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Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Dogs tend to eat some weird things from time to time, but occasionally they may get into something truly nasty - poop, whether it’s another dog’s or their own.

Many people are concerned that, if their dog eats poop, they’ll get sick. Though eating poop (also known as coprophagia) is not necessarily harmful to your pup, there are some specific reasons that dogs may eat poop that is related to potential medical problems.

Here are some of those reasons and the best ways to get your dog to stop eating poop.

Medical Reasons That Explain Why Dogs Eat Poop

Malabsorption

This term is used to describe when the body is unable to properly absorb nutrients. This is caused by many different factors and can lead dogs to search for nutrients elsewhere, like poop.

Poor Quality Diet with Nutritional Deficiencies

Poor diet in a dog can lead to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, causing dogs to seek out alternative nutritional sources, like poop.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This is an intestinal disease that causes diarrhea and cramps and can lead dogs to eat poop. Why this can cause dogs to eat poop is unknown, though stress may play a part in it. 

Parasites

Many internal parasites will feed off the nutrients absorbed by your dog, leading them to try to replace those nutrients by eating poop.

Enzyme Deficiency

In rare cases, dogs have a deficiency that prevents them from properly processing their food, leading to poor digestion and malabsorption.

Diseases or Medications That Increase Appetite

Some diseases and medications can increase your dog’s appetite, leading them to eat poop to try and right that hunger.

Weight Control Diets

When dogs gain extra weight and are at the risk of obesity, their owners may want to put them on a weight control diet. These can cause them to seek other options, like poop, to fulfill that desire to eat. 

Prevent Coprophagia in Dogs

To keep your dog healthy, you’ll need to do more than just take them for regular checkups and feed them. You’ll also need to give them chances to exercise their body and mind and stay consistent. Dogs love to follow a routine, so sticking to one can lead to a more predictable and calm dog. 

Put in the time with your dog to make sure they get plenty of regular activity and if you want to ensure that they feel healthy and keep them away from poop, consider adding a daily probiotic to their life.

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