Pet parents need to cross many hurdles in pet parenting. The most annoying and exhausting behavior of the canines both puppy as well as dogs is the eating of poop. This poop eating includes eating other animal feces, licking another animal urine or eating one’s own poop. One of the primary reasons for many people trying to rehome their pet is poop feeding. The scientific term for poop eating habit is coprophagia (kop-ruh-fey-jee-uh). This dung delicacy in many canines is linked to behavioral, medical as well as psychological factors.
This article is a typical guide for those pet parents who have poop eaters at home. Read on to know the various ways to discourage this habit.
Why do dogs and puppy’s binge on poop?
Many factors play a critical role in making the dung a delicacy to the pets. The section beneath will explain the possible reasons for this habit.
When a dog is on the natural diet that is when it eats the prey. The pets obtain all the enzymes they require as they consume the whole prey with its organ as well as the gut. This isn’t the case when they are fed with commercially available dog food.
The digestive enzymes play a pivotal role in the digestive process, for proper food absorption. Dogs lack enzymes for an effective and complete digestive process effectively hence they depend on their food for some enzymes. Deficiency in this digestive enzyme is linked to the develop ailments that include poop eating.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)
This is a condition wherein a dog’s pancreas produces little or no digestive enzymes. Deficiency of these enzymes will make the dog starve with symptoms including weight loss, diarrhea, and stool eating.
Parasites are seen to absorb the nutrients the dog should get from his or her food. This is another reason for the poop carving in dogs.
Certain diseases like diabetes, thyroid issues, and steroids are linked to make dogs to binge on the stools.
Hydrochloric acid deficiency
Dogs tend to develop this trace mineral deficiency with increasing age and with a nutrient deficient diet. This deficiency converts them into stool eaters and other fewer digestible food eaters due to alleviated digestion.
Another condition wherein the dog’s pancreas is deficient in digestive enzymes. The dogs start to find their own or another animal stools tasty because it contains undigested enzymes in them.
When the dog is underfed or not fed on regular interval’s they tend to look for other food sources to satisfy their hunger. hence experts recommend following a schedule to feed the dogs.
The following behavioral traits are also seen to enhance the chances of stool eating in canines.
Many dogs like to maintain cleanliness in its surroundings especially female dogs cleans post puppies to keep the nest clean. This drive for cleanliness is also linked with poop eating dogs.
As puppies grow, they tend to get curious about their surroundings and hence decide to take a nibble of some feces as part of its exploration process. This is just a phase that will fade off with time.
Dogs are natural scavengers that are attracted to a new scent. Hence the scent of poop may make it curious to eat them.
Some dogs entertain themselves with a treat like feces that is readily available to it when he has nothing to do in the home. So, experts recommend engaging the pets in mind as well as physical activities to divert this habit.
Some dogs eat poop or other undigestible foods to seek the attention of their loved ones.
Some dogs that are locked in a kennel or left alone tend to binge on poop to overcome the stress.
Puppy mill dogs have an increased chance of poop eating because of the lack of food and long-term crating.
Canines that are punished for pooping in the house may start to think poop is bad and develop poop eating.
Puppies follow the adults
Some pooches tend to develop this habit by seeing the other feces eating canines.
Will poop eating make my puppy or dog ill?
Poop eating seems to have no significant side effects in many dogs. Experts recommend deworming puppies that eat other puppys stool as the other poop can contain worms that can upset the tiny pal’s stomach.
How to curb a poop eating puppy or dog?
The following pointers have successfully helped in curbing the habit in many four-legged creatures.
Add vitamin supplements to the canine’s diet
Experts link stool eating to vitamin B12 deficiency in pooches. Hence supplementing the diet is ideal.
The commercially available dog food lack digestive enzymes that were present in the wild diet. hence supplementing the daily diet is plausible.
Dogs dislike certain products like monosodium glutamate, chamomile, pepper-plant derivatives, yucca, garlic, and parsley. Spraying one of these products can stop them from eating feces.
The best method to stop stool eating is to clean up the area immediately post pooping or in cases of other animal poops clear it as soon as possible to curb the temptation.
Divert the canines mind
Engage the dog with mental and physical games to divert the poop eating habit. Keep it entertained with many new toys still it loses all its energy.
Include raw foods with a higher proportion of digestive enzymes
For dogs that binge on home food, experts recommend adding in raw meat, meat tenderizers or protein-rich foods to curb the poop eating habit.
Curb the mineral deficiencies
The trace mineral deficiencies can be overcome by the addition of certain foods in the diet like kelp and apple cider vinegar. This will stop the dog from binging on dung.
Check the canine’s stool on a regular basis
Presence of parasites in the stool can enhance poop eating. Deworming the pooches will curb this habit.
Refrain punishing the puppies that poop in the home.
Avoid punishing the pooches when it poops in the home. Motivate them to poop at the designated area with the aid of rewards and love.
Train the dog to not touch or eat the poop
Train the dogs and puppies to avoid eating the poops with big rewards. Practice will curb the habit.
Restrict the dog from the poop region
In case of homes with many pets restrict the pooches’ area of movement from the other pet’s domain.
Walk the pets on a leash
Walking the pets with a leash will curb the poop eating habit as one can monitor its action closely.
Poop eating is a common phase in many dog’s life. Do not stop loving your dog for this annoying behavior. Correct this habit with by identifying the cause and the methods mentioned above. Parenting a pet or a kid is a lifetime experience with hurdles, face all the situations rather than running away from it. Happy parenting.