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If your dog is eating poop, you’re probably not only grossed out by it but you’re likely also genuinely wondering why he’s doing that.
Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon behavior. Lots of dogs seem to really enjoy the flavor.
So, in this article we’ll go over the best ways to stop your dog from eating poop.
But before we get there, it’s important to understand why your dog shows this behavior in the first place.
Why Is My Dog Obsessed with Eating Poop?
Dogs are so cute and so much fun. Your dog is your best friend, and you love him so much!
But once in a while (or maybe more frequently), your dog does something truly bizarre. Dogs are very different from humans, and one of the many things that might boggle your mind is poop eating.
If your dog is eating poop, then you might be super confused. Why is he doing something so gross?
There are a few reasons why your dog might be eating poop that we’ll get into here. You might also want to check out these related articles:
- 9 Tip to Keep Dogs Out of the Trash
- How to Stop a Dog from Eating Everything on Walks
- Why Do Dogs Roll in Poop or Dead Animals?
Dogs are actually really intuitive animals. Your dog can feel for himself when he’s not getting the nutrients that he needs.
Unfortunately, your dog doesn’t necessarily know the right ways to get these missing nutrients. And if you’re not giving him what he needs, then he’ll try to take the problem into his own paws.
If your dog is eating things he isn’t supposed to, he may have a condition called pica. This is a compulsive behavior that’s usually the sign of a psychological issue. But it can also be a sign that your dog is missing some necessary nutrients in his regular diet.
He Likes the Flavor
Yeah… it’s gross!
But for some dogs, it’s just what the case is! Some dogs genuinely like the taste of poop, which is why they keep trying to eat it…
So why do dogs like it?
Well, if your dog is being fed too close to his own poop, then he may start associating those two smells with each other.
When dogs are puppies, sometimes their mothers will eat their poop as a way to keep them clean. Your dog’s mama may have then regurgitated some food that mixed up with the poop. This can encourage your dog to eat poop later in life.
Plus, dogs have a very strong sense of smell. That means they can distinguish different individual smells. And something in that poop might just smell yummy.
Ever head the saying “a tired dog is a happy dog”? Or “a tired dog is a good dog”?
Well, a bored dog is the opposite of that.
Dogs that are bored will find their own ways to entertain themselves. And for some dogs, eating poop is what’s entertaining.
If your dog feels like he isn’t getting the attention he wants from you, then he may eat poop to try and get it. If you’ve shown him in the past that he’ll get a reaction from you when he eats poop, even a negative one, then that just reinforces the behavior!
Stress or Anxiety
For some dogs, eating their own poop might feel like self-soothing behavior. It’s a way for them to feel better if they’re stressed or anxious.
But sometimes the cause of your dog’s anxiety could be the poop itself. If your dog has been punished for pooping in the house, then he might eat the poop to avoid that punishment.
When you’re training your dog, the best way to do it is by using positive reinforcement. This basically means ignoring behavior you don’t want to continue and rewarding behavior you do.
This is the safest way to train your dog since it uses no adverse methods. It will also help to keep the bond between you strong.
How to Stop a Dog from Eating Poop
Knowing the reasons why your dog is eating poop is good. But it’s only half the battle! Now let’s get into how you can help your dog stop eating poop.
Make Sure He Gets All the Nutrients
Just like you, your dog needs several nutrients to stay healthy and happy. Making sure that your dog’s diet contains all the nutrients that he needs is incredibly important.
Knowing how to read dog food labels is the best way to ensure that you’re getting your dog the nutrients that he needs.
If you’re still not sure that your dog is getting what he needs out of his diet, then you can pay a visit to your vet to get some advice. Your vet will also be able to check that there’s not a more serious issue going on that’s causing your dog to be missing nutrients.
Try a Different Kind of Food
You should always make sure that your dog’s food is of high-quality. This will help to make sure that your dog is getting everything he needs out of his diet.
You might also want to consider something other than dry food if all you’re feeding your dog is kibble. Feeding your dog raw is one option, but you have to make sure you’re giving him food that’s safe.
Another option is feeding him fresh cooked food. This gives you far more control over what your dog is eating.
There are also plenty of companies that make fresh cooked food for your dog. Check out the best dog food delivery services for fresh cooked food if this is an option you’re considering.
Figure Out What Kind of Poop He Eats
The type of poop that your dog is eating could tell you a lot about why he’s eating it in the first place. This, in turn, can help you figure out what to do to help him stop.
If your dog is eating his own poop, then he could be attention-seeking or trying to prevent future punishment.
If he’s eating other animals’ poop, then it could be that he just enjoys the taste of it—as gross as that is to us! Or that he’s in fact missing some nutrients.
Don’t Give Him Any Access to Poop
A lot of the time, preventing bad behavior in your dog means setting him up for success. If you know that your dog has a bad habit of eating poop, then restricting his access will help him stop doing it.
That means supervising your dog while he’s outside to stop him eating poop. You should also make sure to clean his own poop up right away once he does his business.
On Walks: Train Him to Focus on You
There’s a lot going on during walks. So many sights to see, smells to sniff, and—yup, poop to eat.
If your dog tends to eat poop while you’re walking, then training him to focus on you can help. Do this by training your dog to look at you, and rewarding him whenever he chooses to pay attention to you rather than eating things he shouldn’t.
Does Pumpkin Help Dogs to Stop Eating Poop?
Some people find success feeding a tablespoon or so of pumpkin to their dogs when they’re looking to stop them from eating their own poop.
Pumpkin is super tasty, and also has a wealth of benefits for your dog. This includes helping his immune system, getting him healthy nutrients, and helping to keep him hydrated.
But many dogs don’t like the taste of pumpkin when it’s in their own feces. That means it can be a great way to help prevent them from eating their poop!
Does Garlic Help Dogs to Stop Eating Poop?
Just like pumpkin, adding some garlic to your dog’s food can help prevent him from eating his poop later.
Like pumpkin, garlic has lots of other benefits for your dog. Garlic is antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic. It can also help to lower your dog’s blood pressure, and can support your dog’s overall gut health.
Adding it to your dog’s diet can also help prevent fleas and ticks.
Poop Eating Deterrents for Dogs
One of the best ways to set your dog up for success is by monitoring him while he’s outside. But this isn’t always possible. In these cases, giving your dog deterrents that will keep him from wanting to eat poop will help.
As we’ve already discussed, garlic and pumpkin are both great ways to prevent your dog from eating poop. There are also many deterrents available through pet stores that you can purchase.
But a lot of deterrents are already available to you in your own pantry! Camomile, yucca, parsley, and derivatives form pepper plants are just a few examples.
If you’re thinking of adding some of these deterrents to your dog’s diet, just make sure to discuss it with your vet first. Your vet will help you determine if it’s safe to give your dog these foods. They’ll also be able to take a look at your dog and make sure there’s not another underlying medical issue causing your dog to eat poop.
But remember, this only works if your dog likes eating his own poop.
Dogs can definitely exhibit some behaviors that are pretty confusing to us. One of these things could be poop eating.
If your dog is eating poop, then not only is it gross. It could also be the sign of a medical problem, or that your dog isn’t getting what he needs out of his diet.
The best way to help your dog is to figure out why he’s eating poop in the first place. Then you can start implementing the best solutions for you and your dog.