Of all the bad habits your pet might pick up, eating poop is the one every owner hopes to avoid. Also known as coprophagia, this icky habit can include eating other animal’s feces or even their own and are usually a concerning issue for pet owners. Is this an indication of health or behavioral problems? Should you take your pet to the vet? We’ll break down some of the most common reasons linked to your dog eating poop in order to help you make the best decision for your pet. 

Your Dog Eating Poop Could Be A Sign Of Nutritional Deficiency

First, your dog eating poop could potentially be a sign they’re not getting the nutrients they need. And while it may a good brand, you might want to consider that it may still not be the best option for them. The majority of pet food sold in stores must label clearly that their product covers the basic nutritional needs of your pet. However, even so, your dog may require more than what is in that bag. One option is to try adding supplements to help fill in those gaps. Some examples include a multivitamin powder, goat’s milk, probiotic/prebiotics, pumpkin, or even freeze-dried toppers. However, it’s also important to note that your dog may have underlying medical issues preventing them from absorbing those nutrients. So, it may be in their best interest to have your vet run a blood test for any deficiencies or digestive issues. From there, you may be able to better determine how to approach your pet’s nutritional needs.

Dog Logic: It Made Sense At The Time

As puppies, your pet will be curious about everything. And inevitably, this will probably include tasting their own poop. To their sensitive noses, feces smell like their food, so it makes sense they may try to ingest it. Fortunately, most pets outgrow this behavior after six to eight months of age. Relatedly, if you introduce a new dog to your current pet, they may also try to eat each other’s poop. This stems from similar curiosity, as each is smelling the other’s food from their bowel movements. Again, this behavior should subside rather quickly, within a few weeks. Additionally, nursing mothers may eat their puppies’ poop in order to keep their den clean. This is considered very normal behavior and will usually taper off as the puppies are able to relieve themselves outside of where they feed. 

Other Unusual Circumstances

However, there are times where your dog eating poop may be completely unrelated to any of the issues mentioned above. Consider other potential factors, such as stress or boredom. Have you recently moved to a new location or have you introduced a new family member or pet to your home? Take note of exactly when their behavior started and whether it was sudden or gradual. You may want to consider a trainer or professional behavioralist to help you manage your pet’s behavior. Additionally, providing the appropriate mental and physical stimulation can do wonders with mitigating undesirable habits. And if you need help with giving your pup the exercise and company they need, our team is here to help! Check out our pet care services and sign up today for a FREE consultation! 

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