why does a dog eat their poop

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When dogs eat their poop, its called coprophagia ; the thought of it sounds absolutely disgusting. Yet the consumption ones own fecal material is not uncommon among animals, and in some cases (as with rabbits), is an important part of their metabolism and nutrition. But dogs arent rabbits (and humans think its gross) so why do dogs eat poop and how do you stop it? Well, to know for sure, youd have to ask the dog. Since it is unlikely well get an answer, the next best option is to know the working theories many veterinarians have on why dogs eat poop. They can be categorized into three main reasons: 1) Medical, 2) Behavioral, 3) Extrinsic/Environmental. There are certain conditions that can cause your dog to eat his own poop. For example, the pancreas produces enzymes that help digest fats. In cases of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) those enzymes are missing and fat cannot be digested. The results are usually fatty, yellow, greasy stools that your dog may be consuming in an effort to recover the fat nutrition lost. Parasites can compete with your dog for nutrients and cause your dog to go for seconds on his stool. Some diseases (or medications) can increase a dogs appetite, making coprophagia more likely; a few examples include: diabetes mellitus, Cushings disease, intestinal malabsorption, and malnutrition. If your dog appears to be ill, or hasnt been seen by a veterinarian in over a year, or has yellow greasy stools and starts to eat his own poop its probably best you make an appointment with your vet to have it checked out. The most widely accepted theory of coprophagia related to behavior is that some dogs have an obsessive/compulsive-like need to clean up after themselves. Female dogs will instinctively do this for their pup newborns to keep their nests clean, therefore the genetic programming for this behavior exists in all dogs. The key to curbing this habit, if it is suspected to be due to this reason, is to clean up after your dog before they do.

This means picking up the poop right as it is deposited. If you do this consistently, a dog that is cleaning up may eventually grow out of the behavior. Other behavioral reasons behind poop eating may include stress, boredom, or attention seeking. Dogs that are left alone all day or are stressed out may lack positive enrichment and may become interested in behaviors that they would otherwise avoid. These dogs may resort to eating poop, and if you make a big deal about it when you get home, you may inadvertently reinforce the behavior. Depending on how your respond to the behavior, they may end up believing it is their job to clean up. This can also happen if your dog is punished for pooping in the house. They may start clearing the evidence if they believe what theyve done is very bad. Some other reasons why dogs eat poop might not have to do with the dogs physiology or behavior, but instead with the way hes cared for. JustFoodForDogs recipes are usually very palatable; dogs that werent usually food motivated become so overnight. Some of these dogs may want more of the delicious meal, and are perfectly fine settling for feces as seconds. Remember always that initial feeding recommendations are only a starting point, you transition dogs onto our food (or a new recipe) they may need more food than originally recommended. Dogs that are under fed may be resorting to their poop as seconds. Finally, what you feed your dog is important, and if the recipe is not complete an balanced, as is the case for many home-made recipes, then your dog may be responding to deficiencies by going back for more. JFFD recipes have all gone through AAFCO feeding trials so you know they are complete and balanced, and using our DIY kits ensures they are getting the same nutrition if you make the food yourself at home.

Finally, only dogs know why they do it we are left guessing. Nevertheless, if your dog doesnt seem well, please have him seen by a vet. If you suspect the problem is behavioral, take a look at your own habits and see if there are changes you can make to reduce its occurrence. If needed, ask your vet about training aids that you can add to his food to help him be less interested in his poop. Less interested in poop? Why in the world would we have to make dogs less interested in poop? Well, because theyre dogs, and its just what they do sometimes. Tel: 949. 722. 3647 ext 777 It s the moment every dog owner instantly regrets ever letting their : Watching that very same beloved, seemingly well-trained and civilized pup eagerly devour a stinky, steaming pile of poop off the sidewalk. Ugh, gross! But why? P Why?! It s a topic that has long perplexed animal researchers and veterinarians. And if you Google the topic, you re likely to get more than a dozen different explanations ranging from canine anxiety to illness to simply boredom. However, director of the Center for Animal Behavior at the University of California at Davis, has managed to link the off-putting behavior to greedy eating (dogs that quickly ravish their food bowls, according to owners) as well as an instinct connected to canines ancestral wolf pack days. As the Washington Post reports, Hart and his team surveyed over 3,000 dog owners. Of these subjects, 16 percent ate other dogs feces frequently (their owners had witnessed a crappy chow down session at least six times), and of those pups, 80 percent preferred fresh feces less than two days old. Well, who doesn t? Interestingly, the research suggested that the tendency towardsPcoprophagia (the scientific term for poop-eating) was evident no matter a dog s age, breed, diet, house-training status or compulsive behavior tendency. This finding has unleashed a new theory: Modern day dogs have inherited both their aversion to pooping where they live as well as their likelihood to eat fresh poop from their ancient wolf ancestors.

You see, wayyyy back in those wild days, wolves may ve eaten the fresh feces of sick, lame or old members who accidentally let a load loose as a way to clean up inside and around their den. Since it takes about two days for parasites and other pathogens to develop, eating fresh poop is not usually dangerous, and in fact, eating poop that was festering in their living quarters was actually a helpful way to avoid intestinal parasites such as larvae and worms. That said, some great minds in the canine scientific community think there may be a bit more to it. For instance, Professor James Serpell of the University of Pennsylvania andPeditor of the recent book The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions with People, told the Washington Post he finds the wolf theory plausible, but he s also intrigued by the greedy eaters survey findings. He referenced a that scavenge for food and, as a result, fill up on a sizable amount of human feces. This seems to indicate that poop could be viewed, errr digested, as a second-hand food source. Can t get enough of cats, dogs and other furry friends? Pto get the cutest pet news and photos delivered directly to your inbox. P Today, dogs (and cats) are fed diets that are relatively rich in fats and protein, not all of which may be completely digested, making their feces potentially attractive as a second hand food source, Serpell told the Washington Post. So, there you have it. Poop-eating is probably a normal, evolutionary dog trait. But, take heart: Hart and his team are working on a solution. They re currently looking at clinical trials of new methods and products that dissuade your pup from chomping down on their own or others droppings. The best thing to do, for now, is keep your dog on a short leash and make sure to pick up your own lawn. (Insert the poop and shrug emojis here. )

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