Sometimes, our dogs do many things that we don’t understand. If dogs could talk, a question we’d have to ask them is, “why do dogs eat cat poop?” It might sound like a silly question, but it’s one that needs an answer!
Logically, poop does not look, taste, or smell good, so why would any dog want to put it in their mouth? There must be something that we’re missing when it comes to making sense of it all.
At Dope Dog, we’ve done the research and came up with some useful information to share with dog owners all around the world, so you’ll know why dogs eat cat poop.
The Science Behind Eating Poop
In all honesty, it’s not just cat poop; dogs love all kinds of poop. This is because they are scavengers by nature. With this type of instinct, they may eat things like carpet, rocks, garbage, and even cat poop.
We know that cat poop smells disgusting, but your dog sees it as a delicious meal. Since a lot of cat food appeals to the dog’s smell and taste, it can also play a role as to why they love to snack from the litter box.
Eating poop is a disturbing habit call coprophagia that can result in a severe nutritional and dietary deficiency. According to the Merck veterinary manual, eating poop is part of the exploratory behavior, and many dogs are attracted to feces. As a matter of fact, mother dogs will eat the feces and urine of their puppies.
Reasons Dogs Eat Cat Poop
There are many reasons dogs eat cat poop, but if you catch your dog eating cat poop it is more likely from:
One of the most common reasons that dogs would eat cat feces is out of boredom. Dogs require a decent amount of mental and physical stimulation to keep them out of trouble. If your dog is left home alone for many hours, they will start to explore the litter box in hopes of finding something exciting.
If your dog is continuously bored, he or she may develop a poop-eating habit that could be hard to fix. Luckily, the right amount of exercise and plenty of toys at home can keep him or her busy, and hopefully make them forget a litter box is nearby.
If your dog is experiencing some severe vitamin deficiency of thiamine or vitamin B1, they will find a way to compensate for it. Some simple dietary deficiency could trigger your dog’s habit to the point where they will search for cat poop and devour it.
Veterinarians often recommend a dietary change to resolve this behavior. They may advise adding fiber, fats, or protein to provide a dog with a healthy and balanced meal.
STRESS AND ANXIETY
Dogs are highly sensitive creatures, and a stressful environment can cause them to do something crazy just to alleviate the stress. If your dog experiences bouts of anxiety, they can develop a habit of coprophagia to reduce that anxiety.
The dog’s ancestors (wolves) would often eat feces to fill up their appetite. This is especially true if they didn’t hunt enough prey to fill their stomachs. If your dog spent a considerable amount of time in the shelter or streets, they may be more likely to eat poop to ensure that they will not go hungry.
In fact, this can cause a dog to eat their own poop to fill up their stomach. This is very common for dogs who don’t know when and where their next meal will come from, so they would eat anything to prevent starvation, and that includes eating their own or other animal’s poop.
Plus, if puppies witnessed their mom doing that, they will quickly follow by example and develop that poop-eating habit.
THEY FIND IT DELICIOUS
We may find cat poop to be disgusting, but a lot of dogs simply love the taste of it. The smell alone is what makes dogs go crazy near the litter box, and they can spend hours searching and eating cat poop. In fact, dog experts claim that their four-legged canine friend can’t get enough of the “tasty treats”. It’s nauseating, but it’s the truth.