Why Do Dogs and Puppies Eat Poop?
About four years ago I caught my then 3 month old puppy, Frodo, eating cat poop. I was surprised – how could he find another animal’s poop so appetising? There are many reasons why dogs eat poop, but it may simply be a novelty. Puppies, in particular, are naturally curious and they are not above experimenting with their own diet by eating all kinds of things like dirt, grass and poop!
Is Poop Eating Harmful to My Dog or Puppy?
The health risks associated with your dog eating poop are minimal as long as you keep your dog’s worming and vaccination schedule up to date. This is because poop from other dogs and animals may contain worms (or their larvae), so regular worming ensures your dog is protected against infection.
A Dog Should Eat in Moderation
If your dog is gorging on, or overeating, poop or food, consult your vet. As with humans, eating in moderation is healthy, however a dog that is overeating is engaging in unhealthy behaviour and should be seen by a vet as soon as possible.
Poop eating, also known as coprophagia, can become a habit unless the dog is consistently discouraged from doing so. There are many training and dietary strategies that can be used to stop a dog from eating poop; if you approach this behaviour from many angles at once then you can solve this problem for good.
A good start is to rid the yard of poop as often as possible; when you do ensure your dog does not observe you – dogs can ‘copy’ their owners and when your dog sees you clean poop, it may do the same thing – with its mouth!