Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
While eating poop may seem like an unpleasant experience, it isn’t actually that dangerous. People can ingest poop from both people and animals, as well as soil and water. While food poisoning is usually caused by contaminated food, poop can be transferred to other people. Babies may even accidentally eat their own feces. According to statistics, in 2010 alone, U.S. poison control centers received 6,000 calls related to poop ingestion.
While dogs aren’t the only animals to eat poop, research shows that the behavior is widespread in the animal kingdom. In fact, mice have been known to eat their own feces, either in laboratory conditions or in the wild. As a result, coprophagy behavior can complicate studies of these animals.
One way to stop your dog from eating poop is to keep it on a leash when out for a walk. Slowly but surely, your dog will begin to reject the smell of poop as it becomes less appealing. However, if your dog continues eating poop for an extended period, you should contact a veterinarian right away. This habit can be a sign of a disease or parasite.
Dog food contains additives that prevent dogs from eating poop. These products can make stool taste unpleasant and can help control coprophagia. However, you must make sure that these additives are labeled as suitable for dogs. For example, dog food containing additives like “For-Bid” and “Deter” may contain these ingredients.
A study conducted by Dr. Benjamin Hart concluded that dogs eat poop to avoid catching infectious parasites that may be present in their feces. Fresh stools may also help protect the dog’s pack from worms and other parasites that can affect the animal’s health.
Another reason dogs eat poop is because they lack vitamin B. This B vitamin is produced by bacteria in the intestines. Although female dogs are more likely to eat poop than males, male dogs that have not been neutered are less likely to engage in coprophagia. However, if you own a dog that eats poop, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.
If your dog has a problem with poop eating, consult your vet and ask for medical care. The condition isn’t dangerous, but it is a sign of underlying health or behavioral issues. It’s recommended to limit the area where your dog can access the waste, and to pick up the poop as soon as you find it.