Coprophagia: Why does my dog eat poop?

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If you have or have had a dog it is very possible that on occasion you have caught him red-handed eating poop of his or another dog.

A gesture that is known as coprophagia and that, like the rest of your four-legged friend’s behaviors, has an explanation.

So if you’ve come here looking for answers to questions like why my dog eats his poop or how to make my dog not eat his poop, read on.

My dog eats his poop, is that normal?

The short answer to the question of whether it is normal for a dog to eat its own poop is: it depends.

The long one is that dogs, unlike what happens with other animals such as insects – which are coprophages by nature – only ingest excrement in very specific situations.

That is why it is necessary to find out what is the cause of your furry dog’s coprophagia to know if it is serious or not and, if so, choose the best treatment to stop it.

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Canine Coprophagia: Reasons Your Dog Eats Poop

The reasons why a dog eats poop are several. Some of the most common are:

Nutritional

Canine coprophagia is often an instinctive response to a lack of vitamins or minerals. 

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And it is that animal poop, especially that of those who feed mainly on vegetables, is tremendously rich in nutrients.

Health problems

On many other occasions, the cause why dogs eat poop is related to the presence of digestive disorders such as intestinal parasites, hyperthyroidism diabetes mellitus.

Behavioral

It has also been detected that some dogs ingest feces to get the attention of their human friends when they feel lonely, low mood or when they go through periods of stress or anxiety.

As for puppies, it has been proven that the punctual intake of excrement has to do, mainly, with the curiosity they experience during their first weeks of life.

Other reasons for canine coprophagia are: lack of cleanliness in the home, fear of being attacked by a predator and, in the case of some malnourished females with young, the need to feed.

Symptoms of canine coprophagia

Some of the symptoms that alert my dog has eaten his poop are:

  • Halitosis: The emission of a putrefying breath.
  • Polyuria: An abnormal increase in the number of urination.
  • Polydipsia: The abnormal increase in thirst levels.
  • Squalidity: Although the dog has an appetite and eats in the amounts indicated by the veterinarian, it does not stop losing weight.
  • Disorders in the digestive system: Appearance of inflammations in the intestine and stomach.
  • Diarrhea: Recurrent stomach breakdown.
  • Gases: The constant emission of gases.
  • Soft, foul-smelling stools: The excretion of foul stools with a pasty shape and the presence of fat.
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How to make my dog not eat his poop or that of other dogs

The first thing you should do if your dog eats his poop or that of other dogs is to go to the veterinarian so that it is he who, after studying his specific case, find out the cause and prescribe a personalized treatment that ends this unpleasant and dangerous behavior.

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In the event that the reason for your dog’s coprophagia is behavioral, it will almost certainly provide you with a series of guidelines like these to get him to stop ingesting feces as soon as possible:

  1. Make sureyou clean the house wellso that your four-legged friend has a clean, comfortable and quiet place.
  1. Try to take your dog out at least three times a day for a minimum of 20 minutes each time. If possible always at the same times.
  2. Offer snacks every time he finishes doing his business to grab his attention and quickly get him away from the stool.
  3. Pick up your feces quickly to prevent you from seeing them and go get them.
  4. Offer adiet high in vitamins and minerals.
  5. In the event that you have dietary deficiencies, provide supplements to correct them.
  6. Give him toys that keep him entertained whenever he goes home alone.
  7. Don’t wait to take him to the vet if you see him in very low spirits or catch him eating poop for several days in a row.

With these tips and with the help of a veterinarian or an ethologist your best friend will stop eating poop sooner than you imagine.

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