Does your pup enjoy sampling the local variety of fresh poop? Perhaps your dog has a more vintage palate? Whatever your canine’s tastes may be, owners across the nation agree poop eating is NASTY!
Why do dogs to feast on their poop, and how do you stop it? There is no single answer to each of these questions, so here are a few:
Cave Dogs Did it…
All dogs have a primitive instinct to consume the waste of their puppies in order to protect themselves and their young from predators. Small dogs in particular will practice coprophagia, the art of poop feasting, to hide evidence of their presence. Now that is what you call self contained!
Sad but true, some kibble and treats taste too good! Your pup wants to enjoy it a second time around.
Flintstones for Dogs?
Incomplete absorption of foods might create a vitamin or mineral deficiency, accelerating a dogs desire to munch on its excrement. In this case one can genuinely say “Waste not, want not.”
Some puppies were left to fend for themselves, or were pushed down by dominant litter-mates. In turn, they learned to scavenge for food and poop was the next best thing on the menu.
Whatcha Gonna do When they Come for You?
Dogs are very sensitive animals, being punished for doing their business in the wrong place can make them fearful. Eating their poop is a way of hiding the evidence. Too bad they don’t know how to use bleach wipes when they’re done.
On Your Mark, Get Set… Gobble!
You might think you’re top dog, but your dog doesn’t! By rushing to scoop the poop your dog may see this as competition – putting piping hot fresh poop up for grabs before you can say “Pooper Scooper.”
It’s Just Good
Plain and simple: your dog might just like the taste of poop.
Here are some tips on how to eliminate poop from the menu:
WOW! That’s Better than Poop
When training your pup where to poop be sure to treat with a tasty snack or kibble right after a bowl movement. This tells your pooch something good is coming from doing the right thing! The poop will be forgotten and you can scoop.
Don’t leave food readily available, give your dog a 10 minute limit to eat then remove the food. By consuming food in one sitting they are more likely to eliminate right after. If you allow them to graze all day they will eliminate multiple times throughout the day, giving them ample opportunity to poop and dine. Don’t feel bad if they don’t eat all their food, let them starve until the next mealtime and they will learn to eat when food is served. Most dogs are overweight anyway and won’t die with a short fasting period.
Many dogs follow a poop routine: right after they eat, before they eat, during a walk. Have treats in hand to distract your dog after a movement and be ready to clean up.
Yummy for Pup’s Tummy…
Switch to a premium quality dry food, and add more fiber with steamed or boiled vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or peas, avoid canned as they are high in sodium. Try adding a little soaked bran: oat, rice or wheat. Adding vitamins to your pets food or water will help if your dog is feeling deficient.
This Poop is too Dry!
Make poop harder to consume by adding a little sterilized bone meal powder. There are also other additives available to make poop undesirable but are not guaranteed to work.
When your dog approaches poop use a clicker to teach your dog to stay away, rattle a can, or squirt your dog with water. Eventually your dog will avoid poop while thinking “Sheesh! There’s that noisy poop that keeps squirting me.” When the poop is avoided remember to treat as a job well done!