General Question

wodowd's avatar

Why do dogs eat feces?

Asked by wodowd (147points) January 2nd, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

3 Answers

brownlemur's avatar

Ahhh, coprophagy…. Many animals reingest their feces to extract nutrients from the food that they didn’t get the first time. Rabbits are the prime example of this, along with many other folivorous (leaf-eating) mammals. I’m not sure if dogs do it because of this or because they just like to eat stinky things. Many animals that do not exhibit coprophagy in the wild will eat their own feces in captivity. This may be a result of psychological stress on the animal, and such stresses cause stereotypical captive behaviors (stereotypies), like eating feces, pulling out hair, and the pacing back and forth seen often in the big cats at zoos (next time you go to the zoo watch the cats pace all day long, it’s sad). I hope this kind of helps.

syz's avatar

brownlemur is correct, it can be caused by either physical or behavioral issues. You should at least consider having a fecal exam run to check for parasites – many dogs will eat feces due to a nutrient deficiency brought on by intestinal parasites.

If it is a behavioral problem and it is his own feces that he is eating, there is a product called Forbid that you sprinkle on the dog’s food. It apparently makes the poop taste bad (hard to imagine that it could get worse). Rumor has it that the same ingredient is present in meat tenderizer.

05doberman's avatar

Dogs that eat their poop can do this for 2 reasons.
1— if they eat really fast it does not fully digest in the stomach & comes out almost same as it went in…. you can put a large rock or ball in the food bowl -so they have to slow down to eat the food around it.

2— they are copying what the mother dog did to keep the “den” clean, moms often eat the poop of the puppies to keep a clean den.
You should research your dog food a little more how much fiber & protein is in your brand? more fiber & less protein may help stop this behavior.
***Also Add pineapple pieces to the dog food.
I saw this problem addressed on animal planet with Victoria Stillwell. It works!!!!
You can sccop the poop before your dog has a chance to eat it too.

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