It's rather disgusting to watch when your dog is caught eating poop, but for many dogs, it's nothing to be concerned about and they’re doing it simply because they like the taste. Dogs eating poop is also known as coprophagia; the eating of poop and dung.
Cow pats, horse manure, fox poop are also another known delicacy for dogs, but why do they do it? And are they actually enjoying it?
So why do dogs eat poop? A common concern is that your dog has a nutritional deficiency, however, this is not always the case and most likely it's because your dog enjoys the taste.
What are the risks for my dog eating poop?
You should discourage your dog from eating dog poop or any other animal poop, as it could be harmful to their health. Some livestock are fed worming tablets that could actually be harmful to your dog if they ingested the livestock poop.
Other signs to watch out for include:
Boredom can be a reason as to why your dog has started to eat poop. Keeping and maintaining your dog's mental well-being could prevent them from eating poop as a way of entertaining themselves.
Are you feeding them enough? Sometimes dogs eat poop because they’re hungry and they’re not being fed enough during meal times or the length of time between meal times is too long.
Dogs suffering from separation anxiety can be a cause of dogs eating poop. If you’re concerned about this then you should consult your vets for expert advice.
If you have a cat and your dog has started to eat the cat's poop from their litter tray, then you should discourage your dog from doing this and make the cat's litter tray non-accessible to your dog.
How to stop your dog from eating poop
As previously mentioned, most of the time there is no significant concern as to why your dog has started to eat poop, however, it is a disgusting habit and should be discouraged straight away. Listed below are some helpful tips to stop your dog eating poop:
Check your garden for dog poop and clean it up before letting your dog outside
If your dog is not yet housetrained, whether they’re an adult or puppy, then you must ensure that all areas of your house are clean of poop
Make sure to clean your dog's poop up as soon as they go
Train your dog to “drop it” or “leave it”
Avoid making a massive fuss if your dog eats a poop in front of you as this makes some dogs excited and even more interested in eating poop again
If your dogs eating poop habit is getting out of control, then you must seek professional advice from your vets
Stop your dog from eating cat poop
If your dog has started to eat cat poop from the cat's litter tray, this could be because you've recently moved the cat's litter tray or your cat and dogs relationship has progressed and the cat is comfortable pooping in front of the dog, whatever the reason may be, this can be hard to stop as once your dog has developed the taste for cat poop, this can then become an issue. Listed below are some helpful tips to stop your dog from eating the cat's poop:
Buy a litter box with a lid on it
Place the cat's litter tray in a quiet part of the house that has a small place that only your cat has access to
Buy a stair gate with a cat flap fitted into it that only your cat can access
Place something over the litter tray, like a piece of cardboard that has a small space cut out so only the cat can fit through and gain access
Lastly, if you’ve tried many different ways to stop your dog from eating poop and you’ve had no luck, then it's worth visiting the vets to get some professional advice on how to combat this issue.