The fact that you’ve gotten past the headline may say two things about you: The first is that you’re very curious and have a strong stomach. The second is that you may actually have a dog and want to figure things out. Did we guess right?
Among a plethora of other repulsive habits that dogs have: drinking from the toilet and rolling in swamp muck, for example, poop eating may gross us humans the most. In fact, it’s actually one of the main reasons many canine owners try to rehome their pets or even opt for euthanasia. However, seeing this stool-eating practice, many others get worried and search for reasons why dogs eat poop. Is this normal? Is the dog sick? Will this habit harm it? Find all the answers down here!
To start with, this eating poop habit actually has a scientific name: coprophagy. There exist both behavioral and physiological motives why some dogs and most puppies consider dung as food and, in most cases, the reasons are not worrisome:
1. Dogs May Take This Habit From When They Were Puppies:
During their curiosity phase, puppies experiment with different kinds of things that are generally considered as non-edible. Poop is no exception. In fact, they may nibble at some feces as part of their exploration process. Moreover, they can actually learn to eat poop from their moms, and we’ll talk about this later.
2. Dogs Are Scavengers:
This may be the simplest answer: Canines are natural scavengers. They are drawn to scents. This means that, contrarily to us humans, dogs aren’t repulsed by poop: Ingesting stool isn’t disgusting to them.
3. Dogs Eat Poop To Seek Attention:
You can’t deny the fact that dogs love attention. When they feel ignored, they may opt for stool eating to be noticed and, why not, get a treat.
4. Dogs Ingest Stool Out Of Boredom:
This case especially applies to dogs that have no companions. In fact, when canines spend all day at home with almost nothing to do, they might entertain themselves by eating poop. This may seem absurd but it’s true.
5. Dogs Eat Poop To Relieve Stress:
Yes, stress isn’t just for humans. Animals, too, can feel strained. As a matter of fact, dogs might actually attempt to alleviate stress by eating poop.
6. Dogs Eat Poop Because They Were Punished:
Canines, who were disciplined for pooping in the house, may start to think that stool is bad and try to hide “the evidence” by eating it.
7. Dogs Eat Poop Because They Care For Cleanliness:
This may seem paraxial to you. You may say: “Is this a joke? How can a dog EAT POOP if it cares about cleanliness and hygiene? This so illogical!” Sure, but only to us humans. Dogs don’t have the same logic as us.
8. Mommy Dogs Eat Poop To Protect Their Kids:
As mentioned in the first point, female dogs ingest poop, especially their puppies’. This comportment is not only destined to keep the nest clean but also to hide the youngsters’ scent from potential predators.
9. Dogs May Eat Stool Because Of Medical Issues:
This is the only case where medical help is needed. From enzymes and other types of deficiencies, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, intestinal parasites, diabetes, thyroid issues, underfeeding to malabsorption, these health issues may be reasons why some dogs eat poop.
To sum up, eating poop is generally perfectly normal for dogs, except when it becomes excessive.