Learn About Coprophagia From A Canine Veterinarian
This helpful and informative YouTube video introduces you to a new term coprophagia.
Coprophagia is the medical term for poop eating their own poop or the poop of other animals.
This term applies equally to dogs, cats, and other pets. In the rest of this article, we will talk about the many reasons why you might catch your German Shepherd eating their own stool.
Why Do Dogs Eat Their Puppy Poop
Mother dogs frequently eat their puppies poop to keep their den spotless. It also protects puppies from predators that might be attracted to the smell of the poop. Since puppies dont know any better, they imitate their mothers behavior. Puppies who eat poop are simply following their moms lead!
Add More Excitement To Your Dogs Life
Your dog may also eat poop out of loneliness or simple boredom.
German Shepherds are extremely intelligent working dogs that have been bred for more than a century to work hard at difficult, demanding, and sometimes dangerous jobs.
This is why GSDs can be difficult to keep as pet dogs, especially if they dont get enough daily exercise, playtime, and training because their owners are at school or at work and dont have a lot of free time.
Your dog may be bored and lonely and acts out because eating poop is something to do to fill the time.
You may find that adding more canine athletics, taking your dog for more walks, adding some additional playtime, and using more puzzle toys and treat toys work to tire out your dog and keep poop eating behavior at bay.
Remember, above all else, your German Shepherd dog wants your attention, time, and love. More of you often equals less eating poop.
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Forced And Restricting Confinement
German Shepherds need space. This is why we highly recommend owning a GSD only if you have a large living space and preferably a yard.
Restricting a GSDs space can lead to poop eating behavior. This is very common in GSDs that have been rescued after spending time in a crowded shelter.
For more information on German Shepherd space requirements, check out this great article that we have for you right here.
Your Dog Has Parasites
When your dog has parasites, they are essentially eating for the parasites as well as for their own health and nutrient needs.
Unfortunately, eating poop is one of the primary ways that a dog can pick up parasites like hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm in the first place, as Vetz Insight explains.
Even if you dont see other evidence that your German Shepherd has parasites, if your dog starts to eat poop more frequently, it is time to get your veterinarian to do a fecal culture.
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Why Does My German Shepherd Puppy Eat His Own Poop
Medical Reasons That Cause Poop Eating in Dogs Malabsorption diseases Such as EPI, will cause your dog to slowly starve since they cant absorb nutrients from their food. Medical conditions causing increased appetite Diabetes or Cushings disease are health problems that can drive your dog to become a poop eater.
Why does my dog eat his own poop? The behavioral condition where dogs eat their own poop is called Coprophagia, and it is actually a lot more common than you may think. There is not one specific reason why your dog eats poop, but most cases can be narrowed down to a few.
Do German Shepherds eat their poop?
How to stop my German Shepherd Dog from eating his poop? How to Stop My German Shepherd Dog from Eating His Poop Make sure your dog eats a high quality, complete dog food at least twice daily as recommended by your vet. Keep your dogs living environment clean and free of feces. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise and attention.
Why do mother dogs clean their puppies? For the first month, the mother dog will clean by licking the feces residue off the puppies. So in this case, it is not a psychological or physiological issue that is causing this temporary coprophagia. It is animal instincts inherited through all the years of evolution.
Identify The Reason For Your Dogs Behavior
The key to an effective solution is identifying the problem.
Why is your German Shepherd buddy feasting on disgusting feces?
Is he eating enough? And getting all the nutrients that his body needs? Are you giving him enough attention? Or maybe he is suffering from a medical condition?
Prompt identification of what is causing the problem is crucial in solving it. And pinning down the reason will help you develop a successful plan that will curb your fur babys craving for poop.
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Why Is My Dog Eating Poop
Coprophagia is when a dog eats poop. Experts are still unsure about the reason for this behavior, but some theorize they want more nutrients.
You can stop this behavior by cleaning the poop up right away and telling your dog to leave it.
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Why Do German Shepherds Eat Their Own Poop
Poop is consumed by German Shepherds for a variety of reasons. Hunger, parasites, anxiety, a diet lacking in adequate nutrients, behavioral difficulties, or an underlying health condition are the most prevalent causes of this behavior.
Why is it that my German Shepherd Dog eats his own feces? Poop is delicious to your German Shepherd Dog, therefore he eats it. You may have noticed that what we find noxious smells fantastic to them. Yes, most dogs eat feces because it tastes and smells good to them. Some people believe that dogs can smell their last meal in their excrement. Because he eats too rapidly, your German Shepherd Dog consumes his excrement.
Is it true that German Shepherds consume their own feces? Boredom, like many other behavioral issues, can lead to coprophagia. Dogs that do not receive enough attention or exercise may frequently find other methods to occupy their time, such as chewing on objects or eating feces. Your German Shepherd puppy is humiliated, so he eats his own excrement to hide it.
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Dogs That Eat Cat Poop
Even though its considered normal, you might not want your dog to be diving into the litter box for a snack.
For dogs that eat cat poop, make sure you put up a pet gate or door that allows the cat access to their litter box while keeping the dog out of that room. You can also place the litter box on a table that is longer than the box to allow a spot for them to jump up onto.
Keep in mind, dogs usually repeatedly eat things that taste good to them. Poop may just appeal to their taste buds.
There are dog chew products that are made to discourage dogs from eating poop that may change the taste of the poop.
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Your German Shepherd Dog Eats Stool Because They Are Hungry
Believe it or not, this isnt as far-fetched as it sounds.
While it is unlikely your dog is physically feeling hunger pangs when they go to eat their stool, it is quite possible there is an underlying dietary deficiency driving the behavior.
As VCA Animal Hospitals explains, dietary deficiency in dogs can arise from a number of different potential causes.
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Provide A Healthy Balanced Diet
Is underfeeding or malnourishment the reason for your dogs coprophagia? If it is, then the solution is easy.
All you have to do is provide a complete and balanced meal for your big buddy.
And what is a German Shepherds balanced diet composed of?
- 1740-2100 calories per day.
- Omega 3 fatty acids from vegetables.
- Healthy fat from sources that contain fish oil.
- Small amounts of digestible carbohydrates from barley, oats, and rice.
- High-quality protein from whole meat sources like beef and organ meats.
Why Do Dogs Eat Their Own Puppies
A dog can resort to cannibalism if she does not recognize her puppies as her own young, which would be down to hormonal issues. During the delivery of a litter, dogs produce hormones, and some of them are responsible for identifying the puppies and creating an automatic maternal bond.
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How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating Poop
Once you have ruled out medical problems as a cause for the coprophagia, you are left with addressing the behavior. Because stool-eating is considered a self-rewarding behavior, it can be difficult to reverse.
First, make sure your yard is kept free of animal waste. Pick up your dogs stool as soon as possible after defecation. Be on high alert if your dog tends to eat his own feces during or immediately after defecation. Keep your dog on the leash when defecating. If his attention goes to the feces, immediately turn his attention to you . Reward him for paying attention to you with a tasty treat, then immediately pick up the feces and discard it. Another helpful command to use at this time is to say leave it.
One more method to prevent coprophagia is to add something to your dogs diet that makes the stool taste bad to the dog. These products will not work for all dogs, but it will generally not harm your dog to try . Be sure to choose a product that is labeled for dogs, such as For-Bid or Deter. Ask your veterinarian about the safest and most effective products to prevent poop-eating dogs.
How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop
Veterinarians and dog owners have seen improvements with a handful of strategies, including:
- Vitamin supplementation: Theres been a long-standing theory that dogs eat feces because they are missing something in their diets, so a dog multivitamin could be helpful. Vitamin-B deficiency, in particular, has been a prime suspect, and studies have backed this up. In 1981, scientists showed fecal microbial activity synthesized thiamine, a B-vitamin. Other research found other missing nutrients.
- Enzyme supplementation: The modern canine diet is higher in carbohydrates and lower in meat-based proteins and fats than the canine ancestral diet. Some people have had success with supplements for dogs that contain papain, an enzyme that aids digestion.
- Taste-aversion products: The theory is that certain tastes and smells are as disgusting to dogs as the idea of stool eating is to us, so adding a poop-eating deterrent to food or treats will make the poop thats being produced less appealing. Many of these products contain monosodium glutamate, chamomile, pepper-plant derivatives, yucca, garlic, and parsley. Just remember to treat all the dogs in a multi-dog household if theres a poop-eating problem!
Perhaps the best way to stop the problem is through training and environmental management methods, including:
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Dogs May Have Eaten Their Poop In The Past To Protect Pack Members
According to Dr. Hart, the habit of eating feces may be in a canines DNA. He suggests that dogs may have eaten their feces in the past to protect the rest of the pack from harmful bacteria present in the poop. While situations are a bit different today for dogs, you may still see this in an environment with many dogs living together.
Change Of Food And Change Of Amount
How much to feed a German Shepherd puppy may also change based on when you begin the transition from puppy food to adult dog food.
If you choose to keep your GSD puppy on puppy food for longer, you may want to slightly decrease portion sizes per meal as your puppy grows up.
Conversely, if you switch your puppy over to adult food earlier, you may want to slightly increase portion sizes.
Discuss this with your veterinarian if you are unsure which approach is best for your puppys health.
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Your German Shepherd Dog Eats Poop For Behavioral Reasons
If your dog has been evaluated and tested and your canine veterinarian has ruled out a possible medical cause for coprophagia, the other main area to look at is behavioral.
In other words, German Shepherds that are healthy otherwise may still choose to eat their own poop.
But why, you are probably wondering? This is what we will look at in the next section.
How To Stop Your Dog Eating Poop
If youre looking to deter your dog from this slightly embarrassing habit, the following may help:
- If your dog isnt yet housetrained – whether its an adult or a puppy – then ensure all areas inside your home are clean of poo
- Check your garden and clean up any poo before letting your dog outside
- Make sure you pick up poo as soon as your dog goes
- Dont make a massive fuss or get upset if your dog eats poo or you think they’re just about to this can make some dogs excited, making them even more interested in getting to the poo
- Good recall training will make it possible for you to call your dog back to you before they reach the poo they have their sights on
- Teach your dog to leave it
- If your dogs habit is getting out of hand and you rehomed them from Blue Cross, then please contact the centre you rehomed your pet from and we will do our best to help you. If your dog is not from Blue Cross you should speak to your vet or an Animal Behaviour and Training Council registered behaviourist.
How to stop your dog eating cat poop
If you find that your dog has recently started eating cat poo from the litter tray, this may be because the tray has recently been moved. Or perhaps your dog and cats relationship with one another has recently changed so that your cat is more relaxed about toileting in front of your dog. Whatever the reason, this can be hard to deter once they have got the taste for it.
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Why Do German Shepherds Walk When They Poop
Dogs have scent glands on either side of their anus. There are some scent glands on the pads of a dogs paw. That distinctive kicking is doing more than just trying to cover their poop, it is also marking their scent around the area. Another reason dogs might walk while pooping is just being able to go easier.
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Why Dogs Eat Poop
Have you ever owned a dog or own one now, you probably have wondered why dogs eat poop. Its disgusting, unattractive, and usually unsafe in many ways. But, you need to know that if your dog eats poop, hes not alone. Actually, its a fairly common behaviour that can cause a lot of stress for owners. Referred to as coprophagia, the eating of poop could be a sign of deeper anxiety or nutritional issues.
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How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Stool
If your dog enjoys dining on feces, your first call should be to his veterinarian. Ask the vet to perform a thorough physical exam and discuss with him your dogs feeding routine including amount of food per day, brand, and any supplements you are offering. Your veterinarian may recommend a change to the dogâs diet, or he may prescribe a medication or supplement to curb your dogs stool eating behavior.
Once your vet has ruled out any potential medical problems, you can begin focusing on resolving training your dog not to eat feces. The easiest way to ensure your dog wonât eat feces is to pick up the area where he eliminates each time he has a bowel movement.
Some owners have found success adding pineapple, pumpkin filling, or carrots to their dogâs diet, but this is not a guaranteed cure.
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Why Is My Dogs Poop Runny And Slimy
Mucus can appear in a dogs stool naturally from the lubrication of the intestines. A small amount of mucus from time to time is completely normal as it allows feces to slide through the colon. If more mucus is seen in the stool on a regular basis, however, it can indicate an issue.
Why Is Your German Shepherd Puppy Eating Their Own Poop
There are a number of different reasons your german shepherd might be eating their own poop. If you can figure out the reason its happening, it can often help you figure out how to stop it.
Here are the most common reasons they may be doing it.
Theyre Copying Their Mom
Just like humans, a puppy is going to learn most of their behavior from their mum. If they notice that their mum is eating her own poop, or eating theirs, then its much more likely the puppy will do the same!
The reason the mother does this is to hide their cubs from predators. In the wild, poop is going to attract wild animals to where the pups are. So obviously it makes sense to get rid of it altogether!
It also helps keep their den clean as well.
Living With A Sick Or Old Dog
If your puppy is a little bit older, then they may be trying to cover up the scent of another dog. Predators would be able to smell a sick or elderly dog from their stool, so your pup may be trying to dispose of it.
Once again, remember, this is perfectly natural and its a built-in survival instinct.
To Get Your Attention
Let me guess, the first time you noticed your german shepherd eating poop, you shooed them off, clapped, shouted, or gave them some kind of attention.
If you did, then your pup may do it again just to get your attention. Just like children, some puppies like attention from you whether its good or bad.
And if youre not feeding your german shepherd enough then start feeding them more.
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