We love our furry companions, dogs are an important part of our family. They are not so lovable, however, when they eat poop! It is an unpleasant problem that most dog owners wish didn't happen. You might be asking yourself: "Why is my old dog eating poop all of a sudden?" We will discuss easy solutions that can help you deal with this repulsive habit. There's no need to let something like this get in the way of enjoying a happy life with your four-legged family member.
Why Does my Dog Eat Poop on Walks?
Scientifically, a dog's habit of eating poop, also called coprophagia, it is considered normal for physiological and behavioral reasons. Some scientific studies show that a dog's poop-eating behavior is a common phenomenon. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior presented a 2012 study conducted by Dr. Benjamin Hart at the University of California to help us understand why do dogs eat poop. The study found that one in six dogs or 16% has a frequent habit of eating poop during at least five incidents. It also found that 24% or one in four dogs were caught eating poop at least one time. Dr. Hart concluded that it is part of a dog's DNA to eat poop. It is a sign of an innate trait that comes from packs living in the wild. This study involved approximately 3,000 domestic dogs that were researched in two separate surveys. Dogs have evolved as scavengers who found various food items on their trails. Their idea of a good snack is much different from ours. Dogs in the wild are not always guaranteed a full meal and they became resourceful and adapted themselves to eat feces.
Poop Eating is Normal for Dogs
There are many species including rabbits that eat feces to obtain essential nutrients. Preventing this habit in rabbits has shown the development of health issues. Our domesticated dogs don't need to get their nutritional support from feces. However, it is still part of their normal canine behavior at some stages of their lives. For instance, mother dogs clean up their puppy's feces by eating it. It is normal for dogs to eat their poop or that of other animals. Many dogs find horse manure to be a delicacy. This can be a problem if the feces is contaminated with parasites, toxins, or viruses. Most dogs discontinue this type of behavior after their first year of life.
What Can I Do to Prevent My Dog From Eating Poop?
There has been a lot of progress with this type of problem. Dog owners, with the help of veterinarians, are using effective strategies to prevent dogs from engaging in this habit.
Supplementing Their DietThese are some nutritional factors to be considered:
- Supplementing with vitamins: One of the theorized reasons of why dogs eat poop is missing nutrients. Feeding your dog multivitamins could help correct deficiencies that make them prone to eat feces. A deficiency in vitamin B has been the culprit for this occurrence.
- Supplementing with enzymes: Domesticated dogs are now faced with a diet that is richer in carbohydrates and has a lower protein content from meat. An enzyme that contains papain, which is used as a meat tenderizer shows success when preventing a dog from desiring to eat poop.
- Products that help with taste-aversion: Another option is to use products that can be added to a dog's diet, which makes the poop less appetizing. If you have multiple dogs, they must all be supplemented with these types of products. Many contain yucca, parsley, garlic, chamomile, pepper-plant derivatives, and monosodium glutamate.
Regulating Their BehaviorAnother way to prevent your dog from eating poop is to practice environmental and training methods such as:
- Pick up poop from your yard immediately. Do not give your dog a chance to find poop anywhere around the house.
- If you own a cat, be sure to keep your litter box clean at all times and inaccessible to your dog.
- Keep your dog supervised on your walks and clean up poop immediately.
- Train your dog to "leave it" and come to you for a treat instead of being tempted to eat feces.
My Dog Ate Poop How Do I Clean His Mouth?
Dogs are going to naturally do all the disgusting things we would prefer them not to do. At least you can feel good about knowing that this behavior is natural and there's nothing wrong with your dog. Dog owners find that using preventive strategies is helpful. When all else fails and your dog ends up with a poopy mouth, dental treats are a solution and Downtown Tabby Pet Store in Gainesville, FL carries a full line of dental treats for your loved one. As you continue to fine-tune your dog's behavior, giving your dog dental treats when they eat poop is a great way to keep their mouth clean and smelling fresh. The dental treats promote saliva production, which naturally cleanses a dog's mouth. The treats also create friction to remove any traces of the poopy mess. Ready to do something about your dog's poopy mouth?
Buy high quality dog dental treats here.