-being of your canine companion. Remember, patience and consistency are key when addressing any behaviour issue.