Blog Causes of Coprophagia in Dogs?

Coprophagia is the consumption of feces. While most cases of coprophagia appear to be purely behavioral, there are indeed numerous medical problems that can cause or contribute to coprophagia. These problems must first be ruled out before a purely behavioral diagnosis can be made. For many animals it’s normal to consume such feces, and for others not so much. Dogs will consume feces under abnormal conditions that are usually tied to their health or the health of the origin of where the feces they consumed are coming from.

Malabsorption Syndrome
A possible cause for Coprophagia, this syndrome causes dogs to have an increase in appetite. Malabsorption increases their appetite allowing the dog to eat feces in hopes of gaining nutrition. To see if your dog has malabsorption syndrome look for undigested bits of food in their feces.

Malnourishment
Malnourishment may cause a dog to eat feces from another animal in particular herbivore feces. Herbivore feces are believed to be very appealing to a malnourished dog.

Behavior Causes of Coprophagia

Stress
By now I’m sure you’re gathering that a stressed dog can lead to a lot of issues whether long-term or short-term. A puppy stressed from being punished too aggressively may take the emotions out on eating feces. This helps the dog avoid the stress from being over-punished. The unfortunate part here is that it’s not your decision whether or not you over-punished the dog. It’s theirs.

Any situation where the dog isn’t able to emotionally handle it can lead to Coprophagia.  Always keep an eye on your dogs behavior to make sure a stress-free environment is maintained.

Mimicking Mother
A well-known cause of Coprophagia, mimicking mother is a behavior that a puppy will pick up from their mother. If a dog receives Coprophagia from watching their mother the good news is most pups outgrow this behavior.

 

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