The Scoop on Why Dogs Eat Poop
The official name for stool eating is coprophagia. While stool eating is an unattractive habit in dogs, it is a relatively normal behavior and for the most part is not as dangerous as you may think.
The primary concern is if your dog is eating another dog or cat's feces. Will they become sick? For the most part, while still disgusting, coprophagia is essentially harmless to their health when consuming their own feces. But if your dog is ingesting a sick animal's poop, they may contract a disease. In any event, dogs contract worms which are transmitted through ingested poop so it's best to try to take care of the problem before it leads to illness and additional expense.
What Causes Dogs To Eat Poop?
That's hard to say. The most popular theory is the dog is experiencing some sort of dietary deficiency. Sometimes coprophagia can be attributed to a lack of vitamin B1 and digestive enzymes. Boredom is another common theory. Some say stress is a factor or learning from other dogs. The truth is there is no scientific proof to what causes coprophagia so you'll have to do some investigation and observation to to determine any cause.
How Can You Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop?
Balanced Diet - Feed your dog a nutritious diet of high quality grain free foods. Quality foods typically have less fillers which will make your dog less hungry for snacks.
Proper Feed Levels - Overfed dogs tend to have stools with undigested food in them. Those stools are more attractive to your dog.
Keep Your Yard Clean - Pick up as much of the poop out of your yard as possible. Removing the temptation will help break the habit.
Walk Your Dog On A Leash - To prevent your dog from "snacking" along the walking route make sure you have a proper leash that will allow you to steer your dog away from any temptation.
Use Preventatives - There are several stool eating preventatives on the market that make poop smell and taste undesirable to your dog.
Muzzles - Well-fitted basket muzzles will definitely inhibit the easy access to stools not picked up in the yard.
Relocate the Litter Box - If you dog is sampling the kitty poop it's time to move the litter box to a inaccessible area.
So while there is no tried and true method for curing your canine initiate of the brown arts of this habit, with a little observation and some trial and error, you may have success.