This may sound a bit odd; however, eating feces is a normal action in dogs. For example, when a mother dog has puppies, she licks them in their anal area to assist in the release of feces. There are several other reasons dogs may eat feces which are not quite normal and should be taken care of immediately. Let’s take a look at the reasons for the consumption of feces!
Sometimes, it is normal for dogs to eat feces. Prior to domestication, they were scavengers which means they essentially ate anything they could possibly find. Eating feces is also normal when a new litter of puppies arrive. Puppies often have difficulty using the bathroom on their own so the mother helps with this. It is also the mother’s instinct to keep the puppies clean as to not attract predators from the scent.
Is He Malnourished?
If your dog is lacking nutrients in her diet or are unable to digest the nutrients found in her diet, she may look elsewhere for those particular nutrients. They instinctively believe they need to look for an alternate option to obtain those particular nutrients. They may also have some type of parasite or a pancreatic issue which is why it is absolutely crucial to bring your dog to the veterinarian if they are experiencing this problem.
Risks of Eating Feces
The risks posed when eating feces are frightening for your dog. Dogs who eat feces have a very high risk of obtaining internal parasites. Unvaccinated dogs are also at an increased risk of contracting parvovirus or hepatitis if they were to eat the feces of an infected dog! That is a very large risk to take. Let’s take a look at how to solve the problem. Find here the Top 10 Diseases in Dogs.
Solving the Problem
How to stop dogs from eating poop? Prior to immediately believing this is a behavioral issue, your dog should be taken to the veterinarian to rule out any type of medical issue. If the veterinarian states it is not a medical problem causing the coprophagy (eating feces), this could require you to obtain a behavioral consultation. Prior to a consultation, you can try simply placing some habanero sauce on the feces when you find them. Then, when your dog goes to eat them, he will immediately dislike the taste and will negatively associate the taste of the sauce with the feces. If this does not work, we do have an in-house canine behaviorist for additional questions.
Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist
Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.
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