Dogs are curious animals that use their nose and mouth to explore the world. But sometimes this curiosity makes them eat their own poop.
This nasty habit can be dangerous for their health, increasing the risk that they develop parasites. Here’s how you can keep your puppy away from their poo.
Many dogs pick up the habit of poop eating quite early. They’ll eat their own poop, as well as that of dogs and other animals.
The exact reasons for this behavior are not known. It may be that the puppies are populating their gut with healthy bacteria by picking them up from poop. Mothers may eat poop around their puppies as a way of cleaning up.
In most cases, puppies will start to grow out of this behavior after around a year. Here are some reasons they may continue to eat poop:
Although most dogs will grow out of poop eating as they grow up, some will keep the habit. It’s important that you get a handle on it as soon as possible, as poop eating can put your dog’s health at risk.
There are a wide range of dangerous parasites that can be transmitted through feces. Even if the poop doesn’t contain any parasites, it can cause your dog to have digestive problems.
Fortunately, there are a few easy things you can do to keep your dog from eating poop.
Don’t Give Them Attention
Many puppies will eat poop as a way of getting your attention. They know that if they eat poop you’ll chase after them, which your dog may enjoy.
If you catch your dog eating poop, don’t chase after them wildly, and try not to make eye contact. You don’t want them to think that they have your attention. Instead, clap loudly or speak in a loud voice to interrupt them, and then leave them alone.
Let Them Play
Puppy poop eating is often a sign that they are bored. They may turn to whatever they can find to keep themselves entertained.
Try to make sure that your puppy gets at least 30 minutes of play per day so that they can burn off any extra energy. You can also take them on walks twice per day.
You can also keep them busy by giving them plenty of toys. Make sure that they have one in reach when they’re outside. Instead of playing around with poop, they’ll have a toy that they can chew on.
Keep Them Away From Poop
If your puppy has a nose for poop, try to keep them away from it when you can. Keep them on a short leash when you walk, tugging gently at their collar whenever they try to smell poop.
Pick up their poop quickly when you walk them and ask them to sit and stay. If they obey, give them plenty of praise and a treat to reward them for their good behavior.
You can also keep them on a leash when you take them to poop in the yard. Avoid any risk by picking up their poop, and try to keep them away from the area where they go to the bathroom.
Check Your Dog’s Food
Poop eating may happen when food is not fully processed. Your dog will eat their waste to try to get more nutrients from the food.
If you notice that your dog’s poop looks like it still has food in it, you may need to switch them to a food that’s easier for them to digest.
Speak to your vet about good alternatives that will be gentler on your dog’s digestive tract. You can also check to see if your dog has any food allergies, which could be interfering with their digestion.
Look Out For Parasites
If your dog has a nasty poop eating habit, you should keep an eye out for parasites. These can interfere with their digestion, and they may not end up getting all of the nutrients they need.
Check their stool for any obvious signs of parasites. If you notice any small flecks that look like grains of rice, this could be a sign that they have tapeworms or another type of parasite.
Take a sample to your vet so that they can diagnose the parasite and give your dog the treatment they need.
Keep Them Away From Litter Boxes
Dogs tend to have a nose for litter boxes. Even with the right training, it can be difficult to keep them away.
To keep your dog from eating poop out of the litter box, try to clean it often so that there’s nothing to tempt them. You can also get a litter box that has a cover that only your cat can get through.
You should also consider gating off the area where you keep the cat box. This will keep your dog from sniffing around, and it can also prevent a big mess.
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