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Why dogs eat cat poop?

(July 12, 2010)

Believe it or not there is a medical term for this condition. Yes, it actually is very common among canines, and this dog behavior problem is termed as Coprophagia. A dog eating poop is in fact an eating disorder, sharing ranks with other eating disorders such as anorexia, pica, or even gorging.

The question of how to stop a dog from eating poop is one that is frequently raised, but you first need to ask yourself, ‘why do dogs eat their poop, and why do dogs eat cat poop in particular?’ Strange as it may seem, there is actually a very logical explanation for this behavior. There are in fact a number of plausible causes that you will need to identify or seek the help of your veterinarian for a more accurate diagnosis.

Here are some of the theories and explanations for why dogs eat poop that could help you stop your dog from eating poop:

The simplest explanation is that your dog might simply be hungry and may not have access to food. Sometimes dogs tend to eat their own feces simply to clean up the area, particularly if they’re housed in a small enclosure. If your dog has a genetic predisposition to simply carry poop around in his mouth and eat it then the only thing you can do is attempt to train him. Sometimes a dog may eat it’s own poop if suffering from an infestation of parasitic worms. It does this to compensate for the lost nutrients, that normally are excreted if not absorbed. Dogs have been found to have a marked preference for cat poop largely because their feces tends to have a high protein content. A dog eating cat poop may also be common if there are nutrients and minerals present in the cat poop that are lacking in the dog’s diet, or cannot be easily absorbed.

At times a dog eating poop may be a sign of neglect, and this would be a severe behavioral problem as in children, stemming from abuse or neglect. Stress or anxiety could also drive the dog to eating poop. Dog’s can be like naughty children and if scolded for pooping on the rug, the next time it may be eating poop just to hide the evidence. Puppies often eat poop, but they usually grow out of it and it is perfectly normal for the mother to eat poop to keep the den clean. The dog may also simply learn this behavior, mimicking your habit of picking up his poop. Very often dogs eat poop because their diet is faulty and the dog may not be able to absorb most of the nutrients, with them being excreted.
The only way to stop a dog from eating poop is by removing the cause, if possible. In other cases the dog may need behavioral counseling or training, and it would be best to consult your veterinarian for any further advice.
Submitted by N M on July 12, 2010 at 05:18


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