Have you ever found your dog eating poop? Let’s face it, it can be a pretty disgusting thing to witness as a pet owner. And the worst part is dogs actually seem to enjoy eating their own poop!
As weird as this may sound, dogs eating their own feces is a common dog habit. We know – it’s disgusting. Thankfully, we have the answer as to why dogs eat poop – or at least, researchers and scientists do.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
So, what makes our beloved fur babies eat poop? According to studies, dogs are picky when it comes to eating poop. Any old poo will simply not do. It needs to be fresh for our pups to get excited about eating it.
This behavior originated in the dog’s wolf ancestors. It is linked to parasite prevention. Wolves eat their fresh poop to reduce the risk of getting intestinal parasites such as tapeworms and roundworms.
Dogs Aren’t the Only Animals That Do This
This weird habit of poo eating, also known as coprophagia can also be found in different mammals. Rabbits, elephants, beavers and other mammals do it too. Apparently, they look at it as a second chance to extract nutrients from their diet.
Could Eating Poop Signal a Health Issue?
It is weird when you think about it. For domestic dogs, eating their poop is a sign of nutritional deficiency in their diet. This can be caused by either starvation or disease.
Now, we get it. Your dog is healthy, not starved and according to your vet, there is no nutrient deficiency. So, why do they still eat their own poop? Well, there’s research that suggests puppies have adopted this trait from their mothers who lick and eat their puppies poop.
They’ll Probably Grow Out of It
Do not worry though, most healthy domesticated pups grow out of this poop-eating stage by the time they reach 9 months of age.
So, yes, it’s a somewhat common behavior. And if your pup does it every now and then, there’s probably not much to worry about. However, if your dog is eating poop frequently and/or it’s a habit they don’t seem to grow out of, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian on what you can do to prevent this.