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Why does my Labrador eat its poop?

Why does my Labrador eat its poop?

If your Labrador 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 Labrador might eat its poop and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Labrador 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 Labrador 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 Labrador eats its poop

Below are a number of reasons why your Labrador might eat its poop and what would make them more likely.

Boredom

Labradors are meant to get daily exercise. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to become bored and to seek their own stimulation and it might be why yours eats poop. This would be more likely to be why yours does it if it does it more when it has not gotten much exercise.

Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise per day or more when they are healthy adults.

Nutrition

It could be the case that it is not getting the right nutrients in its diet and it is trying to look for other ways to get nutrients by eating dirt or poop. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly since a change in its diet. It would help to make sure that you have been feeding it correctly.

Also, worms and other parasites can cause nutrients to leach from a dog’s system (source). The reason why your Labrador 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 started doing it suddenly or it has been acting unusually it would help to take it to a vet for a checkup.

Illness

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 Labrador 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.

Stress

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.

Attention

The cause could also be that it is looking for extra attention. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention, if you tend to give it extra attention when it does it and if it seems to do it more when you are watching it.

It would help to give it attention throughout the day by exercising it, training it and playing with it. But, it would also help to try to redirect its focus before it starts eating poop to try and get it out of the habit of doing it.

To make itself throw up

It’s not uncommon for Labradors (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 Labrador 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.

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 if there is a certain time that it tends to do it more since the timing might 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 Labrador to stop eating poop

Below are some things you could do to get it to stop doing it.

Make sure that its diet is right

As 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 Labrador. It would also help to check with the vet when you see one next that you are feeding it correctly.

Exercise

It would also help to make sure that it is able to get the daily recommended amount of exercise. Generally, it is recommended for healthy adults to get at least an hour of exercise per day.

Give it other things to chew on

You could also try giving it other things to chew on such as toys, bones and dog chews.

Take it to a vet

If you cannot figure out why it has been doing it, your Labrador 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 Labrador and to rule out or confirm the possibility of it being due to illness.

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