The question everyone has and no one wants to ask — why do dogs eat poo?


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You guys already know that here at Animals Being Cute, we love to help you ensure your pets stay as healthy as possible. So, today we’re going to talk about something most people hesitate to mention in conversation — poop. Specifically, we finally answer the question, “why do dogs eat poo?”

THE STUDY

Now, if you own a dog, you probably already know — some dogs eat poo. Some of them eat their own poo, some eat other dog’s poo, and some like poo from other animals.

Believe it or not, some dogs even like to eat poo from horses and cows.

If you’re like most people, you’re now asking yourself one question — why?

Don’t worry; we’re going to tell you.

HOW MANY DOGS EAT POO?

First, though, let’s clear one thing up — if your dogs eat poo, you are not alone. Indeed, in 2012, researchers did a study on this stinky subject.

That study found that 16 percent of dogs are considered to be “serious,” stool eaters. A dog has to have been caught eating poo at least five times to qualify as a serious stool eater

Conversely, a full 24 percent of dog owners report they have caught their dog eating poo at least once.

Out of those poo eaters, 15 percent prefer their own poo, and 85 percent prefer poo from another animal. For example, my dog thinks cat poo is the tastiest treat on the planet.

BUT WHY?

Finally, let’s find out why dogs eat poo, and if you should be concerned.

First, sometimes, dogs simply see other dogs eat poo, and they follow suit. So, if you have more than one dog, it’s more likely they will all pick up the habit.

WHY DO DOGS EAT POO?

Of course, there could also be other reasons your dogs eat poo. For example, the AKC recommends that you take a chronic poo eater to see the vet. There, they can rule out any health issues like diabetes and parasites.

Also, remember, dogs used to be scavengers. So, evolution might be another answer to the question, “why do dogs eat poo?”

LEARNED BEHAVIOR

You see, back then they didn’t know when they would get their next meal. So, eating poo was a way to get a few calories in very lean times.

Furthermore, the dog could have picked up the habit from their mom. When puppies are tiny, mama keeps them clean. Now and then, she may also eat a little poo.

YUMMY

Finally, since we’re already talking about it, here’s the final answer to the question, “why do dogs eat poo?” — it tastes yummy to them.

Now, if you’re like me, when you see your dog eat poo, you wonder if it’s hurting them.

Well, according to Dr. Ken Tudor of PetMD, many dogs already carry E. Coli and similar bacteria in their guts with no adverse effects.

However, there are some things to look out for with your pet.

DANGER SIGNS

First, if your dog eats poo from other animals — watch out. For those dogs like mine that enjoy cat poop, it’s especially dangerous.

First, cats who hunt outside can get tapeworms. If your dog eats that poo, they could end up infested. Additionally, if your dog eats cat poo out of the litter box, that could cause dangerous blockages in their bellies.

And there you have it. Now, if you have a dog that eats poo and you’re worried, just ask your vet about it the next time you’re there.

Share this with your friends to educate them on all things poo.

Featured Image CC BY 2.0 from Kristine Paulus via Flickr

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Tammie

Tammie has loved animals since she was a child. She was always bringing home strays to rescue and care for them. Her love for our furry friends has carried over into her work as a writer and one of her favorite parts of every day is when she gets to write about these delightful creatures.

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