The ingestion of feces is known as Coprophagia, whether it is that which belongs to themselves or another being. It is common in many species. However, even if a common behavior, it can create feelings of repulsion in canine caregivers. Also, you should know that a dog eating their feces is putting themselves at risk of various health problems, particularly encouraging the growth of harmful bacteria and introducing parasites into the digestive system. So, what causes dogs to eat their excrement?
To determine the cause of this behavior, it will be essential to pay attention to the age of the dog, the animal’s welfare the hours they spend alone, their state of health and when they ingest the feces. If you think your dog may be doing it when you’re not around, you can place a camera somewhere suitable to observe their behavior.
1 Puppies Eating Feces
At this stage, it is normal for dogs to experiment with boundaries, including eating their feces. It is important to keep the environment clean and not punish them. It usually stops after time and scolding them can be counterproductive.
2 Mother Eating Excrement of Their Puppies
Once again this is normal behavior. Lactating females ingest feces of their puppies to keep their nests clean and it’s not a negative behavior to be avoided. But we should still keep the area clean. It is advisable to let them continue this behavior to not cause some stress.
3 Diseases and Health Problems
Some pathologies can cause adult dogs to ingest feces of themselves or others. The behavior may be caused by intestinal malabsorption syndrome or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency among others. It is important to highlight the need to take care of our dog, take them to the vet, and ensure this behavior is not due to an underlying condition.
4 Seeking Attention
A lack of attention, play and affection can lead a dog to ingest feces. They do so that we might pay attention to them even if they expect punishment from doing so.
5 Lack of Stimulation and Loneliness
A dog should not spend more than between 6 and 8 hours alone. Also, they need sufficient walks, exercise, exploring environments, playing with toys, receiving affection and more. Without them, behavioral problems such as ingestion of stool can occur.
6 Use of Punishment
If we punish our dogs when they defecate in the home, they might eat it to avoid our anger. It is a very negative situation for the dog, which also weakens our bond, so we must avoid such negative punishment.
7 Stress and Anxiety
Anxiety and stress often lead to various behavioral problems including Coprophagia.
8 Dogs Eating Feces of Other Animals
It is common for dogs to ingest feces from other animals such as cats, rabbits, rats, and horses among others. For them, the feces of other individuals can seem especially appetizing. However, while horse feces do not usually cause digestive alterations, cat feces can be harmful as there can be a form of contagion of some pathologies and parasites.
9 Lack of Hygiene in the Home
If your dog is especially clean, they may decide to eat their feces to prevent their habitat from being dirty.
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