0 Items

Health Risks Associated With Dogs Eating Poop

Nov 24, 2019 | Health, Pets

Thomas and I recently had a conversation with a friend about why dogs eat their own or other dog’s fecal matter and the risks involved.  Yes, we were talking about dog poop with a friend but that’s ok because he is not a dog owner and we were able to educate him just incase he were to ever decide to be a pet owner!  Set aside the fact that it is disgusting and highly inconsiderate to allow your pet to defecate in someone else’s yard without cleaning up, it can be harmful to your pet, your home and anyone living in it.

 
When we lived in Missouri, I can’t tell you how many times I watched neighbors walk their dogs, stopping to let their dog pee and poop in our yard and other’s yard and then keep on walking.  I once watched a woman throw her dog’s poop in our garbage can, look around to see if anyone saw her and keep walking.  We can’t predict when our dogs are going to decide to go, but we can be prepared with bags just incase and then property disposed of it when you get home!
 
Coprophagy is the act of ingesting feces.  There may be many reasons why your dog will eat poop.  There are many individual motivators for eating poop, but they usually stem from something to do with your dog’s health or behavior.

In regard to health risks in your pet, eating poop may be a sign your dog lacks certain vitamins or enzymes. He may turn to his poop to try to supplement these. Underfed puppies or overfed adult dogs may also ingest feces to aid digestion.

If you are dealing with a dog who has behavioral issues, these pups eat poop because of things like:

  1. Boredom – Dogs who are bored with their environments will look to eating poop to pass the time.
  2. Anxiety – Dealing with a dog who is stressed out due to a change in environment, etc.
  3. Environment – If they have to eat and lay on or near their own poop, they will eat it.
  4. Attention – If they got attention from eating poop, either positive or negative, they may do it again.
  5. Fear – If your dog has been punished for having an accident or has eaten poop, they may try and clean it up out of fear of being punished again.
  6. Habit – Your pup may have watched his mother eat their feces and copied this habit.

What will happen if your dog eats his own fecal matter or another animals poop?

Any time your dog eats feces of an unknown origin, they run the risk of contracting infectious diseases or parasites. They also have the potential to ingest medications or other irritating ingredients that have passed through the system of the other animal.

Signs your dog is sick from eating poop include:

  • Gastroenteritis
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Intestinal parasites
 
Can humans get sick from pet urine and feces?
One of the most dangerous bio-hazard situations a homeowner can face is pet urine and feces.  Pet urine and feces cleanup can prevent a multitude of diseases from spreading within the home. Exposure to urine, feces, and other fluids like vomit and blood can cause a spread of deadly bacteria and viruses.  This is just another reason you do not want your pet eating any fecal matter from themselves or any other animal for that matter.  
 
And there are at least 42 important diseases that people get by ingesting or handling food or water contaminated with animal feces.  Some are to name a few:
  • Rabies
  • Bubonic Plague
  • Food Poisoning
  • Monkeypox
  • West Nile Encephalitis
  • Legionnaires Disease
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Dog Tapeworm
  • Hookworm
  • Roundworm
  • Brucellosis

Set aside all of this, it is also the irritation you feel at the inconsideration of pet owners who do not clean up after their pet has defecated in your yard.  It is not fun when you are mowing grass and have either driven over and stepped in a pile that you did not know was there.  Especially if it is not from your own pet.

 

You Might Also Like

Why You Should Never Buy From A Puppy Mill

Why You Should Never Buy From A Puppy Mill

My neighbor in Missouri had the most adorable little Shih Tzu I had ever seen.  He had this quirky look with a droopy left eye and the sweetest personality.  I never asked what was wrong with his face but when she proceeded to tell me where she adopted him and what...

What Does Tethering Of Dogs Mean?

What Does Tethering Of Dogs Mean?

What does “Chaining” or “Tethering” of dogs mean? The term refers to the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary object or stake, usually in the owners backyard, as a means of keeping the animal under control.  These terms do not refer to the periods when an...

Frankie Available For Adoption

Frankie Available For Adoption

I've partnered with the Beaver County Humane Society again and I'm making it my mission to be at their facility at least once a month to take pictures of the sweet animals up for adoption.  I had the pleasure of meeting Frankie last Friday and she won my heart.  It...

Tips For Making A Party Appetizer

Tips For Making A Party Appetizer

I recently posted "How to make a meat and cheese tray for 8 people" and thought I would include this appetizer I made for the holidays.  This cheesy and salty dish is loaded with color and flavor and so easy to make.  Honestly, I think it put everyone in the party...

How The Pet Industry Has Grown

How The Pet Industry Has Grown

With the pet industry exploding in growth opportunities, I thought I would put together some statistics on pet ownership, cost per month, and how advanced we have come in our thinking about the quality of food, treats, care, services, and technology.  We are now...

The Breakdown And Dysfunction Of An Animals Mind

The Breakdown And Dysfunction Of An Animals Mind

Rene’ Descartes, the 17th century philosopher and mathematician once quotes that animals were not so much organisms but machines, biological devices with no more awareness than a clock.  “Animals eat without pleasure, cry without pain; growing without knowing it....

How To Teach Children To Be Kind To Animals

How To Teach Children To Be Kind To Animals

How to teach children to be kind to animals?  How else can a child know the difference?  I was once told that animals do not have personalities or feelings.  I was an adult participating in this conversation and could not for the life of me rationalize the words my...

How To Find Pet Insurance

How To Find Pet Insurance

It’s been an amazing year and I’m so looking forward to what 2020 will bring!  I was so excited when the mail came the other day and we received Jake and Maggie’s TDI certifications.  Jake and Maggie are on their way to doing great things and helping many people.  All...

Three Dog Bakery

Three Dog Bakery

Now that Christmas is over and the house is put back together and as promised, I can get back to blogging.   I am so excited to tell you the good news…drum roll…   Jake and Maggie are officially TDI certified and received their certifications from Therapy Dog...

What Do You Think? Let Us Know!

2 Comments

  1. Sharon

    Eat turkey, not poop! Thanksgiving joke for our furry friends!
    Hey, you’re giving Missouri pet owners a bad rep! I always carry 2 bags on every walk just in case!

    Reply
    • Bobbi

      haa haa. Yes, you are right…I should speak for all not just Missourians :-). I’ve seen it in WV and Pgh to! I just ordered a custom bag carrier and can’t wait to showcase it on my blog. Stay tuned for that!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.