This is one of the most disturbing puppies’ behaviors for me. I mean we all love to smooch puppies! So, this is an important thing for me regarding my puppies. I mean it’s for their own health and everybody too. Here are a few tips on how to stop puppy from eating poop. But before that, let’s have a look at their reasons.
Why Puppies Eat Poop
- 1 They follow their mother’s behavior
- 2 They exploring things
- 3 They still have the appetite to eat
- 4 We unintentionally are giving them confusing warning
- 5 Our warning means rewarding attention to them
- 6 There are many more reasons why a puppy eating a poop.
- 7 Yes, it could even lead to a fatal illness for a puppy.
- 8 Whenever possible, I quickly clean or remove if there is any poop
- 9 We create our “freeze” command for our dogs
- 10 “Restricted area”
- 11 More nutritious and digestible food
- 12 Share this:
- 13 Related
They follow their mother’s behavior
It’s common for their mother to have this behavior. Especially when she had her puppies. She is cleaning up. And for the pups, their mother is the first thing that all ever happen in their life. They follow their mother behavior. It will start to appear when your pups begin to have more awareness of their environment and more active. Around three or four to nine months of age.
They exploring things
Puppies smell or bite almost anything near them as they exploring things. They can treat things around them as something to play with, as something to chew, as food, or as many other things.
They still have the appetite to eat
Perhaps they smell food. This doesn’t mean that they are hungry. Dogs seem to have no problem smelling, and tasting poop. Unlike us, humans. This is part of their exploring activities. Only this time, they begin to treat poop as something that they can eat.
Many said that dogs can smell or detect food in poop. Sometimes dog’s poop or other animals’ can still contain food, undigested food. And, puppies basically also don’t have a problem with poop. They might get interested in it and instinctively eat it.
These first three reasons are natural reasons. It’s part of their nature and growing process. Which can develop to become a habit. And for dogs, we call it coprophagia. It’s a habitual behavior of dogs eat their own or another animal’s poop.
Other the mentioned above, this behavior can also still developing because of some these reasons:
We unintentionally are giving them confusing warning
Almost every time we start a new training for our puppies or dogs, they might receive our instruction as a confusing instruction. This could happen for some period of time until they are beginning to get the message and start adapting. Or, the message is just still confusing for them.
So does with training them to stop eating poop. It could seem like that they got the idea. But then, they do it again! When they have the chance.
We often heard or read or even experience this ourselves.
We meant to warn them, to prevent them from doing it again. But, what happens is that it seems like they don’t get it at all. What happens is… they confuse.
The next reason is still got something to do with confusing instruction.
Our warning means rewarding attention to them
We can give warnings in anyways, like yelling, clapping or chasing them, etc. Whatever it is, they know they got our attention. A massive one, perhaps.
Puppies often misunderstood these warnings as encouragement or entertainment instead of warnings. Probably, at some point, the poop is no longer that attractive to them. The poop is attractive because they got our attention because of it. So, they do it again.
There are many more reasons why a puppy eating a poop.
Boredom, they don’t see anything else that is interesting to them.
Easy access, it’s just things that are near and around them. They get used to it all around them.
They simply like the taste of it. And many more reasons.
But, the good news is that most of our puppies will no longer develop or have this behavior as they grow. Although some still might have a chance having this behavior. This one is bad news. We don’t want our puppies to grow and still having this behavior. I don’t think it’s a healthy behavior and could harm their health.
Is it harmful to a puppy to eat poop?
Yes, it could even lead to a fatal illness for a puppy.
One of the reason is hookworm. Hookworm use feces to pass their eggs and spread on the outside environment. While hookworm might not cause fatal damage to adult dogs, for puppies they can be a great threat. Because they feed blood and intestinal tissue. This can quickly effect puppies health even leads to death.
This put stopping a puppy from eating poop as one of the important care for a puppy. I have gathered a few tips on how to stop puppy from eating poop. Let’s see if one or more of these tips can work for your puppies.
Try these few simple tips to stop your puppies from eating poop
Whenever possible, I quickly clean or remove if there is any poop
This is obvious, but we need commitment and support from everybody in our house. Everybody who lives in our house knows this as a house rule. So cleaning poop is not a single person’s task. Although this might not train your puppies not to eat poop. It’s more about us creating a clean and healthy home environment.
We love our pets, our family, our home and we also want them to be as clean and healthy as possible too.
We create our “freeze” command for our dogs
I believe everyone has this. This usually one of many commands that naturally introduced to our dogs. For me, I also mention the dog’s name clearly with this command. And I usually follow up with “leave it” or “come here” command. I use “come here” command if I want to reward him.
I make sure I use this command when I catch them in the act. This to make sure that they know which behavior that I’m trying to point out to them.
For a puppy, this might take a little time. I find the most effective moment to quickly introduce this command is when my puppy is on a leash.
What sometimes seems to be the problem is that each of us spontaneously has our own unique “freeze” command.
So, in our house, we create and agree with one “freeze” command expression (word, tone and body/hand signal). We believe this single, uniformed command can reduce the chance for our dogs to get confused. Well, so far it works!
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I train my puppy and prevent him to explore poop!
We sometimes take our puppies for a walk outside. After they have finished with their bowel movement activity, lead them away from it and reward them. Don’t let them come near to touch it. I often do this every time my puppy find other animal poop. Usually, I try to point out to my puppy that they are not allowed to touch it.
I gave him enough distance to recognize it, warn him, lead him away from it and reward or praise him.
In case you have other pets that might have their own “toilet”. There are some dogs that might find other animal’s poop interesting. Make a few adjustments to prevent your puppies to have access to it. This might help since we are not going to be around all the time to watch them.
This to point out some area that they are not allowed to go. This might help if you have other pets in your home. Especially in areas where you have set it up to be your other pets “toilet” where about. But I think it is best to still create some “barriers” to this area.
I don’t have other pet besides our dogs. But I have some restricted area for my dogs. We never allow any of our dogs to join us on our bed or couch. I and my family have our own place to lie down and cuddle with our pets. We find this training is easy if it’s for areas like my bed and couch.
Probably because those places have their height as its “barrier”. Even though it’s still within the reach of our dogs, still they need an effort to jump. However, this probably only works under our supervision. We don’t know if it works when no one’s around.
I do try this on one of our carpet areas, my dogs just can’t stand it. They always want to join me or my family on the carpet. We can’t stand it at how many times in every few minutes we have to warn them. They just sit and lie a while then get up and step in toward us, again and again. So, we gave up on this one and we just enjoy it!
More nutritious and digestible food
Some say that dogs or puppies eat their own stool because they still see it as food. Because there is some amount of still undigested food. I never know whether my dog poop still has undigested food or not. But, it’s a good point to give our puppies or dogs the best food. A nutritious and digestible food. And I do check for their taste or appetite, nutrition facts and monitor their growth.
A good dog food sometimes means higher in cost. But, I consider the efficiency of my puppy or dog food. I don’t know how to measure the efficiency of the food I give to my puppy. What I do is just ask around, gathering information from breeders and veterinarian, and try to monitor my puppy growth, weight, and overall health.
I try to give my puppy the best food because he is at the important stage of his growth. But, I also experiencing, introducing my puppy to many kinds of different food. As they grow this will help me to add variations to their menu. And it helps me reduce my budget for buying dog food.
There are probably many more ways to stop our puppy dog from eating poop. Some puppies will no longer develop this behavior, but some probably still find poop are appealing as they grow. We all agree that is not healthy. Find experts or consult your veterinarian to diagnose the cause of why your dog is still developing this behavior and how to treat it.