Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Why Dogs Eat Poop, Stool Eating - Coprophagia in Dogs


 If you have ever seen your dog eat poop you may have a) been disgusted and, b) wondered why your dog decided to consume such a seemingly unappealing substance.

There are many reasons why a dog may decide to eat his/her own poop, another dog’s poop or the poop of another animal species. The reasons way a dog consumes poop varies per individual canine - here are some typical factors to consider when looking to understand why your dog may eat poop…

Some Typical Root Causes of Coprophagia
  • Behaviour
    • A mother dog cleaning up after her very young pups’ stools - a behaviour evolved to protect the young from predators
    • Acquired habit
    • Anxiety and stress
    • Greedy eaters
    • Punishment for eliminating (pooping) in the ‘wrong’ place
    • Transferable behaviour - learning by example
  • Breed pre-disposition
    • Some breeds have a pre-disposition to poop eating - i.e. Border Collies , Shelties
  • Environmental Factors
    • Enzyme deficiency
    • Inappropriate
    • i.e. dry dog food
    • Insufficient diet - scarcity of food
    • i.e. dogs that have suffered deprivation - stray dog, puppy mill dog, neglected dog, etc.
  • Medical Issues
    • Gastrointestinal parasites
    • Mal-absorption of nutrients
    • Neutered males are more likely to ‘indulge’
    • Pancreatic Insufficiency
    • Pancreas is not producing enough digestive enzymes
Some dogs enjoy eating the poop of herbivores such as cows, deer, horses and rabbits. Rabbit poop is particularly rich in nutrients - vitamin B and digestive enzymes.

Other dogs enjoy raiding the cat litter box.  Cats that are feed a processed food diet tend to pass stools that are full of undigested matter - this can make the stool appealing to some canines.

I have eleven dogs in my own dog pack. They are all fed a diet consisting of primarily raw fresh and whole food. Given the opportunity - three of my dogs will indulge in dog stool coprophagia - the other eight dogs never do so. The three that 'indulge' have no medical issues...

So why do these three dogs eat poop - here is a little analysis (please note the three have asked me not to mention their names):
  • Poop eater No. 1
    • Breed - Sheltie
    • Sex - male, neutered
    • Background - puppy mill dog
  • Poop eater  No. 2
    • Breed - German Shepherd x Malamute
    • Sex - male, neutered
    • Background - homeless rescue who had to compete for food
  • Poop eater No. 3
    • Breed - Australian Shepherd
    • Sex - female, a very maternal female
    • Background - rescue who had severe anxiety issues
I also have companion rabbits, and yes rabbit poop is popular with most of my dogs as are the wild rabbit and deer droppings found on my trails. On occasion some dogs will also eat the poop of related species such as coyote, fox and wolf.

A walk on the trails can be a source of  natural 'help-yourself' treats’ for the dogs.  The foraged treats range from healthy and self medicating items, to disgusting to me ‘uh uh, don’t touch’ items and ‘don’t roll in it either' items.

Examples of acceptable items that my dogs self-select are organic (non-pesticide or herbicide treated) grass, wild strawberries, juniper berries.

And, well - you have an idea of what the unacceptable items consist of :>)

Holistic Wellness Services and Holistic Behaviorist Services 


Do you need support and guidance tailored to suit your needs? Individual support is available through my client services.
🌿Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs, Cats πŸ•πŸˆ
🌿Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs πŸ•

My Client Services are Available Worldwide
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ USA
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Canada
πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK
πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί Australia
πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Europe
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡· Costa Rica and other Central American Countries
πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ͺ United Arab Emirates
πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Sweden and other Scandinavian Countries
πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬ Singapore and other Countries in Asia

Consultations and Sessions
πŸ“§ Email
πŸ“ž Phone
πŸ“± FaceTime
πŸ“± FaceBook video or voice
πŸ’» Skype
πŸ“– Holistic Wellness eBooks custom designed to suit
🚢 In-person Sessions only available in Ontario, Canada.

Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats πŸ•πŸˆ
✔︎ Maintenance of Health
✔︎ Addressing Health Issues and Conditions
✔︎ Custom designed whole food diets, raw and gently cooked.
✔︎ Recommendations for commercial whole food diets.
✔︎ Recommendation and specification of...
✔︎ Species Appropriate:
✔︎ Whole foods
✔︎ Treats
✔︎ Herbs
✔︎ Alternative medicines
✔︎ Supplemental foods
✔︎ Treatment and Remedy

Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs πŸ•
✔︎ Obedience Training
✔︎ Behavior Modification
✔︎ Psychological Rehabilitation
✔︎ In-person Sessions
✔︎ Remote Sessions

Affiliations to Companies - none.
I don’t sell food or supplements.
I am NOT aligned with any companies.
I prefer to select best solutions for my individual clients’ situation.

Contact me
karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca to discuss your requirements and quote for services.

Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press

Adjective

"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats

karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca

1-613-622-1139
1-613-293-3707

00-1-613-622-1139
00-1-613-293-3707