Have you ever wondered why dogs eat poop?
I certainly have pondered this question, and the answer was more interesting than I would have expected.
Dogs are clever animals; and, while to humans, sniffing this foul matter is strange, canines actually have good reason for this conduct.
Scent is a powerful sense, especially for our furry friends.
Understanding why my pups reach to smell poop has helped me relate to them, as well as better learn their language.
From health to curiosity, this list details the motivation behind this ever-so-strange habit.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? The Rational and Reason
No one likes to be alone, and canines are not exempt from this phenomenon.
The stresses of isolation are unique in that, by its own virtue, there is no company to assist in recovery.
Often, when domesticated creatures experience stress, it is the presence of others that will help speed along with healing.
When restricted to a confined space, and left alone for an extended period of time, canines will eat their own feces.
Since each dog is different, the specific stresses and anxieties provoked will differ.
Nonetheless, it has been proven that isolation will increase the frequency at which pups eat poop.
#2 Restrictive Confinement
It is no secret that tension causes strange behavior.
Restrictive confinement (particularly kenneling) causes a unique set of stresses on the pup.
This part of the training has been practiced widely over time, to the point where it has become an accepted tradition in pet-parenting.
While this method may be a popular method of training animals, unique needs must be considered (my pups never responded to kenneling).
If during the course of kennelling, the pup begins to eat poop, it can indicate an excess of stress which will not be conducive to training.
Modifications to the training routine are required if this is the case.
#3 Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress are often balled together conceptually.
This is a misappropriation of psychological phenomenon (and a common one at that).
Stress is critical to life since it is the direct reaction to a stimuli- withdrawing a hand from a scalding burner is, by definition, a reaction to stress.
There is such a thing as good stress (burn prevention, for example). Anxiety, however, is the sense of dread and expectation of an unknown.
When experiencing anxiety, rational thinking is suspended. For puppies, this can lead to conduct unbecoming, including eating feces.
To mitigate this, often affection can be a useful cure.
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Puppies are hardwired to crave human attention.
Through the domestication process, the evolutionary inclination to behave in an attention-seeking manner increased.
Modern pets are known to do everything from chew upholstery to eating strange items (including feces).
This type of behavior is important to pinpoint because the owner’s reaction is what encourages the behavior to continue.
Understanding that the action was, in fact, attention-seeking, forces a change of comport.
Minimizing expression while the remaining firm will work to inhibit this manifestation of attention-seeking.
My pups love attention, and sometimes the best love I can give is to resist the urge to react.
#5 Inappropriate Association with Real Food
Confusion is a key reason a lot of furry friends will end up eating dung. Feces, for a canine olfactory system, poses an overwhelming presence of scents.
Dogs that are fed more ‘scraps’ and a higher proportion of ‘human foods’ will generally make this mistake more often.
That said, most dogs are highly trainable. My canine companions love ‘human food’ recipes and I like to incorporate the ingredients for nutritional supplementation.
If an inappropriate association is the case, then through the pet’s scent recognition system, the error can be corrected with clarification.
When the pet parent provides a clear message (consistently) that feces is not food, the pet will catch on quite quickly.
#6 Smelling It On Their Mothers
Canines tend to benefit from what is called classical conditioning.
Basically, classical conditioning is the teaching technique that draws from the association.
The need to build understanding is primal.
Dogs will seek to generate this comprehension by associating things with good or bad (or reward/punishment).
Especially in puppies, who have limited life experience, positive bonding is associated with their maternal figure.
If their mother smelled of feces in the pup’s infancy, it can lead to a positive association.
To mitigate this, make clear that eating poo is not a positive action, and quickly provide an alternative (which should be positively reinforced with affection).
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#7 Living with a Sick or Elderly Dog
Dogs are widely known for their compassion. Empathy is a powerful trait.
Because of this, when a canine is cohabiting with a dog who is in ill health, the solidarity being expressed can be communicated in consuming the excrement.
Smells of sickness are particularly clear in fecal matter due to the bacterial culture it holds.
Canines can sense these individual discrepancies, and taste can be a way of identifying these different scents.
The search for understanding is universal, and this action can be a pup merely trying to gain that comprehension.
Even with the adorableness of empathy, given the potential for cross-contamination, breaking pups of this habit is essential.
#8 Plain Old Hunger
This behavior is a double-edged sword in terms of interpretation. On the one hand, it can represent a healthy appetite.
Conversely, this could represent a physical issue with increased hunger as a symptom.
If your dog is taking a taste of poop, and it seems to be due to accelerated appetite, first consider the possibilities.
Is there a seasonal shift (spring starting)? Has your pup been exercising extra?
If so, then there is likely no issue other than needing to increase meal size.
Should the issue be unexplained, a veterinary consult is warranted (just to make sure that the pup is in optimal health-more often than not, there is nothing to worry about)..
Read: What Do I Do If My Puppy Won’t Eat?
#9 Clean Up Area / Cleanliness
Even with all of our differences, pups and people have more in common than not- quirkiness included. It’s been proven that dogs like a clean space.
My pup has been known to move his food dish to the corner and I’ve ever seen him ‘spit-shine’ the floor.
While obviously not ideal behavior, it is revealing as to the pup’s personality.
For dogs who default to cleaning their own areas, stress is reduced when their area is kept tidy.
Provided this happens, these pets will likely be rid of the habit as soon as proper bathroom training has been completed.
#10 Dog Likes to Play With Poop
The quirkiness continues with this behavioral anomaly. Sometimes, almost like a toy, dogs will begin to play with and eat their poop.
Often out of boredom, puppies especially will begin to this habit.
It has been theorized that this is to gain more enzymes to assist their digestive system.
To deter this behavior, an easy step is to make sure the area is clean (thus limiting access).
The behavior will almost always be temporary, provided the situation is handled when the dog is young.
If dealing with an older animal, the habit can be more challenging to break.
Giving positive reinforcement (such as treats) when this is not done can be helpful to the situation as well.
#11 Parasites or Worms
This is the chicken-or-egg possibility for pets eating poo. For one, the consumption of fecal matter can transmit an intestinal parasite.
On the other hand, intestinal parasites often increase appetite and cause dogs to crave anything they can eat (including their poop).
If there is any chance your dog consumed fecal matter contaminated with an intestinal parasite, a vet visit is in order.
This will likely be coupled with a drastic uptick in hunger, making it relatively easy to spot.
A great example of why the habit can be destructive, it is always diligent to thoroughly dispose of your pet’s feces (thus making sure the issue does not proliferate).
#12 To Get Key Nutrients and Mineral
Chances are if you are reading this, you take pretty good care of your furry friends.
That likely means that you feed them a well-rounded diet filled with nutritious content.
While this is pet-parent best practice, it also means that the excrement of these lucky dogs is filled with nutrients as well.
To the nose of a pup, the smell of the food (as it was before digestion) carries into the feces.
This causes them to think about eating it is a good choice. Since the risk of contamination and the resulting illness is so high, this habit is best to be deterred quickly.
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#13 Bored or Lonely
While (hopefully) not so drastic, everyone has behaved oddly due to boredom. This can be the case for pups as well when they decide to eat their poop.
It is not abnormal, especially in puppies. For canine companions, the behavior is mainly learned.
Save a few basic things (sucking, panting, etc.) the mode of operations for a dog needs to be taught. This is why bonding with a new pet is so critical.
Preventing this behavior early can both prevent illness, and give your pup the benefit of not going through this phase.
Providing plenty of toys and sufficient exercise helps to keep the dog stimulated and avoid boredom.
#14 Quick! Hide the Evidence!
Modern science notes that dogs likely do not feel the scope of shame in the way humans do.
That said, the search to avoid disapproval is more tied to classical conditioning.
Pups want their parents to be happy- and if they have experienced the discontent of their owners at the presence of their poop, they may just choose to dispose of the evidence.
Though unpleasant, this tendency is not uncommon.
While not quite shameful, many pets will be unable to control themselves (especially puppies) and choose to disappear the problem.
To break this habit a good method is getting an idea of when your pet is going to the bathroom and beating them to the cleanup.
Even though it may be irritating, a smiling face will further deter them from trying to clean up due to embarrassment.
#15 To Keep Their Puppy Safe From the Predator
While their sense of smell is outstanding, canines are not the only creatures with powerful noses.
As an evolutionary instinct, dogs will often seek to consume their pups’ poo to ensure animals higher on the food chain cannot smell it.
This drive has remained in domesticated canines. Often seen in new mothers, it is a trait for which they can’t really be blamed.
Since it is such a quick passing issue, discipline is seldom required.
Instead, letting them know firmly but kindly that it is wrong, and helping them by keeping the area clean, is usually all that is called for.
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#16 Some Young Dogs and Puppies will Eat Poop As a Novelty
The good thing about novelties is that they wear off.
One of the markers of higher-order thinking is that it allows the weighing of good and bad options without trying them.
Puppies do not have this luxury- so to learn whether it is ‘novel’ to eat poop, they need to try.
If this is the root cause of this behavior, you are in luck. Just like any other curiosity, it can be quickly deterred with proper disciplinary behavior.
Positive reinforcement (affection, games, or the use of treats) for not eating the feces will work to quickly rectify this habit.
#17 Allelomimetic Behavior of your Dog
Mob mentality is not specific to humans. In fact, the art of mimicry is found in most species.
Coined allelomimetic behavior, it is basically a dog being more likely to perform an action when seeing another dog perform said action.
These actions can be anything from gait to posture to eating poop.
In this case, continuing to discipline your pup as you would with any other behavior should deter the action.
Ultimately, mimicry is done in an attempt to perform the ‘right’ actions.
If the dog understands what is incorrect (in this case, eating the poop), they will be unlikely to do the same in the future.
#18 By Seeing Other Dogs Eating Poop
Allelomimetic behavior implies mimicry (the desire to imitate the action as it was seen).
There is also the possibility of the pup, in places like the dog park, learning that there is a culture of eating poop.
Like a teenager trying to be cool, animals will default to the behavioral norms of the pack.
From carriage to the pup’s attitude in general, the influence of others is strongest on dogs with more submissive tendencies.
If this applies to your pup’s reason for eating poop, this may pose a challenge in terms of discipline.
However, with the risk for contamination posed at dog parks especially, it is a behavior that must be dealt with promptly.
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#19 Liking The Taste of Poop
Taste preferences are a strange thing. One of the reasons younger animals will default to eating poop due to taste is the stage of their taste buds development.
In the early stages of growth, it is perfectly normal for these sensors to not yet be fine-tuned.
This can cause taste confusion; where, because the receptors are so undeveloped, any overlap will be seen as a positive (so the trace smells of dog food in the stool tell the pup that they like the taste).
Age usually deters this behavior, and integrating multiple flavors into your pup’s diet can help speed this along.
#20 When Dog Poop Seems Like Dog Food
While we may curl up our noses at pregnancy cravings like peanut butter and pickles, furry friends have far stranger taste preferences.
The pungent smell of fecal matter can often draw young dogs to it as a food source.
When the nutritional value in their food is equated to scent, and that scent carries into their excrement, confusion can occur.
The best way to tackle this issue is to quickly clean up any poop, and provide a snacking alternative.
In this way, the pet can get used to the smell differences and better understand the reasoning behind your deterring them from eating poop.
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#21 If they Get Too Much Food
Overfeeding is an issue for more reasons than its tendency to cause obesity.
This habit (often done out of love) can be actively detrimental to the pup’s wellbeing- both physical and psychological.
In this case, poop may be eaten because the dog is so used to getting a high caloric intake.
This habit will present when the dog’s food intake becomes restricted.
Since canines cannot gain a full understanding of dieting, they will seek out the additional caloric intake (in the form of poop if they must).
Keeping a consistent eye on your pup’s diet will prevent this from becoming an issue.
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#22 Dominance and Submission Behavioral Manifestations
Canines, a species that evolved from the wild, continue to answer to dominance. It is one of the reasons that these animals could be domesticated in the first place.
This reason for consuming stool is more common in social dogs.
It has been noted that pups who are submissive will eat the excrement of dominant animals they are around.
While the reaction is perfectly normal, it can still pose a host of health concerns.
This reason does pose a great opportunity for the owner, in that it affords an opportunity to assert dominance with kindness.
Make clear to your dog that you are in charge and this will likely deter them from answering to another pup’s authority.
#23 Poor Digestion
When digestion is a concern, likely there will be other traits seen in addition to the eating of poop.
Generally, the stool will be grainy, and still have pieces of kibble (or other food) left in it (other remnants in the feces, such as mucus or blood in the stool are of immediate concern- and require a veterinary visit).
Should this occur, followed by the pup eating poo, it is likely because of incomplete digestion.
This compels the pup to pursue the food that was not digested in attempts to gain nutrition.
Often, there is a simple fix to this. Small dietary adjustments with sufficient fiber can make all the difference in mitigating this problem.
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Scavenging is especially prevalent in dogs that were adopted later in life.
Puppies raised from birth tend towards this behavior less because they have never had to scavenge.
Dogs that have experienced rifling through garbage for food are wont to display continued scavenging tendencies.
This tends to be a more emotional issue than a physical one and must be handled with care.
Showing the pup love, and making clear that you will provide thoroughly for their needs (while ensuring they understand the wrong of their scavenging ways), will help ensure that this behavior does not continue.
#25 Puppy Mills
This tragic industry has harmed thousands of canines and devastated countless puppy families.
Unfortunately, the issues these conditions pose do not end upon the pup’s exit from the situation.
Dogs, like people, are also subject to traumatic stress disorders. The aftermath of these awful situations is such that old habits remain.
When scrounging for their very survival, pups need to resort to many unpleasantries for the survival of their body and mind.
Whether eating poo for sustenance or due to stress, the habit is wont to carry into their later lives.
The love, support, and affection of their pet parent will go a long way in reducing this behavior.
#26 Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
This serious disorder can impact any breed of dog, though symptoms do not usually manifest until the pancreas has seen significant damage.
Understanding the warnings of this issue can facilitate early intervention.
Once this issue is identified as a potential culprit of this strange habit, a veterinary visit is in order.
Of course, this may simply be a quirk, though thoroughness in terms of health is always advisable.
Often, this will present with diarrhea and generally loose stools. If you have had your pet for some time, the difference in smell will be noticeable.
Considering these details will improve the chances of your pet having a healthy, abundant life.
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#27 Conditions Causing Increased Appetite
While dogs are known for their significant appetites, an uptick without logical reason ought to be a red flag in terms of health.
The first step is determining the source of the change: whether the problem is metabolic, nervous, or psychological is the next question.
Tonnes of extenuating circumstances can cause appetite increase (which, in turn, can manifest as eating undesirable material).
Is the pup sensing some new competition for food? Has the season changed? Have you recently changed kibble?
Going through the potential reasons can eliminate some of these concerns and pinpoint the culprit (which can then be addressed).
#28 Other Deficiencies
Nutritional deficiency can pose a number of health issues in pups. The good part of these issues is that, with a dietary adjustment, they can generally be corrected.
Telltale signs include lethargy, dull coat, and behavioral issues.
If these changes are seen, and the issue is coupled with the eating of dung, it can be assumed that there is something missing from the pup’s diet (that he is trying to source from feces).
A great first step is adding fiber to the diet.
Fiber is the cell wall of a plant and physically binds to matter in the intestinal tract, aiding with excretion.
This substance also assists in retaining nutrients and staying hydrated.
Pups have been known to have a number of dietary issues. Malabsorption is one of the easier conditions to pinpoint.
We all try to feed our dogs a healthy and balanced diet, so if something is not matching up (dull coat, glassy eyes, etc.), then malabsorption of nutrients may be the culprit.
When you are feeding your dog nutritiously, and still the pup defaults to eating poop, then this may be the source of the problem.
My pup faced this issue once, and it was resolved by making some small tweaks to the diet.
To handle this issue accordingly, training out the behavior must be done in conjunction with a nutritional shift.
Ensure proper hydration and intake of fiber as well as assessing supplements (if any).
Should your furry friend continue to seek out excrement to eat, it may be time to take a visit to the vet to ensure that any underlying issues can be resolved.
Having a well-balanced diet is not the entire battle, though it is a large part of the equation.
The issue had by many canines is the incomplete absorption of the nutrition provided.
While kibble is typically designed for optimal nutritive gain, many pet parents are wont to make home-cooked food for their pups.
Though this is a great option, it is important to note the different digestive needs of different breeds of dogs (and individual pups themselves).
If this is an issue, try blending the food finer before serving. This will assist in the pup gleaning the most out of his meals.
Should this not prove effective, a trip to the vet is in order.
#31 Incorrect Training
The positive impacts of training your pup are no secret. However, the chiral opposite is also true.
Especially with dogs that were adopted later in life, the longstanding impacts of poor training can cause plenty of behavioral problems.
These issues can manifest at any stage in life. From habits left unchecked to attitude issues, a lack of learning can lead to a bunch of issues.
If this is the situation that is causing your pup to eat poop, there is an easy solution.
Diligent training is in order for the pup. Ensuring a set schedule will be a great first step in achieving this end.
Related Reading: What Is The Fastest Way To Crate Train A Puppy?
#32 Smell May Be The Source
As most everyone knows, dogs have a terrific sense of smell. This powerful perception can help them learn and understand the world.
From identifying their surroundings to their families to their food, canines rely on odor as a means of identification.
One issue that can arise from this is the familiarity of the scent of their own feces.
Dogs are able to tell that they were the source of the excrement, and so they may assume that it is safe to consume.
Correcting the action and making clear that it is not okay will typically suffice as this is less of a habit and more of a confusion.
#33 Compete For Food With Their Littermates
Studies have shown that there are significant downsides to adopting two similarly aged pets at the same time.
Pups are born with the need to compete against their siblings for everything-food, attention, water, and homes.
This sort of competitive behavior can lead to consuming some strange matter (namely feces) in efforts to ‘win’ the competition.
For a young pup, the edible matter is an edible matter without differentiation.
The drive to gain as much as they can will often manifest by them eating poop, simply in the spirit of competition.
To mitigate this behavior, ensuring that each pup has its own area (with its own food, toys, etc..) will assist in preventing this issue in the future.
How to Stop a Puppy from Eating Poop?
So, now that you have a better idea of why your pup may be eating poop, how do you get them to stop?
There are a number of theories that have been tested with varying degrees of success. The correct method will depend on the dog in question.
Depending on whether the pup is old or young, new to the family or a seasoned member, the tactics required change drastically.
For as much as dogs have in common with one another, they have a world of differences.
Ultimately, as a pet parent, you will know what is the best form of recourse in this situation.
Ensure a Bad Taste
If the taste is what is drawing your pet to its poop, then the answer can be fairly simple. Though the modes of operation differ, the premise remains.
Basically, if the fecal matter is no longer desirable to the dog, it will not be eaten.
Due to the prevalence of this issue amongst canine companions, a number of products have made it to market to serve this exact purpose.
Old wife’s tales like adding pineapple to the diet have varied success in terms of deterring this action. Try and see what works.
The only issue with this method is that if the dog finds the scent undesirable after digestion, they are unlikely to enjoy the smell enough to eat the food containing it.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
While MSG has gotten a bad rap in the health food community, it has properties that can be of assistance in this regard.
Often referred to as sodium caseinate, this chemical is included in many dishes as a meat tenderizer.
Because of its sodium content, when it is used, hydration ought to be considered.
Otherwise, this salt is perfectly safe to consume in moderation (so long as table salt is not used in excess).
This method has been proven to reduce coprophagia in canines.
This simple white powder can be added to the food during cooking or before serving and will execute its role with ease.
Whether canine or human, one of the best deterrents of bad food habits is to ensure a proper diet.
When the pup is receiving balanced nutrition in plenty, there is less need to seek out other food sources.
Naturally, due to the differences between individual dogs’ constitutions, this will take some trial and error.
There are a number of differing opinions when it comes to the optimal canine diet.
Personally, I (while following my vet’s advice) like to stick with what my pets like to eat.
Ensuring proper uptake of nutrition and adequately spaced meals will facilitate a healthy approach to food (and help stop these furry friends from seeking out feces).
Obviously, for sanitary reasons, it is critical to keep the canine area clean. Though this fact is known to all pet parents, some of the implications are often forgotten.
Keeping the pup’s area sanitary is a critical step in preventing scent confusion in pets.
Ensuring that they know what area is theirs, and what its acceptable state is, will facilitate ease.
This ease will work towards preventing them from eating poop. Dogs want to please their families and we want to support them in doing this.
Keeping their area clean will help them do just that (and deter this unpleasant tendency).
Exercise And Stimulation
Boredom is truly the silent killer, and for puppies that require constant stimulation and intensive exercise, its impacts have unpleasant side effects.
If your pup is taking on this unfortunate habit (eating poop), it could be due to boredom.
While this is not a reflection on parenting style, it can be an indicator that physical exertion needs to be increased for the little one.
Adding half an hour of exercise a day can make a substantive difference and work to prevent these issues.
This is especially true for high energy dogs who crave movement.
Providing them with opportunities to release that stress and alleviate that boredom will assist in preventing the eating of poop.
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All domesticated animals are inherently social creatures.
This is another solution to the issue of boredom (especially when strenuous activities have been maximized).
Of course, if there is a physical issue underlying, this problem can be worsened. Dog parks are a great opportunity for socialization.
This outside contact comes with its downside since these parks also expose pets to a number of bacterial and parasitic vectors they would not otherwise have seen.
So long as the socialization is supervised (and you make sure that the pup does not eat strange poop), then the benefits of interaction can only be positive.
Don’t Over React
When disciplining a pup, parents neither want to come off as weak nor as excessively strict.
The balance can be tricky to find, but much of it lies in not overreacting to situations.
Excessive reactions in terms of tone, body language, and facial expression can serve to confuse a canine.
Keeping reactions calm and tone of voice under control is critical to training a well-adjusted pet.
Though a quick reaction to poor behavior is required, immediacy is not.
We are human, after all, and it is important to take a deep breath to remember the context of the situation before reacting.
Maintaining a cool head is a major factor in keeping a well-behaved pup.
Help Your Dog Reduce Stress
It is scientifically proven that dogs help alleviate the stress of their human companions. This, however, cannot be a one-way street.
The responsibility of the pet parent is to provide a safe, loving environment for the pup.
In this way, the relationship (in terms of stress relief) can be mutually beneficial. When dogs react to stress, types of manifestation can differ greatly.
For many, these tendencies can be destructive (eating poop or chewing upholstery).
In other cases, the issues are more internalized. Through continued affection, exercise, and consistency in the home, stress can be reduced (along with the bad habits it carries in tow).
Teach Your Dog the ‘Leave-it’ Command
Puppies want to please and to be our pals, but without training, they are in the dark as to how to go about achieving this goal.
Teaching commands gives canines the clarity they need in order to reduce stress and understand that they are doing things correctly.
The ‘leave-it’ or ‘don’t touch’ command is critical to a dog’s safety. It is best to train this command before issues begin.
In this way, dangerous material can be avoided and nasty habits can be prevented.
Should the issue of eating poop rear its head before the command has been taught, use it as an opportunity to instruct.
With clarity, more often than not, pups behaved.
Do Not Punish Your Dog
Though physically punishing a pet has largely fallen out of favor, its impacts are worth stating here.
While reinforcement (both positive and negative) has its place, the updated methods of execution are different from what they once were.
Physical punishment can, more often than not, serve to confuse a pup (not to mention break their trust in you).
Especially with health-related concerns, the instinct can be to use force to make clear that the action was wrong.
Caution is needed in this case, as the message will often get confused by the pup.
Instead, it is desirable to reward the absence of the behavior instead of punishing its presence.
Closely Supervise Your Pet’s Outdoor Time
Supervising outdoor time is instinct, though it can happen where the parent in charge is not sure what to look out for.
In the case of a pup who is wont to eat feces, it is best to stay close.
This way, once the dog defecates, the pet parent can react quickly (and before the problem is repeated).
Keeping disposal bags close by and treats on hand allow for minimal reaction time.
Using this technique, the issue can be reacted to calmly and in full control of the pet owner.
Reward Your Dog For Not Eating Poop
My pups are incredibly food focussed, so their rewards tend to be in the form of treats. Other methods of positive reinforcement include game time and socialization.
The specific form taken by the reward will change form depending on the needs (and mood) of the pup in question.
While providing a reward for inaction may seem silly, it is actually a very effective method of behavioral modification.
If you have ever tried to break a habit, you know how tricky it can be.
Rewarding the pup for not performing this act will solidify their understanding of it being faulty behavior.
Also, instead of associating it with negativity or fear, the reward will encourage them to listen in the future.
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Keep Your Dog On a Leash Whenever You Both Go for a Walk
Most places have well-enforced leash laws. This means that, outside of designated zones like dog parks, canines must remain on leashes when being walked.
However, there are still some places remaining where leash laws are either not enforced, or non-existent.
In these situations, often pet parents will take full advantage of the liberty. Freedom for dogs is good, right? Not always.
The distance between pup and parent, especially when training, can pose a number of issues to enforcing training rules.
Keeping the pet on a leash can provide quick opportunities for learning, and also works to enforce dominance of the pet parent.
Especially if it is a puppy, the dangers of the outside world are best kept at bay when the puppy parent is able to keep their little one close.
Offer Your Dog Pineapple or Pumpkin
There are some smells that, for pups, are only desirable pre-digestion. Of these ingredients, pineapple and pumpkin are vitamin-packed options.
The health benefits of eating these florae are only increased since dogs do not like the smell after they have been excreted.
Effectively, this works as a deterrent. Using this technique usually affords the opportunity to react to this habit in the desired manner.
Since dogs will not default to eating this matter right away, it provides a chance to use positive reinforcement for not showing the behavior.
The two tactics combined to provide a thorough disciplinary method to prevent this issue from recurring.
Divide Meals Into Smaller Portions and Feed Throughout the Day
What is often seen as a method of weight control, can actually work to improve self-control in pups.
Humans and canines are both mammals, and so a lot of our gastrointestinal systems have a lot in common.
One of the ways this shows itself to be true is through the benefit of eating many small meals throughout the course of the day.
Not only will this work to keep your dog fit by preventing overfilling, but it will work to teach them discipline.
Often, dogs will consume feces out of worry that there is too long between meals.
Since they are not equipped with proper cognitive methods of scheduling, eating poop can seem like a filling option.
Properly regulated and consistent meals throughout the day can mitigate this worry (and the unfortunate habit of eating poo).
Gate Off Litter Box Area
It is a frequent occurrence that, once a pup has begun the habit of eating poo, they will not stop at their own.
Especially in multi-pet homes, the need to keep little ones away from the excrement of others is clear.
Sometimes solutions are convoluted and take a great deal of effort and time management to execute properly.
Other solutions (like this one) are the definition of user-friendly simplicity. Cordoning off the feline litter area will physically bar the puppy from the entrance.
In this case, removing the access can actually remove the temptation itself.
These products are readily available and the time needed to set up is nothing compared to the time (and stress) it will prevent in the future.
Prevent Boredom With Engaging Toys
Puppy playthings have a positive impact on the early years in a dog’s life. Through the proper use of these items, dogs can learn healthy habits.
Not only do they work to keep puppies enthused, but they also have the effect of distracting the dog from less desirable behavior.
As the expression goes, ‘idle hands are the devil’s playthings’. For dogs, this is all the more true.
Even a few minutes of downtime can lead to poorly thought-through actions (like eating poop).
Finding the right toys for your pup is an adventure, though the rewards reaped, for both the pet and the parent, are significant.
Consult your Veterinarian
It is just as important for a dog to see a vet regularly as it is for a human to see a physician.
These professionals have studied for decades to learn the ins and outs of pet wellbeing.
Diligent pet parenting involves properly consulting professionals when needed.
In the event that your dog is not responding to the above solutions (or you are concerned that there is an underlying health issue), it is diligent to seek help from your family’s vet.
Taking this extra step provides reassurance that nothing has been missed and that your furry friend is at their optimal state of health.
When going to the vet, make sure to bring a record of the issues.
When approaching the vet, note what happened and when.
Bring along the dog’s schedule, foods, and medications in order to ensure that there is no issues in communication with the doggy doctor.
Which of These Applies to your Pup the Most?
It’s good to know that, when dealing with issues like pups eating poop, our pet parents are not alone.
Which of these reasons best shows why your dog has turned to dung? Did any of the reasons surprise you?
Let us know what you think in the comments. I know that learning these doggy details really reassured me.
It’s good to be aware that this strange behavior is actually quite common (and manageable).
If this article helped you relate to your furry friend a little bit better, share it, and let others know they are not alone.
Which worked for you? Do you have solutions to add to the list?
Give us a shout and tell us which of these solutions you tried.
My dogs mean the world to me, and it is great to know that, when pet parenting gets strange, the issues we face are actually very normal.
Other Puppy Behavior & Training Related Topics
1. 18 Great Ways To Challenge Your Dog’s Mind
2. Why My Dog Won’t Eat Her Food, But She’ll Beg For Ours?
3. Why Do Border Collies Lick Themselves?
4. Why Do Chihuahuas Bury Things?
5. When Your Puppy Won’t Eat?