We humans find it quite disgusting when a dog eats feces. The act of dogs eating feces is called coprophagia and is considered normal behavior to a certain extent in dogs and other animal species. Although it may not be a pleasant sight for you as a dog owner, there is no reason to punish your dog or puppy for it. This can lead to other behavioral problems later on and do more harm than good.
Many experts believe that dogs or puppies eat feces to build up their own intestinal flora. Recently whelped female dogs eat their puppies’ feces to keep the whelping area clean.
Dog eating feces – a natural behavior In some cases, eating feces is quite a normal behavior. In the first few days and weeks after giving birth, the mother dog eats the offspring’s excretions for hygienic reasons in order to keep the whelping area as clean as possible. This behavior is often observed when dogs are kept in poor conditions in kennels. In addition, the volatile fatty acids in dog feces do not smell disgusting to puppies and adult dogs but rather tempting.
Other reasons why dogs eat feces If your dog is already fully grown and the hygienic conditions are satisfactory, there may be other possible causes. If your dog is often alone at home, undergoes strict training, experiences stress or is overwhelmed, all of these factors can lead to feces eating.
Advertisement When a dog eats feces, it can also be an indication of a pancreatic disease, which should be evaluated by a veterinarian. Nutritional deficiencies, other digestive system disorders, and parasite infestation should also be investigated.
It is also possible that your dog has learned this behavior to gain your attention. Lack of training and bad habits should be considered as behavioral factors. As a dog owner, you are responsible because your dog is eating feces to get your attention. You should counteract this bad habit with plenty of mental and physical stimulation.
On the other hand, dogs that are physically exerted may try to quickly compensate for energy loss by consuming feces. In this case, you should ensure that your dog is provided with sufficient food for energy gain. Once your active dog has developed the habit of searching for food itself, it will be very difficult to break that habit.
If your beloved pet comes from an animal shelter or rescue organization, it is possible that the previous owner mistreated it or did not feed the animal regularly.