This question has kept us all up at night at one point in our lives. Why do dogs eat poop? As expected, it turns out the answer is a bit complicated. The good people over at pet-comfort-products.com came up with 20 reasons for this grotesque phenomenon.
Coprophagia: The ingestion of poop that is neither accidental nor incidental. It is deliberate and habitual.
Here are a few of my favorite reasons amoung the 20 that were listed. For the complete list of 20 reasons you can go here.
1. Your dog might be hungry. If your dog doesn’t have access to food, he might eat poop.
6. Some dogs will simply eat poop to pass the time. Dogs will eat poop because they are bored or lonely. It can be a sign of neglect.
9. If your dog has puppies, she might eat puppy poop. This is an instinct to hide the poop from predators. Poop is evidence. Getting ride of it keeps her puppies safe.
11. If your dog watches you pick up poop, he might learn to do the same. This is called allelomimetic behavior. Your dog observes you and learns from you, by putting the poop in his mouth you put poop in a bag.
13. Many dogs simply like the taste of poop. This obviously doesn’t make sense to dog owners but that’s irrelevant. Some dog like to eat it and that’s that. It’s warm, moist, and very much like what your dog was given as a very young puppy.
18. It is possible that some dogs will eat the poop of other, more dominant dogs. Your dog might be more submissive than other dogs, resulting in strange poop eating behavior. This seems to occur more in households with multiple dogs where dominance and submission is a factor. Obviously this doesn’t explain much about dogs eating cat poop or other animal poop.
20. In some cases, your dog will eat poop by accident. Dogs are curious and will try to eat almost anything, including poop. Dogs explore the world through taste and smell, much more than humans.
It’s kind of like when you get poop on your finger….you just can’t help but smell it.