If you are like many pet owners you have noticed one or more of your dogs eating poop. Now if you do what I did you automatically thought this meant your dog needed more in his diet. So you bought new food, bought the animal a vitamin or a combination of both. The thing is, depending on “whose” poop your dog is eating, you may have just wasted your time and money. Having a cute but disgusting “poop eater” myself, here is what I learned.
The first thing I learned is, even though dogs can seem gross, they have their reasons. Though we may not always understand those reasons. So one thing you need to pay attention to would be, is your dog eating his own feces or another animals? The sad thing is, sometimes it’s hard to tell, especially if your dogs are the same size.
Dogs that eat their own poop. Most likely if a dog is eating it’s own feces the reason is some sort of vitamin deficiency. However you do also need to keep in mind that if you had trouble potty training your dog and they were yelled at often you may have made them confused. This will make a dog eat his own feces not because he likes the taste, but because he thinks he was punished for the act itself and not the fact that he went in the house. This is what vets call the “hide the evidence: syndrome. They eat the feces so they will not get into trouble.
Dogs that eat cat poop. Now unfortunately if a dog eats cat poop out of your litter box there are a number of reasons why they may be doing it. It could be that they like the taste. (gross I know). Or that they have that vitamin deficiency again. Or it could also be that they are trying to be sure their “territory” isn’t claimed by another animal. Only trial and error, and some patience, can tell.
Dogs that eat other dogs poop. Sadly there are, again, a number of reasons for this. The usual reason is territory. Dogs feel the need to mark their territory. So especially if it’s a smaller dog eating a larger dogs feces, it will usually mean they do not feel they can cover the other animals smell, so they dispose of it. Again gross I know. It could also be that darn vitamin deficiency again, or again with the “hide the evidence” syndrome.
So now that you know the reasons, here are some tips to help you fix your problem. If your dog is eating their own feces, make sure they are not overly punished but be firm. If that doesn’t help, try adding a vitamin. If your pet is eating other dogs’ feces, you can try a couple things. Scooping the feces often so there is nothing to eat, or feeding the pets whose feces is being eaten pineapple. Sounds odd but dogs strongly dislike the taste on the other side. Another option is scolding when you see him doing it, or you can go with the vitamin. If its cat feces you pet enjoys, try getting a litter box with a top and a swinging door. His usually discourages your pet from getting into it.
I hope this helps you figure out, or at least understand, why your dog has this, lets face it, extremely disgusting habit. The only way to discover the reason, is patience and of course trial and error. Hopefully you can try the other reasons first and avoid extra cost that may have been unneeded. Your vet can always help, however they cannot speak to your animal any more than you can so even with them, it will be trial and error. Please remember if you intend to feed your animal anything that is not specified for dogs, to check with your vet first for dosing amounts and safety. No two dogs are alike as no two people are. They may require a different set of rules. Hope you found this helpful and good luck to you! And as always… make sure your pets are wearing pet id tags!