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23Aug 2018

Pooplicious: Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? Top 10 Reasons.

dog eating poop

10 Reasons Why Dog’s Eat Poop

Have you ever wondered why your dog is eating his/her poop?  There’s a lot of reasons behind it and the results might not be what you think.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing and it’s completely normal for a dog to eat their poop – so don’t worry.   They might eat it due to certain underlying health issues, but most commonly they simply do it because they don’t know any better – to avoid punishment, out of boredom or even for attention.  This article sheds light into the top 10 reasons why your dog might be eating their poop!

Ranked from the least severe to the most severe causes of poop consumption*

10.)  Boredom & Stress:  Stress can come from many factors, new surroundings, loud noise, being left alone for too long, bad weather, the list goes on and on. Stress can easily cause a dog to eat his poop sheerly out of nerves. It’s a comforting option when stress and anxiety is high strangely enough. Boredom is also attributed to the eating of poop, sometimes there’s nothing else to do and so they just go to town.

9.)  Punishment (Avoidance):  If your dog gets punished for accidentally going to the bathroom in the house, owners may or may not resort to the old adage of sticking their dogs face in the accidental mess they left behind. More often than not the dog will not take this as a sign as to not go to the bathroom indoors, but rather, that they are supposed to eat their poop when done. It’s best to avoid the nose stuffing and simply pick up the pile, along with your dog and place them both outside while issuing a firm command of “bad dog”.

8.)  Attention/Scavenging:  If your dog wants attention, he might just eat his poop… The reason? You’ve probably told him in the past to stop and so when he see’s your near but not playing with him or giving him much attention, he will do it to deliberately get your attention. This can also easily tie into #10 because it is highly related, stress & boredom can also derive from needing attention or receiving lack-there-of.

7.)  Puppies:  Puppy dogs in general just eat poop. It becomes a normal habit for them, they are curious as to what exactly it is that they just left behind, they take a nibble, don’t find it all too bad and they just start eating it up like it’s going out of style. It’s nothing harmful or abnormal and usually doesn’t last very long. Overtime your pup should (and usually will) grow out of this phase.

6.)  Underfed:  Your dog should be on a consistent schedule, otherwise binge eating may enter the equation and that could also mean that he will compensate eating his poop during those inconsistent moments.  Dogs are very timely with their feeding schedule, so ensuring that they are fed at roughly the same time with the appropriate amount of food pertaining to the dogs weight and breed is imperative.  Otherwise there’s going to be a lot of piles of poop that turn up missing from the backyard.

5.)  Hydrochloric Acid Deficiency:  Hydrochloric acid deficiency can happen simply due to old age. If your dog is older and or doesn’t have a consistent diet (lots of table scraps and random foods) there’s a chance that the hydrochloric acid isn’t breaking down protein efficiently enough during the digestive process. This causes a trace mineral deficiency that will lead to the consumption of poop, grass and even plastic!

4.)  Copy Cat (or Dog in this case):  Sometimes dogs will mimic one another, actually they copy each other doing a lot of things.  You might notice the neighborhood dogs all start to bark at once, but most importantly, if you have another dog or if your dog is walked often in a park and allowed other dogs that all eat their poop – rest assured your dog will more than likely begin eating his poop too!

3.)  Parasites:  If you’re dog has parasites (especially worms) there’s a strong chance that you’ll notice their poop is watery or liquidity and you might catch them eating their poop as well as the grass. If you think your dog has worms, then it is highly advisable to get deworming medication as soon as possible.

2.)  EPI and Nutrient Deficiency:  EPI stands for pancreatic insufficiency. This is caused from a defective pancreas that doesn’t produce any (or very little) digestive enzymes. In a nutshell this can cause your dog to appear to have wasting syndrome and can cause weight loss, diarrhea and will more than likely result in the eating of poo.The digestive enzymes in your dog can sometimes become depleted due to an inability to process key nutrients. Having a this deficiency can cause them to possibly develop certain ailments and ultimately will lead them to devouring their poop in an attempt to compensate for those much needed nutrients (which their poop is full of).

1.)  Diabetes or Thyroid Issues:  If your dog is suffering from diabetes or thyroid issues they almost always will begin eating their poop. The reason? Well, having a hyperactive thyroid causes them to be extremely hungry and diabetes can also cause the same effect – especially if their sugar levels drop to dangerous levels. If you think your dog may have a thyroid issue or diabetes and has an impossible appetite, you should schedule a visit with your local vet immediately.

Pet Waste Removal

If you’re concerned that your dog might be eating his poop (especially if it’s been left in the yard over a long period of time) and that it could be effecting his mood, behavior or causing disturbances in his stool – then reach out to us.  We offer complimentary packages and our services are extremely cost effective.  You can speak with us on the telephone or submit your information to obtain a free quote below.  We also include in all of our service calls – stool assessment and stool samples for your local vet (upon request).


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