Is Your Dog Eating Poop? Why and How to Stop This!

Roberto Manzotti

Has your dog been eating poop? It is called Coprophagia.

As disgusting it may be to watch your dog kick aside the food you spend hundreds of dollars on and feast on feces, eating poop is common in all dogs. No, your Golden Retriever isn’t the only one who does that!

In fact, there have been a few research studies done on this behavior!

Coprophagia or poop eating has several physiologic and behavioral reasons behind why your dog may be snacking on poo. In this blog post, we will go through a few of them and help you resolve this disgusting habit.

Let’s get started, shall we?

 

The Poop Eating Problem: Does Every Dog Do That?

Top 5 Medical Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop

1. Enzyme deficiency

2. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)

3. Parasites

4. Conditions causing increased appetite

5. Other deficiencies

Top 5 Behavioral Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop

1 Scavengers

2. Boredom

3. Attention seeking

4. Stress

5. Punishment

How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Poop?

Summing Up: Is Your Dog Eating Poop? Why and How to Stop This!

 

The Poop Eating Problem: Does Every Dog Do That?

As I mentioned in the previous section, your Golden Retriever isn’t the only dog who likes to munch on his poo. In fact, in a study conducted by Dr. Benjamin Hart in 2012, it was found that:

  • One in six dogs is classified as “serious” poop eaters, which means that they were caught in the act five times!
  • One in four dogs were seen eating poop at least once

So, yes, poop eating is a disgusting habit that your dog has.

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In the research paper, Dr. Hart wrote:

“Our conclusion is that eating of fresh stools is a reflection of an innate predisposition of ancestral canids living in nature that protects pack members from intestinal parasites present in feces that could occasionally be dropped in the den/rest area.”

 

Top 5 Medical Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop dog eating poop. coprophagia

In this section of the blog, I wanted to go through the top five medical reasons why your Golden Retriever has been indulging in his poop.

1. Enzyme deficiency

In the wild, dogs eat prey including its guts which contain the digestive enzymes that your dog needs. However, your dog doesn’t get all of the enzymes that his body might need with the highly processed kibble. 

Digestive enzymes are crucial for the process of digestion in dogs and without them, your dog is unable to absorb his food properly. So, your dog might poop the undigested nutrients out.

Doesn’t look as disgusting now, does it?

2. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)

In this condition, your dog’s pancreas may not be making the digestive enzymes needed which causes the dog to starve slowly. Other symptoms of the condition include weight loss and diarrhea.

In this case, your dog may be eating poop to get nutrients.

3. Parasites

Your dog may have intestinal parasites which tend to absorb all the nutrients your Golden Retriever should be getting from his food. So, don’t think your dog is too crazy if he’s in the mood for some poop.

4. Conditions causing increased appetite

Issues such as thyroid problems, diabetes, and intake of steroids can increase your dog’s appetite. This little push is all your dog needs to much on the poop.

5. Other deficiencies

If your dog has a hydrochloric acid deficiency which causes poor digestion, your dog may start looking for the nutrients he needs in his stool or eats other inedible things like plastic.

 

Top 5 Behavioral Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop

In this section of the blog post, I would like to go through some of the top reasons why your dog may be munching on the poop.

1. Scavengers

Dogs are scavengers and get attracted to scent. Unlike humans, dogs don’t think of poop as something repulsive. So, if they find poop around, they may just eat it.

2. Boredom

If you leave your Golden Retriever alone at home all day with nothing to do, if there’s some poop near him, he’ll probably just indulge in it.

3. Attention seeking

Dogs don’t like being ignored, and they love our attention. If eating poop is how your Golden Retriever gets your attention, then, eat poop he will. This way, he gets a treat in the process as well!

4. Stress

If your Golden Retriever is stressed---such as from being in a kennel all day long---he might resort to snacking on some feces.

5. Punishment

If you punish your Golden Retriever for pooping in the house, the chances are that he might start thinking of poop as ‘evidence’ and just eat it to save himself!

ANNUNCI IN ARTICLE

How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Poop?

First of all, if your Golden Retriever has been eating poop, you should get him to check by the vet to ensure that he doesn't have a medical condition. In most cases, resolving the underlying medical condition is all that it takes to resolve the poop eating.

If, however, your dog has acquired the taste for poop, things get a little tricky.

You should try to pick up after your dog as soon as he poops, keep your furry friend physically and mentally engaged, and avoid punishing your dog is he has accidents inside the house.

 

Summing Up: Is Your Dog Eating Poop? Why and How to Stop This!

Munching on some fresh poop is one of the most disgusting habits that your Golden Retriever can have.

While even the thought of eating poop is repulsive to humans, dogs don’t see eye to eye with us on this issue which is why they occasionally like to enjoy their poop as a meal.

In this blog post, we went through a few of them and helped you resolve this disgusting habit.

Do you still have questions? Let us know in the comments!

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