We all know how finicky our pets can be when it comes to eating certain kinds of foods. However, some dogs take it to another level with coprophagia; the act of eating their own poop. If you’ve noticed your own dog doing this and just can’t figure out what seems to be causing it, you’re not alone. There are other forms of this condition as well; intracoprophagia is when an animal eats the feces of the same species, and intercoprophagia is the act in which an animal eats the feces of a different species.
Lots of canines pick up this habit for one reason or another, and there are some simple ways to address the issue. Some pets start eating poop after watching their brothers, sisters, or other dogs they’re exposed to in the earlier parts of their lives. However, it’s sometimes caused by a lack of the proper enzymes.
If you’ve ever gone a few days eating low quality meals, let’s say Mcdonald’s burgers, after awhile you start to want something else. Even if you aren’t a fan of salad, you start to crave something nutritious because your body is telling you that you need it. Dogs experience the same urge for something better, so they try to find a way to satisfy their nutrient cravings.
Your dog could actually be experiencing a lack of the necessary digestive enzymes that help their bodies absorb vitamins. This is usually caused by a condition called pancreatitis, which causes symptoms like weight loss and diabetes if not treated. If you suspect this may be the case, take them to the veterinarian and have blood work done. They’ll likely recommend dietary supplements that contain probiotic enzymes to keep your dog healthy.
Once your dog is on a regular schedule with their probiotic enzymes, you should see a major difference in their overall demeanor. They’ll put on weight, have more energy, and if your dog has had a history of runny stool, it shoulder improve in consistency. In the meantime, you should immediately cleanup and remove any waste that could be eaten before your pet starts feeling better. While dogs have pretty strong digestive systems that can tolerate quite a bit, they can still pick up parasites and diseases from eating poop. So you should still keep an eye on them while they’re roaming the yard, just to be sure the coprophagia has completely subsided.
Coprophagia isn’t something that should be ignored, it’s almost always a sign of a bigger problem, and not just pancreatitis. Cushing’s Disease, Diabetes, Thyroid Disease, and serious intestinal infections. Get bloodwork done for your dog as soon as possible, and be sure that they’re getting enough digestive enzymes if their body isn’t producing enough on its own. Take care of coprophagia early on, so that your dog can live a long, happy, healthy life.