Are you one of those pet owners who often find themselves wondering why dogs feed on chicken poop? The truth is that there are various good reasons behind this habit. Learning these reasons is important so you can address this issue properly.
Poop eating or also known as coprophagia is very common in canines. One out of four dogs is found to eat poop. This doesn’t look and sound great. So, why do dogs have chicken poop in the first place?
Dogs feed on chicken poop because of imbalanced diet
One of the top reasons why dogs feed on chicken poop is because they don’t get sufficient nutrients from their diet. When your pup doesn’t get enough protein or B vitamins from their regular food, he will look for it any way they can, and most of the time, it involves poop-eating.
Many types of feces contain undigested proteins so your pet may sniff these out and ingest them to fill in the gaps in their daily nutrition.
If your dog eats poop, for this reason, you might want to consult your vet to find a more nutritious dog food for him.
Dogs feed on chicken poop because of taste
Your dog may also eat chicken poop mainly because of its taste. Canines will scour their surroundings to find something edible. Chicken poop may be appealing to the taste buds of your pup. This may seem odd but this is the most possible reason why dogs feed on chicken poop.
Dogs feed on chicken poop because of canine coprophagia
If your pet feeds on chicken poop, there is also a good chance that he will also eat other animals’ poop. Depending on what your dog has access to, he may also eat not only chicken poop but also horse manure or even their poop.
Pet parents may find it repulsive but this behavior is very normal for canines. The main root of the behavior can be traced back to hundreds of years ago and is the combination of physiology and psychology.
Your pup doesn’t find anything wrong when it comes to eating poop. The truth is that they may even consider this behavior as something positive. As a part of their process of learning, puppies exploring the world around them using their mouths will usually eat poop.
You might want to learn other possible reasons behind coprophagia if your pet continues eating poop even when he is already an adult.
Dogs feed on chicken poop to hide their tracks
There is also a deeper and more primal reason why dogs feed on chicken poop. Canines in the wild cover their tracks by eating other dogs’ poop. If another canine is sick with his poop left in the open, his poop’s smell can alert both prey and predators to the location of the dog. Through this, your pup assumes that he is keeping the family protected by eating poop, including chicken poop, left outside.
Dogs feed on chicken poop because of psychological problems
One more possible reason for canine coprophagia comes from a cause that is deeper and more psychological. Your pup might have issues with anxiety. When this happens and your dog has access to poop, he may eat it as a coping mechanism.
Dogs that come from puppy mills and other stressful environments may develop coprophagia as well. If they suffered from abuse in the environment, they might form a connection between the abuse and the mess that poop created and this can make them try cleaning it up by compulsion.
Dogs feed on chicken poop because they crave attention
Dogs always seek some form of attention from their owners. Your pup looks up to you and wants some social connection coming from this interaction.
When you just pay attention to your dog every time he does something bad, it will reinforce the specific action in his mind. Although you might assume that your actions are a punishment for your pup and a way to teach him not to do a certain action, the effect might be the exact opposite.
Positive reinforcement is the best way of fixing this problem. Show your dog with lots of praises every time he does something you like to encourage.
See to it that you give your dog all the attention he needs and deserves. Play with him and take him out for walks so that he wouldn’t eat poop when he wants your attention.
Ways to stop your dog from eating poop of chicken
Although there are various reasons why dogs feed on chicken poop, it doesn’t make it less disgusting. It is still important to stop your dog from doing it.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to prevent this behavior. Some of the techniques require more time and effort than others but with patience, you can curb poop-eating in no time.
1. Burn off his energy
If your dog eats chicken poop because he feels bored or uses it as a way to express his nervousness, it is important to try burning off his excess energy as much as possible.
2. Ruin the taste
For dogs that like the taste of chicken poop, you can change it with the use of products that your dog doesn’t like.
3. Remove the poop
The simplest and easiest way to prevent poop-eating is to remove the poop in the first place so that your dog won’t have any access to it.
4. Practice persistent training
It is very gross if your dog eats poop and you will surely want your pet to stop eating any kind of poop. It can make their breath stink and their loving licks may turn into a disgusting and smelly experience.
Chicken poop eating is also associated with health risks. But, through supervision and proper training, you can stop your pet from eating poop. If your dog’s behavior is starting to worry you or you suspect that your dog suffers from a medical problem, consult your vet and seek their advice.
5. Training commands
Regimented and rigorous training is the most effective way of stopping your pup from eating poop. Teach your pet to drop it and leave it commands that they will respond to every time your dog snatches up some poop.
If you need more information, please refer to our previous dog training in-depth guide.
Shannon work as nurse practitioner in Alliance Health Medical Group. She own pets and she love pets. With her knowledge in medicine, she know what can the pet eat and what can’t