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Why Dogs Eat Poop

yellow Labrador retriever face

It's by far the most unpleasant bad habit that some dogs acquire and if you're a dog park regular, you've probably had the misfortune of witnessing it - poop eating aka, coprophagia.

It's a serious enough condition to warrant scientific studies. In fact, a recent University of California study of coprophagia in dogs determined that those dogs tend to be greedy eaters, live in multi-dog households and prefer fresh poop under two days old. Researchers also found that neither commercial deterrent products nor behavior modification training are effective in curbing poop eating behavior.

Expert consensus seems to be that this malodorous syndrome can be either behavioral or dietary related. The behavioral camp attributes the cause to stressed-out dogs who've been punished for errant pooping. They know it's wrong, but sometimes can't help themselves and basically gobble up the evidence.  

Another behavioral theory is that confined and bored dogs eat poop because they are kind of losing their minds, like prisoners in solitary confinement often do. Whatever the case may be, a properly trained dog is much less likely to resort to this aberrant behavior.

Those who espouse dietary deficiencies to be the root of this bizarre syndrome maintain that poop-eaters aren't getting enough digestive enzymes in their diets, something that feces are chock full of.

This is why raw-fed dogs rarely resort to this nasty habit. Understand that a raw diet is not only loaded with natural digestive enzymes, it also contains the high levels of microbes necessary to regenerate beneficial bacteria in the gut. Kibble delivers neither.

The point is: dogs don't eat poop because they like they taste, their body is sending them a message that their digestive system is out of whack; the gut needs help breaking down the food into proteins and vitamins.

As a responsible dog-owner you should do everything within your power to protect your dog from this disgusting addiction. The good news is that with proper training and a balanced raw diet, you'll never share your roof with a poop-eater.

 

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