Owning a German Shepherd is a wonderful experience as it gives you a friendly and protective dog to add to the family.
As with all dogs though, German Shepherd can sometimes display odd habits or behaviors that don’t make sense.
One of them is eating occasionally eating poop. This habit can be disturbing and also unhealthy, so it’s important to understand why your dog might be eating poop and how to stop it.
Why is my German Shepherd eating poop?
Most German Shepherds will eat poop because of health reasons or dietary deficiencies. Medical and behavioral issues can also cause your dog to eat poop. Some reasons your dog might be eating poop are more common than others. It’s important to figure out the reason why your dog is doing it so you can get them to stop.
Dogs can eat poop for a wide variety of reasons. It might be a one-time thing, or they might make a habit out of it.
It’s important to get your dog to stop doing it immediately so that they don’t get sick.
What Are Some Health Reasons that Dogs Eat Poop?
It’s important that if your dog is eating poop because of health reasons, you find and treat the underlying health condition so that they stop eating poop.
Here are some of the most common reasons your dog might start eating their own poop.
If your dog has a parasite, it will have significantly fewer nutrients and vitamins in its system.
If your dog has been exposed to unclean water, they are more likely to have contracted a parasite.
This might cause your dog to eat their own poop to try and get some of the nutrients back.
Your dog might find that your poop is a rich source of probiotics and will eat their own poop to try and gain some of these nutrients.
This might also be because of a deficiency they have from a lack of healthy food.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Your dogs might not be getting enough vitamins and minerals from the foods they are eating.
They might also have a health condition that causes their body to not be able to absorb vitamins effectively. This can usually be diagnosed by your doctor.
These deficiencies can because malnutrition, so you need to get them treated promptly.
Are There Dietary Reasons that Could Cause My Dog to Eat Poop?
Yes, dietary reasons are one of the main concerns when it comes to your dog eating poop. If your dog is on a highly processed kibble diet, your dog might start looking for food in other places because the processed food is not giving them enough nutrients. This might also cause them to eat their own poop.
Malnutrition can also be caused by a poor diet. Malnutrition can also be caused by feeding them too little. If you aren’t sure how much to feed your dog, ask the vet.
They will be able to recommend appropriate portion sizes for you.
Why Is My Dog Eating Their Own Poop?
While many of the most common reasons are listed above, there are also less common medical and behavioral reasons that your dog might be eating their own poop.
If you know you are feeding them enough food and they don’t have any vitamin deficiencies, you might want to consider other medical possibilities.
These will need to be checked and confirmed by your doctor.
Malabsorption disease can cause your dog to slowly starve because they are not able to absorb all the right nutrients from their food.
Many dogs that have diabetes and Cushing’s disease are also known to be poop eaters.
Steroid medications and other drugs can also cause an increase in appetite.
Since your dog might not have more food in the home, they will take to eating poop.
There are many behavioral reasons that will also cause your dog to eat their own poop.
Isolation and too much confinement can cause them to feel stressed or lonely and they will begin to eat their own poop.
Your dog might also just be eating their own poop for attention. If you give them the wrong attention when they are poop eating, they might continue to do it.
Make sure you ignore the poop eating behavior and don’t even give them a chance to start eating their own poop in the first place.
Anxiety can also cause them to eat their own poop and do other strange things. Anxiety can be caused by too much isolation or punishment.
Make sure not to treat your dog too harshly and always be gentle with them even when they are showing negative behaviors.
Dogs might also begin to eat poop if they are living with a sick animal.
This is a common behavior in the wild as an animal will eat the sick animal’s poop to protect them from being killed by predators.
Your dog might also make a close connection with food and fecal matter if you have them eating near where they potty.
Make sure the areas are distinct and separate from one another.
Dogs can also learn poop eating from their others as many mom dogs will eat the feces of their puppies to clean the area they sleep and eat in.
You might see this happening when you first bring your puppy home from the place you got them.
This behavior may or may not pass on its own once they adjust to your house.
Some dogs also just eat their poop if they are bored.
Make sure your dog is always getting enough physical and mental stimulation.
Also, make sure you don’t punish your dog for pooping inside as they might begin to eat so they can cover the evidence.
How Do I Get My German Shepherd to Stop Eating Poop?
There are many ways you can get your dog to stop eating poop.
The first thing you should do is take them to the vet to make sure they don’t have underlying health or medical condition.
Your vet will check the nutritional status of your dog to make sure they don’t have any deficiencies.
At home, you should make sure they are eating a whole food diet without any processed elements.
Most dog foods are filled with starches and additives that are not good for dogs.
Many people with dogs that have poop eating behaviors choose to feed their dogs’ homecooked diets instead.
This can allow their health and their digestive system to heal.
If you don’t have time to make them homecooked food, ask the vet for advice on the best wholesome dog food you can buy.
These options will always be more expensive because they will not be as largely processed and will have better quality ingredients.
The better quality is worth it though and it will also make you spend less money in the long run because you won’t have to take them to the vet because of health and medical issues.
Just make sure the kibbles you are buying are low carb and high quality.
Some dog owners also choose to give their dog air-dried or cold-pressed food because it’s easier to make and lasts longer so you can make them in big batches when you have time and then you don’t have to cook on the days you are busy.
Why Does Pineapple Stop Dogs from Eating Poop?
There is a theory that pineapple can cause your dog to stop eating their own poop. Pineapple is safe for dogs to eat so there is no issue when giving them this fruit.
Many fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs to eat and can give them a whole, more balanced diet.
Always check you’re your vet though or a trusted website before giving your dog any fruit or vegetable.
The theory with pineapple is that the bromelain enzyme found in it will make poop taste foul to your dog.
This will cause them to want to stay away from the fruit because it will no longer be tasty.
There isn’t much scientific evidence to back this up though and many vets disagree with the theory.
You can always try it though and see if it works for your dog. Make sure you are also giving them other foods to make a whole and balanced diet.
Your dog eating poop is unwanted and unappealing behavior. While it might be disturbing, it’s also unhealthy.
Dogs eating poop can mean a wide variety of underlying health and medical problems that need to be treated.
If not treated, your dog will always want to eat poop and will go searching for it.
Eating poop can also be caused by behavioral issues. Your vet can also address these issues and your dog can even see a behavioral trainer if the issue is serious enough.
At home, you should make sure your dog has a balanced diet and drinks enough water.
You should also go outside with your dog and clean up their poop immediately so they won’t be tempted to eat it.