Dogs can get into some nasty things- and the smellier it is, the more they like them. Have you noticed your dog sniffing-at or eating poop? Yes, it is disgusting, but it is very common canine behavior. Pet owners should be concerned whether their pet is eating poop due to an underlying medical issue or if it is simply out of boredom and curiosity.
So, why does my dog like eating bird poop?
Many owners are repulsed when they first observe their dog eating poop- whether it is the dog’s own poop or some other animal’s. This is an entirely common and quite normal behavior, rooted in the evolution of your pet. There are a few reasons why your dog may like eating bird poop- or other types of poop, for that matter.
Some of the underlying causes include these:
Your Dog’s Diet
The first reason why your dog may be eating poop has to do with their diet. If your dog has been eating the same foods for their entire life, it could be time for a change. As your pet ages, their dietary needs change. If they are eating poop, your dog could be lacking important nutrients in their diet. Talk to your vet to learn more about the best foods for your dog at this stage of life.
Parasites are another reason why your dog resorts to eating poop. Some species of parasites can actually take away vital nutrients from the dog- such as tapeworms, for instance. Dogs might eat poop to replace these nutrients.
Another reason why your dog likes to eat poop is because of stress. If your dog is anxious- a common problem among bored pets- they may act out and engage in behaviors that include eating poop. Lonely, bored, or stressed pets often respond by eating their own poop as well as the poop of other animals, including bird droppings.
Poop is appealing to dogs at times. Dogs are curious and poop smells good to them; plus, many dogs try to compensate for nutritional deficiencies by eating the feces that they find around them. Make sure to see your vet to rule out any medical issues that could contribute to this behavior. It might be that your dog simply finds poop appealing and likes eating it!
The best way to curb your pet from eating poop is to remove access to it. Keep your yard and garden clean and free from dog poop, bird droppings, and any other fecal matter from wildlife in your yard. Cutting off availability will decrease the opportunity that your dog has to eat poop.
Why does my dog lick bird poop?
If you notice your dog licking bird poop off surfaces outside, they may have Coprophagia. Coprophagia is a condition that is common among dogs. When raising their puppies, dogs often eat their young’s poop in an effort to keep them clean and healthy.
Feral dogs eat feces to keep their dens and environment clean, which can deter potential predators. Coprophagia could be an instinctual, intuitive behavior that is difficult, perhaps impossible, to eliminate in your canine. Talk to your veterinary provider to learn more.
Is eating bird poop bad for dogs?
While this habit is gross to most owners, it could also have serious health repercussions for your dog, too. Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection that is caused by contaminated bird droppings that are on surfaces or in the soil. When dogs ingest this bacteria, they can get very ill, causing them great gastrointestinal distress. One way to curb the potential of your dog becoming sick is to keep your yard and surfaces clean and clear of bird droppings and feces of any kind.
Why does my dog eat rabbit poop?
Stool eating or Coprophagia is more common than you may think. It comes from an inherent and intuitive need to get rid of poop from their den, habitat, or home- as well as to clean it from their young pups.
As far as rabbit poop goes, dogs are curious creatures. To them, other animals’ poop smells appealing, and they want to take a closer look. If your dog’s diet is imbalanced or they are lacking specific nutrients, they may eat other animals’ feces in an attempt to replace these vital nutrients.
If you notice your dog regularly eating poop or feces, talk to your veterinarian about dietary supplements that may help.
How to stop my dog from eating bird poop?
So, how do you stop your dog from eating poop? Well, the first solution is to make it as inaccessible as possible. Keep yards, gardens, and surfaces clean from poop of any kind- including bird droppings. You may want to have your property routinely pressure washed and regularly landscaped to cut down on the fecal matter that ends up in your property.
If you have a litter box for other pets in the home, make sure that it is inaccessible and out of reach to your dog. If a dog has the desire to eat poop, cat boxes are going to be difficult to resist!
Some DIY approaches include putting something on poop that you find in the yard, like lemon juice or hot sauce. The smell will deter your pet. Some other pet experts suggest that you add a bit of canned pumpkin puree to your dog’s food at mealtime, as this replaces nutrients that they could be lacking.
If you have puppies, keep them clean and wipe their butts with dog-friendly wipes vigilantly. It is an innate tendency to lick themselves- and each other- so never punish or reprimand a puppy for this behavior.
Know that excessive licking could be a sign of parasites, like fleas. Have your veterinary provider assess your pet to ensure there is not an underlying medical reason why they are engaging in this behavior. Dogs will lick excessively when bored, too. Keep them occupied and tired-out with brisk walks, playtime, and activities that provide physical exertion. This may reduce the time that they focus on licking.