Believe it or not, this is a pretty common thing for dogs to do, but, that doesn't exactly mean it’s something to be encouraged or allowed to continue. So, what’s a pet parent to do and, why do dogs feel the need to eat poop in the first place?
Let’s examine some of the reasons why dogs are so fond of and inclined to consume excrement. (There’s absolutely no gentle way to phrase some of these facts, excuse the blunt talk please.)
2/ lack of proper diet is often blamed for poop eating. When a dog is under or improperly fed, they will look for other ways to supplement their diets.
3/ dogs are gross ok? Plus they are naturally inclined towards scavenging. When left to fend for themselves dogs will eat just about anything to survive. These instincts can be present even in well cared for house dogs.
4/ they have been taught to eat poop. That archaic shove the dog's nose in the poop potty training technique? That’s not helping anything and can actually segue into the nasty poopivore behavior that makes us throw up in our mouths a little bit
5/ Mama Dogs will clean up after their puppies when they move their bowels, it’s considered normal behavior in the dog world. Again, this can carry over into life after puppies.
6/ dogs are sensitive creatures and may attempt to clean up after themselves in situations where they have soiled their kennels or in the home somewhere due to illness or too much time left alone.
7/ it gets them attention. Reaction to watching a dog eating poop is usually an excited one. Whether it is a good or bad excited can be rewarding to the dog. Especially if it is a dog who is chronically ignored by their humans.
1/ if you have a dog AND cat in your home, invest in a covered litter pan. Nobody has time to be racing around checking the litter box every 2 minutes to pooper scoop, except for your dog, so, go shopping! Try to place the litter box where Poochie can’t stick his head in through the entry to the litter box. Dogs are very resourceful when it comes to foraging, you have to outwit La Chien on this one.
2/ some of us are probably feeding not so great foods to our Pups, not out of lack of caring or anything, it’s a matter of knowing which brand is really good as opposed to well-advertised. There are some reasonably priced high value dog foods available to consumers, just do a little research on what might be best for your own pup.
3/ you’re feeding an A rated dog food but he’s still out in the yard hoovering up all the poop piles. Great! Your solution, get out there and clean it up before the dog does it for you. Problem solved.
4/ please get familiar with force free training and use it in all aspects of training your dog. A reward based regimen will yield the best results and will strengthen the bond between dog and human.
5/ same solution as number 3, clean up the yard before your dog does it for you.
6/ dogs choose not to eliminate where they live. However, if left alone for extended periods of time, they will naturally be compelled to move their bowels. If this has happened and the dog is berated for the indoor elimination, they may feel humiliated and attempt to clean up the mess so they don’t get in trouble again, even though they tried to hold it in for a long time already. It’s not ok to be away from your animals for extended periods of time and expect them to “hold it” until you get back home. If there is an accident, all you have to do is clean it up, no need for punishment, the dog feels bad enough already. If there is habitual indoor eliminating when access to outdoors is provided frequently, there might be another issue at hand.
7/ if your dog is eating poop just to get your attention, it’s time to consider getting more involved with your pup. Get out walking, schedule some quality play time, go for a car ride, do something, anything with your dog. And clean the yard!!!