Have you ever wondered why your dog eats his own feces? It may make you nauseous, but for them it is a real delicacy. If you have this doubt, here we explain why your dog has this behavior.
Eating feces, also known as coprophagiaThis is normal behavior for many animals. According to a study published in 2018 by the University of California at Davis, there do not appear to be any clinically determined abnormalities. associated with behaviors such as gastrointestinal upset, nutritional deficiencies, or compulsive disorder. However, it appears more often than it seems.
In an article titled “Behavioral Defenses Against Pathogens and Parasites in Animals: Parallels with Mainstays of Medicine in Humans,” veterinarian Benjamin Hart argues: 16 percent of pet dogs eat their own feces when infectious diseases can develop.
The study by researchers from the University of California complements this, as it can be read that this behavior can be seen as descended from the ancestors of wolves. According to his hypothesis, these animals try to keep their resting areas free of accumulated excrement.a condition that often occurs when a group member becomes ill or injured.
The behavior will reduce the risk of parasite infection from stool left alone.
“The behavior will reduce the risk of parasitic infection from stool left alone,” they said in the study.
Yet dogs often eat feces for a variety of reasons, according to veterinarian Katy Nelson, who wrote an article in the American journal ‘PetMd’. Some of these are normal and others may be a sign of a health problem.
stress or parasites
University of California researchers found no evidence linking coxhagia with age, dietary differences, or compulsive behaviors such as tail chasing.
In fact, the reasons seem completely unrelated to the problems with their growth.
However, several studies cited in the review concluded that: This practice can occur frequently and normally when dogs are puppies, because mothers lick their cubs to encourage them to eat and clean up their feces for the first three weeks after birth.
Also, puppies have oral fixation and may eat their own poop (and any other residue they can find).
Does your dog eat feces as an adult?
However, when they become large and continue to exhibit this type of behavior, it is better to consult a veterinarian. Doctor Sophia Yin explains in ‘Coprophagia: The Scoop on Poop Eating in Dogs’ that clinical manifestations are often behind this.
In the first case, This may be due to generalized anxiety or worry about being at home for a long time. On the other hand, there is also a hypothesis that dogs may eat their excrement out of boredom, because when left alone for long periods of time they can simply explore, play and eat their feces.
latter, When it comes to gastrointestinal diseases, there is a theory that it is an innate instinct. Your dog may be doing the same, as in ancient times wolves cleaned up their mess to avoid infection.
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It’s important to keep this last point in mind: If you suspect your pet has this habit for health reasons, parasites, malabsorption, a nutrient-poor diet or malnutrition.
There is also a theory that pathologies such as diabetes or Cushing’s disease are some of the conditions that can increase hunger in dogs. and causes them to eat their feces.
Medications such as steroids, benzodiazepines, and some antihistamines also tend to cause increased appetite as a side effect.
Should you worry?
For some species, such as rabbits, eating poop is a perfectly normal way of obtaining essential nutrients. According to doctor and researcher Donal McKeown for the American magazine ‘Can Vet J’.
But this is not the case with dogs. Your dog may start pooping because he needs to eat more than you are currently giving him or because the time between meals is too long. Talking to your vet can help you understand how much and how often your dog should eat based on his weight and exercise.
It’s also important to take care of your pet’s mental health, so you should watch out in case this is due to anxiety.
However, McKeown says he should be worried if he starts eating human, cat or other dog feces. They can be infected with parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms or coccidia.
How can you prevent your dog from eating his poop?
To prevent your pet from acquiring this habit, it is necessary to teach him that this behavior is not right and to avoid any temptation while learning. So the first step Collect the stool immediately after your dog defecates.
Second Feeding your pet a balanced diet can help you avoid such practices.. Food additives that claim to make your dog’s poop taste bad are a popular choice. It is best to feed your dog a diet recommended by the veterinarian.
Moreover It is recommended to keep your pet busy. Whether you’re at home or out, toys are a great way to give your dog mental exercise, and walking or playing with your dog every day will help you expend extra energy.
But all this must be complemented by: good education based on positive reinforcement. Reward your pet every time he comes out of the bathroom fast, and teach him that if he quits his job, you’ll get a reward for it.
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