Why do dogs eat their poop? It may seem odd but eating poop is a natural occurrence in dogs. In fact, there is a scientific term for it: Coprophagia.
Eating poop is understandably disgusting for humans but for dogs, it is a natural canine habit. Young puppies engage in this behavior in particular. The good news is coprophagia isn’t a permanent problem and they usually go away as your pup grows older.
Possible Reasons Why Dogs Eat Their Poop
There are a few theories as to why dogs eat their poop and are some common reasons.
Your German Shepherd Dog eats his poop because it’s tasty.
Well you might have realized that what smells funky to us smells awesome for them. Yes, most dogs eat poop because they enjoy the taste and smell. Some say that dogs smell the last food they ate in their feces.
Your German Shepherd Dog eats his poop because he eats too quickly.
This may sound a little weird but there is an actual explanation for it. Dogs that eat too quickly may be especially attracted to their feces. This is because their digestive system doesn’t break down the food properly, leaving the food close to its original state.
It is in their natural instinct.
Some people think that dogs eat their poop because it is a natural instinct. It is a well-known fact that dogs used to be scavengers. Before they were domesticated and welcomed as members of the family, dogs scavenged for food and ate whatever they could find, including animal feces.
If you have experienced caring for newborn puppies, you may also have noticed that mothers will instinctively eat their offspring’s feces. Mother dogs do this to keep predators away and protect their young.
Your German Shepherd Dog is bored so he eats his poop.
Like a lot of behavioral problems, coprophagia can be caused by boredom. Dogs who don’t get enough attention or exercise will often find other ways to spend their time chewing things or eating poop.
Your German Shepherd puppy is embarrassed and eats his own poop to get rid of the evidence.
Puppies that are not properly potty trained will often develop coprophagia. It is their way to get rid of the evidence and avoid being punished. In other words, your puppy might think that having a bowel movement is bad and is probably eating his or her own poop out of fear.
Your dog eats his poop to clean his area.
Like you, dogs don’t like their rest areas clean so dogs who live in dirty environments may take matters into their own hands. Dogs who are concerned about sanitation may start to eat their own poop to keep their living area clean.
Dogs eat their poop to make up for lack of nutrition.
Lastly, some experts think that dogs eat poop as a way to get the nutrients that they’re lacking either from not eating enough food or from a low-quality diet.
How to Stop My German Shepherd Dog from Eating His Poop
- Make sure your dog eats a high quality, complete dog food at least twice daily as recommended by your vet.
- Keep your dog’s living environment clean and free of feces.
- Make sure your dog gets enough exercise and attention. If you’re going to be away for a while, it is a good idea to leave toys out to keep your pup busy.
- If your German Shepherd Dog knows the “leave it” command, you could use it to stop your dog whenever you catch him or her in the act of eating poop.
- There is a special formula you can add to your dog’s food to make his or her feces taste bitter. A natural alternative to this would be adding a small amount of pineapple to your dog’s food.