If you have witnessed your pooch eating feces, then you were probably shocked. Why in the world would a dog want to eat poop? There are many theories on why dogs take part in what is known as coprophagia, or the act of eating feces. There are methods you can try to discourage the habit; but, it can be hard coming up with a treatment plan when you don’t know what is causing the problem.

First of all, you should know that your dog is not the only one taking part in this habit. Numerous dogs do the same thing; it is just not something that dog owners like to discuss. There are theories why your dog eats his own, or the cat’s, feces; but, none have been thoroughly researched thus far. It still may help to understand the possible reasons your dog is munching.

It is natural for female dogs to eat their puppies’ feces. Some say that it is a way for the mother to keep the area clean, while others say that it is to get rid of odors that may attract the attention of a predator. Because of this natural instinct, many female dogs continue with the habit long after the pups have grown.

Some people claim that a dog that eats feces is making up for something that he is lacking in his diet. Although this hasn’t been proved, it is true that hungry dogs will resort to eating feces. Depending on the quality of his dog food, in many cases the poop tastes similar to the food. A hungry dog doesn’t care about the difference.

Dogs have also been known to develop this bad behavior because of human behavior. For instance, your dog sees you dispose of his waste, so he also tries to dispose of it. Or, a dog that lacks attention may eat the feces to get your attention, especially if this act has gained him attention in the past. If a dog soils an area in your home, then he may try to clean up the evidence before you find out. This behavior can result from owners who have exhibited anger towards their dogs for soiling problems in the past. This is why proper and positive housetraining is so highly valued. There are many other speculations on why dogs eat feces, and boredom is known to be a contributing factor.

No matter what the cause of your dog’s problem, there are some things you can do to try to discourage the behavior. First of all, make sure your pooch is getting plenty of food. Lower-quality foods require that your dog consume more in order to get the nutrients he needs, while high-quality foods are just the opposite. If he seems hungry, then feed him more. Secondly, give your pooch lots of time and attention. Play with him often. If you are in the backyard and he heads straight for a dung pile, then distract him in other ways. Throw his a Frisbee or play fetch. If you reward him and distract him enough from the feces, then he may eventually forget about it. Thirdly, you need to make sure that your dog has a clean living environment. Even if he is kept outside, his living area should be cleaned regularly. A dog that feels like his home is being overrun by feces may eat the feces just to clean up. If you are unsure what to do, then speak with your veterinarian. Many vets recommend food additives that make the feces less appealing to the dog. Always speak to a vet before adding any kind of chemical to your dog’s food.

If your dog eats your cat’s feces, then it may be because of similar reasons why he eats his own. Often, once a dog gets a taste that he likes, he will continue to search for that easy-to-acquire treat. Unfortunately, the presence of a dog near a litter box can prevent a cat from using the litter box. Then, you have more than one feces problem on your hands. If your dog has discovered the litter box, then it’s time to move it out of his reach. Place it in a high area or an area that is blocked off by a baby or pet gate. You can also place it in a small area where your dog can’t fit. Make sure your cat has easy access to the box. It should never be hard for her to use the bathroom.

Don’t be ashamed of your feces-eating dog; it is actually a common behavior. Since the cause of coprophagia is still unknown, it can be hard to find a solution. You may need to try numerous things before you find one that works. You should always keep your pet’s area clean and provide him with enough food and attention. If your dog has resorted to eating from your cat’s litter box, then you need to move the litter box to a place where your cat has access to it but your dog doesn’t. With help from your vet, you can be able to overcome the problem.

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