If your Golden Retriever has been eating its poop you’re probably wanting to know why and what you should do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might eat its poop and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Golden Retriever eat its poop? Possible reasons are that it is not getting the right nutrients in its diet, illness, stress or that it does it for the attention.
Your Golden Retriever might do it for a number of different reasons but there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason. There are also a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever eats its poop
Below, I will show you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be eating its poop and what would make them more likely.
Golden Retrievers are meant to get a lot of exercise daily so that they are fully stimulated. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and to do things such as to eat poop. A lack of exercise would be more likely to be the cause if your Golden Retriever starts doing things such as eat poop when it has not gotten much exercise.
Generally, it is recommended for adult Golden Retrievers to get at least an hour of exercise per day when they are healthy.
Worms and other parasites can cause nutrients to leach from a dog’s system (source). The reason why your Golden Retriever does it might be to satisfy nutritional deficiencies this would be more likely if you have noticed that it tends to eat dirt as well.
If it has been getting hungry a lot more than usual, it would help to take it to a vet to make sure that worms are not the cause.
The cause could be that it has gotten an illness and it is trying to soothe its stomach by eating things such as poop. This would be more likely if your Golden Retriever has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being ill such as vomiting. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
The reason why it does it might be that it is stressed. This would be more likely if it does it more in situations where it might be stressed or anxious such as when you leave it for long periods or if it has started doing it after another pet passed away.
It could be the case that it does it in order to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if you tend to give it extra attention or other rewards when it does it.
Instead, it would help to try to redirect its focus as soon as it looks like it is about to do it and to reward it when it is being well behaved.
To make itself throw up
It’s not uncommon for Golden Retrievers (and other dogs) to throw up after eating poop. This leads some people to think that they eat it due to having an upset stomach that they want to alleviate by throwing up.
However, some people disagree with this saying that dogs aren’t smart enough to do that and that most dogs don’t actually throw up when they eat poop.
Things to consider
When your Golden Retriever first started to eat its poop
If it did not always eat poop, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly it would make it more likely to be due to things such as an illness, stress, anxiety or a change in its diet. It would help to consider what else changed when it started eating poop.
Whereas, if it has always done it, things such as boredom, hunger or wanting attention would be more likely.
When it does it
It would also help to consider the timing of when it does it since the timing could also have something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to do it more when you have not given it more attention or exercise it would make it more likely that it is either understimulated or looking for attention.
How to get your Golden Retriever to stop eating poop
Below are a number of options you have when getting it to stop.
As mentioned above, it is important to give your Golden Retriever lots of exercise, if it is healthy, by walking it yourself or getting a dog walker to do it for you.
If it is already getting exercise, a good way to wear it out more, would be to get it to do things such as fetch.
Make sure that its diet is right
As was also mentioned above, it could be the case that there is an issue with its diet. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your Golden Retriever. It would also help to check with the vet when you see one next that you are feeding it correctly.
Give it other things to chew on
In addition to the above, you could also try preventing it from trying to eat poop by giving it other things to chew on such as chews or bones.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why it has been doing it, your Golden Retriever has been showing signs of illness or it has started doing it suddenly, it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Golden Retriever and to rule out or confirm the possibility of it being due to illness.