Can a dog get sick from eating its own poop?
Not only do dogs eat their own stools, but they often like the feces of cats, birds, deer, rabbits and other animals.
Coprophagia is usually harmless, but can sometimes spread an infectious disease or parasite to your dog.
It can also cause gastroenteritis that results in vomiting and diarrhea.
Dogs sometimes eat poop out of boredom, for attention, to avoid punishment, or due to health issues.
However, stool eating, also known as coprophagy, is actually quite normal behavior for a puppy.
She does this both to keep the "den" clean and to protect the puppies from predators that might be drawn by the scent.
Perhaps the best way to stop the problem is through training and environmental management methods, including:
- Keep the dog's living area clean, including the yard, so there will be no poops for him to pick up.
- Cat owners should keep that litter box clean or out of the dog's reach.
Domestic dogs, which can also be avid eaters of poop, have been found to turn to poop eating due to nutritional deficiencies in their diets caused by starvation or disease, prior research has suggested.
However, that doesn't explain why otherwise healthy dogs would develop a taste for waste.
According to the American Animal Hospital, it is normal for a canine to defecate within a short period of time after eating a meal.
Going No. 2 should happen at least once each day to keep a dog on a healthy potty schedule.
Some dogs will poop more than once per day.
Do-it-yourself suggestions to help you stop your dog from eating his own poop include:
- Coat stools with hot sauce or lemon juice. Add a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin to his food bowl each day.
- Add meat tenderizer to your dog's food (it will make the dog waste taste VERY bad).
- Keep waste picked up on a regular basis.
Many believe it's instinctual behavior, harkening back to the days when your dog's wild ancestors would mask their scent to help them sneak up on their prey.
Wolves, for example, have been observed rolling in animal carcasses or the droppings of plant-eating animals, to cover up their own smell during the hunt.
Stop Your Dog's Territorial Marking Inside
- Spay or Neuter your dog.
- Vet check to rule out sickness.
- 3. Make sure he's getting enough potty breaks.
- If he is marking in just one spot repeatedly: Soak the area with pet urine enzyme cleaner and let it fully dry.
- If he is marking in multiple spots inside: Get a bandana and put some of his urine on it.