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Shit! Dogs Really Do Eat Poop And Here’s 13 Reasons Why

If you’ve seen your good boy enjoy a scoop of crappuccino ice-cream, keep scrolling to know why

A day in a dog’s life may not be as king-size as you would like to believe. Well yes, the lot (or litter) are fed and bathed and walked. They are rubbed and massaged, petted and praised. They are taken to parks and given new toys to play with. But, did you know that they also [wait for it] feast on feces?

Mm-hmm. They really do. 

As you digest this shitty piece of information, here are some more not-so fun facts that might be true about your canine pet:

  • A female dog is more likely to eat poop than a male dog

  • A dog that steals food is more likely to be a poop eater

  • A dog prefers consuming hard stools over soft stools or diarrhea 

  • A big percentage will not eat their own feces, but that of other dogs. 

Here is why your dog might be eating literal crap: 

Medical Reasons

  1. Enzyme Deficiency: As pet dogs are given highly processed diets, they lack digestive enzymes in their system. These enzymes ensure that the dog absorbs his or her nutrition. And so, without these enzymes, the food is passed through undigested, which makes them ingest stool to eliminate their nutrition deficiency. 

  2. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency: A genetic condition, the Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency or EPI leads to the lack of digestive enzymes in the pancreas. It can also be the cause for starvation in some young dogs as they are not able to digest the nutrients in their diets. It has various symptoms such as weight loss, diarrhea as well as stool eating. 

  3. Parasites: Well, intestinal parasites living inside dogs need nutrition, too. As a consequence, dogs are forced to compete with these parasites for the nutrients that are ingesting. This might leave them with low or no nutrients for themselves, which causes them to eat stool. 

  4. Appetite: Just like humans, dogs have an ever-changing appetite as well. It could stem from varied different reasons. However, in case of diseases, diabetes and thyroid problems in dogs can make them feel hungry even when they are not. And, if a dog is undergoing steroid treatment, they might grow hungry enough to eat stool as a side-effect. 

  5. Other Deficiencies: A poor diet or aging can have its negative impact on a dog’s health. For instance, the lack of hydrochloric acid, which is used to break down proteins can deprive a dog of nutrients. This would then force the dog to fulfill the lack of nutrition through consuming stool. Even mineral deficiencies can cause this habit to develop in dogs. 

  6. Malabsorption: It can be said that poor nutrition absorption is correlated with stool eating by dogs. In fact, he or she might opt for consuming his or her own poop to make up for the undigested nutrients. 

  7. Underfeeding: A hungry dog is more likely to look for other food sources. It is quite unfortunate that they don’t have access to a stacked refrigerator with snacks. As a result, if they are not being given enough food at regular intervals, they might eat their own stool, too. 

Behavioral Reasons

  1. Cleanliness: A reaction would be for a female dog to eat stool in order to clean the nest for her puppies. It is this natural drive for cleanliness that has been observed in dogs. Well, have you ever thought about dogs having the OCD for hygiene? 

  2. Puppies: The process of exploring the surroundings and world is called, ‘Coprophagia.’ It is common amongst new-born puppies. It is what gives birth to their curiosity. And, just like human children, their urge to put everything they see in the mouth does not stop at toys. It is extended to the consumption of poop, too. 

  3. Scavengers: As dogs are natural scavengers, their sense of smell attracts them to stinky poop, which might just be not-so-stinky to them. 

  4. Boredom: A day at home (alone) was adventurous for Macaulay Culkin, but it isn’t for those belonging to the dog-kind. So, when dogs are left alone, they find something to entertain themselves with. And, poop is for obvious reasons well within their reach. 

  5. Attention Seeking: Yes, pet dogs love attention from their parents! But to the extent that they would get themselves into trouble for having a poop party at home? It feels like an odd thing to do (even for a dog), but it is quite possible.

  6. Puppy Mills: A sad truth, but the truth nevertheless–puppy mill dogs are more likely to develop this habit. It is due to being deprived of a diet that is wholesome and nourishing along with being kept in stressful environments. All these factors lead to stool eating amongst dogs. 

Are you worried about this crappy habit harming your dog’s health? Well, there is a way out of it. Step 1 is to be fur-miliar with why it's happening. As you have reached the end of this article, you can move onto Step 2: 

Click here to get in touch with the Pet Experts at Litter Fam for a solution.