What is Coprophagia in dogs?

Definition of what is Coprophagia in dogs

Maybe it’s the first time you ear this so you need to understand what is Coprophagia in dogs. It’s simply that the act of dogs consuming their own or other animals’ feces is known as coprophagia.

It does sound strange doesn’t it?

Well, as strange as it may seem to us all, it is true! Coprophagia in dogs for most people (dog owners included) may seem unnatural and abnormal a behavior.

Well actually it is not so, it simply is an undesirable act. Interestingly, coprophagia is common in many species and dogs are one among those.

What is coprophagia in dogs? Jack Russell Terrier duo.
What is coprophagia in dogs? Jack Russell Terrier duo.

Why Coprophagia in dogs?

The coprophagic behavior in dogs is more prevalent in puppies.

Fortunately for us owners, most of the puppies grow out of the behavior as they grow up, while some of them do not to let go of the habit as they continue on with the same behavior.

The coprophagic behavior is also very common in nursing mother dogs. The mother dog tends to develop this habit because the pups are not in a position to eliminate (feces) on their own. Until they’re about three weeks old, the mother dog then licks her very young puppies to activate the defecation reflex.

The mother dog also then eats the feces of the pups to keep the den clean and hygienic. It also does this to keep the away predators away, which could be attracted to the den by the smell of the feces.

Types of Coprophagia in dogs

Now that we know what is Coprophagia in dogs; let’s see together the types of coprophagia in dogs. The coprophagic behavior can manifest in two ways:

#1 Dog eat their own poop

Some dogs eat their own feces and feces of other dogs and they do it so regularly. This habit of dogs eating dogs poop is very common in many dogs.

#2 Dog eat feces of other species of animals

Some dogs eat the feces of other species of animals like cats, horses, geese etc. Some dogs even eat the feces of humans.

There are various reasons for the dogs to carry on with this habit. Dogs mostly ingest the feces of herbivorous animals. This is not abnormal for dogs to do so, in fact it is very natural but then yes, it is quite undesirable for the dog owners to watch!

Many dogs also eat the poop of carnivores though the nutrient value from the feces of carnivores is almost absent.

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It’s ok to wonder what is Coprophagia in dogs

We now have an idea as to what is Coprophagia in dogs and some consequences.

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