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Why Do Dogs… Eat Poop?

guilty pugIt may not be a pleasant topic, but it’s not uncommon for pet owners to complain about their dog eating feces. The technical name for this behavior is Coprophagia, and it can refer to a dog eating its own feces or that of another animal (cat boxes are often prime targets). So, why on earth would a dog want to engage in such a gross habit? Below are three possible explanations:

1. Nutritional deficiency: This is the most common explanation for feces eating among canines. Dogs may eat feces to make up for a lack of iron or other important minerals in their diet.

2. Hunger: While there are no scientific studies to prove this, some veterinary professionals suggest that hungry dogs are more likely to participate in coprophagia than well fed (or recently fed) dogs.

3. Just for fun: As gross as it sounds, some dogs just like the smell or taste of feces. If they have access to it, they might eat it once to check it out or make it a regular habit.

If your dog regularly engages in Coprophagia, consult with a veterinarian for advice. Dietary changes or over-the-counter Coprophagia medication may help deter this behavior.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Audie kewcharoen July 22, 2015, 6:38 am

    Great article to read. Thankyou.

  • James R, Collins, D.V.M. July 22, 2015, 8:42 am

    In many pet dogs, adding tomato products, tomato paste, etc., will assist in controlling coprophagia.

  • Laraine carpenter March 14, 2016, 11:43 am

    Will tomatoes help with this problem?

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