Why Does Your Dog Eat Poop? Science Has the Answers

Why Does Your Dog Eat Poop? Science Has the Answers

Poop. You hate picking it up, but for some reason your pup wants to eat his and some other dog’s, too. It’s one of those canine habits science can never quite explain the reason for until now. A new study from the University of California, Davis published in the journal Veterinary Medicine and Science, may finally have the question to that embarrassing question - Why do you eat poop, furry best friend, why? First off, just so you know, the scientific term for a poop eating is coprophagy. Scientists used two web-based surveys, launched six months apart, to investigate doggy coprophagy. The first one called, “Dog Behavior: The Rest of the Story,” received about 1,550 responses and was aimed at finding the prevalence of coprophagy and compare poop-eating dogs and non-poop-eating dogs. The second, called, “Why Dogs Eat Their Stools,” received roughly 2,560 responses.

It intentionally targeted coprophagic dog owners and asked owners questions like how old the stools were that their dog ate, how often they consumed feces and if products marketed as being able to rid their dog of coprophagy worked. Okay, so the scientists found a common theme among the poop eater...apparently there were much more likely to be described as greedy eaters and live in multi-dog households. The breeds that were the most coprophagic? Terriers and hounds. And, get this, out of the dogs that ate feces over 10 times and at least once a week, 85% ate stools that were no more than two days old. Fresh stools, those that are within two days old, are free from infective parasite larvae. So the pups that love poop are at least being safe about it? Oh, and another thing. The study found commercial products that promised to get rid of dogs’ feces eating problem didn’t work. Researchers warn they couldn’t rule out the fact that instructions weren’t followed properly.

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