Why Do Dogs Have the Behavior of Eating Poop

A dog is considered to be a man’s best friend. So, when a dog-owner sees his beloved pet chomping at poop, he begins to wonder why.

First of all, it has to be understood that although a dog is a very good companion, it is still an animal, not a human. Yes, it is repugnant to see your beloved pet eating poop heartily, but most animals like to eat what smells good to them. Some beetles eat dung and young elephants eat their mother’s feces. This also applies to your dog. The condition wherein a dog eats its own feces is called Canine Coprophagia which, in layman’s terms, means eating excrement or feces. Why do dogs do it? Poop Donations

Dogs have it in their genes. Wolves, the ancestors of domesticated dogs, lived in packs. These animals were scavengers which practically ate anything they found such as left-over food, dead animals, and poop of different animals.

Dogs eat poop due to lack of nutrients. When an animal is done digesting the food it ate, remnants are automatically ejected from the body as excrement or feces. Feces have been found to retain 50% of the nutrients of the actual food, so, basically, it is still nutritious. So, if you find your dog eating feces, check its diet. It may be losing out on important nutrients that its body needs. Another reason is that it may lack vitamin B1 in its diet which has been found to cause Coprophagia.

Dogs eat poop due to “learned behavior”. When a dog poops inside the house, the owner usually punishes it by rubbing the dog’s nose into its feces. The dog, being an intelligent animal, misinterprets it as “If you do it again, you have to eat it,” so, to avoid punishment, that is what the dog does the next time it poops-eat the poop so there’s no proof.

Dogs eat poop to clean up. Mother dogs want a clean place for its puppies so it eats the newborn puppies’ poop. In the wild, mother dogs do that to hide the scent of its young from would-be predators. So, in a way, the puppies acquire that behavior too. Notice how clean the puppies’ cages are in a pet shop? It’s because the puppies eat their poop.

Dogs eat poop to satisfy their curiosity. Just like a human baby, a puppy likes to put things in its mouth out of curiosity. Finding that the poop is agreeable to its palate, the puppy continues to eat any feces it finds.

Dogs eat poop because of boredom. Some dogs are left alone the whole day without dogs or playmates so for lack of nothing to do, dogs eat their feces to make use of their time.


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