Coprophagia is the activity of swallowing stools. Although most forms of coprophagia tend to be solely behavioral, there are also many medical conditions that can induce or lead to coprophagia. These factors must first be ruled out before a solely behavioral diagnosis can be made.
Medical Causes and Behavioral Causes
Medical problems that result in a decrease in nutritional absorption, cause gastrointestinal upset or increase the appeal of dog stools can contribute to the development of coprophagia. Many of the potential medical reasons include:
- Eating or underfeeding a scarcely digestible diet
- Deficiencies in digestive enzymes
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency and malnutrition;
- Diabetes, Cushing’s Disease or Thyroid Disease
- Certain products containing steroids
In order to determine the medical causes of coprophagia, a dog should undergo a full physical examination, a nutritional check and a stool frequency and consistency test. Parasite testing and stool or blood checks should be done if necessary.
Coprophagia may be a common behavioral issue for puppies that helps to clear up their adulthood. Although dogs of all ages may exhibit coprophagia, some common causes include:
- Curiousness and playfulness
- Copying of other dogs
- Incorrect training techniques
- Innate behaviour
Early intervention and consistent treatment can help owners and vets reduce the likelihood of long-term behavioural habits and correct behavioural problems that result in coprophagia.
Recommended: Signs of diabetes in cats and dogs
What Are The Symptoms of Coprophagia in Dogs?
- You can see your dog eating feces in the backyard.
- Dogs are found eating cat feces from the litter box.
- Eats poop that they find during their walks
- Dog vomits feces
How Can Coprophagia Be Treated?
Preventing access to faeces is the mainstay of coprophagia management. When lack of stimulation is associated with coprophagia, adding toys and other environmental diversions may be helpful, as the goal is to find something more fun for the dog than eating faeces. It may also help to ensure that a dog is given sufficient exercise. Some dogs will improve if they are fed more often, so you might want to increase the number of meals.
How To Manage Coprophagia?
Unfortunately, after dogs have developed this unsavory behavior, it can be impossible to avoid. You ought to address the topic systematically.
- Follow the dog to the yard for the bowel breaks and wipe up the mess afterwards. It helps educate your dog to remove it in a particular area.
- Purchase items to deter dogs from consuming their own poop, a chewable pill specially designed to prevent dogs from eating their own feces. Other items are intended to be poured on the diet of your dog.
- Teach the dog to leave it to keep him from having a bite when you’re out walking. To keep it on the leash. Dogs can be pretty fast, though, so you might suggest using a basket muzzle when walking with him.
- Try to feed your dog more frequent (but smaller) meals so that he doesn’t feel so hungry and ready to eat anything. And feed him the absolute best diet you can to make sure he’s receiving all the nutrition he wants.