Ewww....may be the first word that springs from your mouth when you see you puppy eating its own poop. Yes, it is disgusting to see any animal eating its own feces and of course, this behavior could not be a healthy one. But there are certain reasons why your dog may eat back its poop and they may be underlining health issues. Dog eating poop is a condition called Coprophagia. Coprophagia is cause from your dog being stressed, anxiety or poor nutrition.
Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop
Dogs can smell what we can't. If a dog defecates and is not fed for a period of time, unprocessed food in the poop will attract the animal and he/she may be forced to go back and eat that poop. It is much like what a cow or horse may do when they defecate. They will go back and chew on the poop to digest the remaining undigested grass to get the rest of nutrition left. Poop eating could be an indication that your dog is not eating enough or on a schedule.
2. Dog Poop Is Everywhere
Dogs cannot take a broom and shovel and clean up their own poop. They rely on you as the pet owner to keep their area clean and healthy. If a dogs area become disgusted with poop such that you see more poop than ground, the pup may just try to do his own house cleaning and the only way how a dog knows how to get rid of stuff is to eat it or bury it.
3. Lacking Nutrients
If your puppy has worm or any other parasites, they will normally extract the nutrient from your pups' system. This will leave a natural sense in the animal that nutrition needs to be replaced and hence the pup will look to eating back its poo to replenish itself.
4. Stress and Anxiety
Dogs do experience stress and anxiety. When they are going through this you may not easily know if the animal doesn't fully show it. Stressed out dogs are normally docile, fearful and lack appetite. But stress can lead the animal to also behave erratic, aggressive, and may even lead the animal to eating its own poop.
5. Protecting Pups
Dogs that have puppies will eat the pup's poop as a form of protection. This is a natural instinct as they think that eating their puppies poop will protect them from predators by disposing of the evidence.
6. Dog is just Nasty
OK, dogs will just eat poop because of curiosity of what their own poop actually taste like. And if they believe that it is a "Pizza Joy" they will indulge in more poop eating.
Animals are curious creatures and dogs will eat just about anything. They will experiment eating strange things by smelling it first a then eating it. Sound familiar?
Whatever the reasons are, instinct or learn behavior, it's important to know that the behavior can be solved easily.
How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop
1. Top up Nutrition
Provide the animal with the proper nutrition is always the best and first start. Dry foods may lack nutrients which your dog requires. Feed your dog natural meats such as chicken and beef, with a mix of rice. Ensure that the animal is properly hydrated at all times.
2. Eliminate any Health Issues
Check your dog for parasites which may drain him of the nutrients required. Worms, ticks and fleas are literal nutrient suckers. Ensure you visit your vet if you suspect that the dog has any parasites.
3. Clean Up After Poops
Don't let your yard become the poop heaven. Clean up after your dog has finished doing its thing. The more poop in the site of a poop eating dog, the more poop it will be tempted to eat.
4. Make the poop Less Tasty
One trick that I know is to give the dog a little pumpkin puree daily will make the poop less desirable to eat.
5. Eliminate or Treat Stress and Anxiety
Your dog may be lacking in exercise, ill or feeling neglected. You can run, walk or play with the animal to relieve some of that stress and tension build up. Dogs that are left alone for extensively long periods, especially indoor dogs tend to become stressful. Make sure that the animal health is top bar and you spend quality time with the pooch.