Seeing a happy dog face smeared in a pile makes you sick? You don’t know where the dog’s idea of such disgusting behavior comes from? Here’s everything you need to know if your dog poops on walks!
Why does the dog poop?
Eating buy, professionally called coprophagia, doesn’t have a single, fixed cause. However, there are several theories explaining this off-putting behavior.
Eating other dogs’ droppings is completely natural behavior for bitches looking after their own puppies. Until a certain age of toddlers, the mother cleans up their waste in this way to keep the nest in order. Many puppies also show this tendency when they are young – their instincts tell them to pick up and try whatever is nearby. Luckily, many dogs grow up quickly from such ideas.
Hunger and disease
A starved or severely malnourished dog will, out of desperation, eat whatever it finds – including faeces. However, even well-fed quadrupeds can feel constantly hungry. It is often caused by various diseases that are not easy to notice – pancreatic disorders, hypothyroidism or diabetes. Eating non-edible items can also be a symptom of stomach problems such as heartburn and malabsorption. Coprophagia also happens in older dogs suffering from dementia.
Anxiety and restlessness
Some chronically stressed dogs may eat their own droppings. This is especially common in dogs, whose handlers use penalties for killing themselves at home. It may happen that the pooch associates screaming and beating not with excretion, but with the mere presence of poop. To protect himself from the punishment, he will simply eat it, thereby getting rid of the evidence… and avoiding punishment. In the case of two dogs living in one house, it is possible that the poop left by one dog is eaten by the other.
Is this behavior dangerous for the dog?
Eating your own droppings is not too much of a health risk for a pet. However, bacteria present in the stool, when they enter the mouth of a dog that has just eaten poop, can spread to other household members while licking their hands or hugging the pet. Eating the excrements of other animals, on the other hand, can have various, often serious consequences. A dog that eats other dogs or cats is at risk of becoming infected with parasites and severe viral and bacterial diseases. Therefore, quadrupeds prone to coprophagia should be regularly dewormed and examined by a veterinarian.
What to do when the dog poops?
The first step to fighting this disgusting problem is to rule out any possible health problems for your pet. For this, you should consult a veterinarian and conduct the examinations recommended by him. If our pet is healthy, first of all, we should prevent him from accessing faeces – clean the garden regularly and secure the cat’s litter box. Dogs with a tendency to eat their own poop right after they are disposed of should be kept on a leash and cleaned up immediately before they become interested in their droppings. For this purpose, they can be distracted by delicacies thrown onto the grass.
The pooch can also be taught to return to the caregiver immediately after settling down and sit in front of him waiting for the reward. The commands „to me” and „leave” may also be extremely useful, which we should use when we see that our pet is interested in something during walks that it should not. If, after all, the problem is difficult to deal with, it makes sense to consult a good trainer or behaviorist who works with positive methods!