Dogs Eat Poop, And You Might Not Be Able To Stop Them

Dogs are man’s best friend, and can be loving and cute, but the reality is that many of them eat poop. A new study published in the Veterinary Medicine and Science journal looked at the result of two web-based surveys of about 3,000 dog owners in the U.S. and Canada. They found 16 percent of owners said they witnessed their pooch eating dog poop (from themselves or another dog) on at least six occasions. It turns out this behavior has a scientific name– canine conspecific coprophagy. The University of California- Davis researchers found poo-eating dogs were more likely to live with other dogs (suggesting the behavior may have a social component), and also tended to be “greedy eaters” that “wolf down food.” Also, 85 percent of the poop-eating animals preferred fresh stool, which researchers say could be a habit tracing back to their wolf ancestors, who may have chowed down on parasite-infected poo near their dens before the parasite eggs hatched. Though it’s gross, vets say consuming poop isn’t likely to hurt your dog, though some may get diarrhea or be exposed to disease. And if your dog has a taste for stool don’t bother buying products to try and make him or her stop– dog owners who did this reported a two percent success rate at best. (Newser