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View Full Version : Why do dogs eat poop?



Karlin
16th January 2013, 12:58 PM
Here's an answer to that question -- and a bit about what you can do:

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/lifestyle/why-do-pooches-eat-poop

Note that a survey showed the commercial poop eating-prevention products almost never work nor does running around pouring chili powder or tabasco etc on poop... (maybe your'e just seasoning it nicely, as far as your dog is concerned!!).The only approach that really works -- one that I agree with and have found to be the case myself -- is simply preventing access in the first place by avoiding/immediately cleaning up poop. :thmbsup:


Now for the big question: what should you do if your dog likes to feast on feces? Well, don’t bother with the commercial products. Hart’s survey found that of the 12 commercial anti-copraphagia food additives on the market—For-Bid, Nasty-habit, and Potty Mouth to name a few—none worked in more than 2% of dogs and many didn’t work at all. On the other hand, what could possibly taste worse than poop? Yet, lacing with chili pepper didn’t work either. Nor did using an electronic collar, yelling “leave it!” or trying punishment-based techniques that people tend to use. That’s most likely because the dog still has a desire and may just learn to avoid performing this nasty habit in front of you.

A more successful, but inconvenient, solution is to just deny access to the delicacy by cleaning it up ASAP. Also, instead of reactively punishing Fido, proactively call him to you before or as soon as you see him heading towards the stinky delicacy. Then reward him for coming when called and staying where you want while you go out and scoop the waste.

Soushiruiuma
16th January 2013, 02:46 PM
If you´re going to walk around pouring sauce onto poop, why not just pick it up?

From a nutrition stand point, animals with simple GI tracts (dogs, humans, pigs...) are pretty ineffecient at getting the nutrients out of food, and also lose the potential protein of digesting gut microbes as they die and are sloughed off as part of their life cycle. Cows, sheep, and goats are much better at these processes(horses and rabbits do ok), so as disgusting as it is, there is still plenty of nutritional value left in poop.

Lani
16th January 2013, 04:13 PM
If you´re going to walk around pouring sauce onto poop, why not just pick it up?

Sparky is my poop eater. This morning it was sleeting so they both refused to walk in their first walk (just pee'd). After breakfast, Sparky decided the rug was a nice place to poop and proceeded to eat the evidence.

This is an ongoing issue with him ... Not the indoor messes, but rather on our walks. They poop on walks, so I always clean up, but Sparky has this habit of doing most of his pooping in one spot and then waddling over to a new spot (while still squatting) and doing one final one there. Then, his strategy is to snack on the last one while I'm busy cleaning up the rest. Most of the time I'm able to prevent it, but he does this regularly. He clearly has a strategy around the whole thing.

Lucky doesn't do this, but Sparky is a puppy mill rescue and I understand this is pretty common behavior with mill rescues since they are so underfed and need to compete for food.

Soushiruiuma
16th January 2013, 07:38 PM
Sparky is my poop eater. This morning it was sleeting so they both refused to walk in their first walk (just pee'd). After breakfast, Sparky decided the rug was a nice place to poop and proceeded to eat the evidence.

This is an ongoing issue with him ... Not the indoor messes, but rather on our walks. They poop on walks, so I always clean up, but Sparky has this habit of doing most of his pooping in one spot and then waddling over to a new spot (while still squatting) and doing one final one there. Then, his strategy is to snack on the last one while I'm busy cleaning up the rest. Most of the time I'm able to prevent it, but he does this regularly. He clearly has a strategy around the whole thing.

Lucky doesn't do this, but Sparky is a puppy mill rescue and I understand this is pretty common behavior with mill rescues since they are so underfed and need to compete for food.

I think there are 2 issues here:
First, your dog has clearly out-foxed you on the poop-eating.
And second, yes, the habit of poop-eating can definitely be picked up when an animal is starving, and those animals do seem more compulsive with the behavior (I've known horses who could not be stopped from eating poop, where management is considerably more difficult).

wolf23
16th January 2013, 08:53 PM
Whether they do it or not...it is still gross. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-sick007.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

Luckily, Remy does not seem interested in eating poop. Callie, on the other hand, is choosy about her poop. She prefers fox, rabbit or horse poop. Still gross...

ByFloSin
16th January 2013, 11:42 PM
My most persistent adult Cavalier poop Eater was the late Easter. She started eating her own as a puppy. As usual, I left it, thinking that she would grow out of it, but this one did not. When she was older I watched her like a hawk so that I could pick it up as soon as it became available, but she quickly learned to be too quick for me to stop her. I tried all the usual things, but nothing worked. Eventually I gave up trying to stop her eating her own product and concentrated on her new passtime of eating what all the other dogs did. That worked out, but I had to accept that she outfoxed me after expelling her own product.

She lived an exceptionally healthy and happy life to just over 15, so I don't think it could have done her much harm. Other dogs of mine either haven't acquired the habbit or have been much easier to distract.

pippa
17th January 2013, 06:01 PM
Gus has decided to do this in the past few months. He was a poop eater as a puppy (his own) but got out of the habit or gave up as I always got there before him, and now at 11 he decided he was going to do this again but only eats one of my other dogs poop and not his own. We tried everything and had both dogs checked out at the vets. Everything fine so vet said probably behaviour based. Well it is!- because now he follows that dog around waiting for him to go and I'm there behind them both with the poop bag- if I can't get out in time he sniffs, looks to see if I'm coming and then tries to eat, with me running at him waving my arms as he's deaf so no point calling him away. So now every time our other dog goes out to poop we are watching or following and the poor fella can't poop in peace. Hope the neighbours can't see me or men in white coats will be visiting.

I was always one for picking up almost straight away after they went and didn't realise he was doing this until one day seen the dog going we all came in to the kitchen except Gus and when I got the bag and poop scoop and went back out 2 mins later poop had disappeared! As I said he is 11 now so have just decided that being there behind the dogs when they poop is the only way to deal with it.

Karlin
17th January 2013, 10:20 PM
Have to say the stories make me laugh though I share your pain! :lol: I have two who will eat other dogs' poop, generally not their own but sometimes that too. Have to keep an eye on them but they aren;t that intent about it so it is fairly easy to manage. Cat poop is another story -- they will all go for that and some like a good sloppy horrible deer poop too, or a bit of horse poop. Some are happy to roll in it too. :*gh: :grnyuk:

Nix105
17th January 2013, 10:36 PM
Ive just been chatting on the phone and had one of those moments when......"I can smell poo!!!" Only to see my darling Jazz, sitting in the middle of the living room eating cat poo!!!! Having helped herself from the litter tray before I'd got to it!!

And to top it all off it got stuck in her hair on her ear.....words cannot describe... Hideous!!!! :yuk:

you turn your back for just a minute :sl*p:

Karlin
18th January 2013, 02:59 PM
On the other hand, maybe there's a more straightforward evolutionary rather than behavioural reason for them eating poop. Perhaps it helps them keep the healthiest possible stomach with the widest variety of microbes. It works for humans!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/health/disgusting-maybe-but-treatment-works-study-finds.html?_r=0

Lani
18th January 2013, 04:27 PM
On the other hand, maybe there's a more straightforward evolutionary rather than behavioural reason for them eating poop. Perhaps it helps them keep the healthiest possible stomach with the widest variety of microbes. It works for humans!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/health/disgusting-maybe-but-treatment-works-study-finds.html?_r=0

:grnyuk:

Sydneys Mom
18th January 2013, 04:45 PM
I second what Lani said and will add my own :grnyuk:

lindylou
19th January 2013, 10:38 PM
hi
my louie used to eat his dog poo when he was a puppy but he grow out of it
do'nt worry it did'nt harm louie