Dogs have a reputation for being indiscriminate eaters. At times this can lead to them indulging in some rather unappetizing snacks, such as deer poop. If you've ever wondered why your dog might be chowing down on this type of feces, here's what you need to know.
First and foremost, it's important to understand that dogs are descendants of wolves. And wild canines have always had a natural instinct to consume feces. This behavior is known as coprophagia. It has several functions in the wild. For example, consuming the feces of other animals can provide additional nutrients and help them maintain a balanced gut microbiome. It can help to keep the den area clean and free of parasites.
However, just because dogs have a natural inclination to eat feces doesn't mean that it's a desirable or healthy behavior. In domesticated dogs, there can be a variety of reasons why they might be drawn to eating deer poop.
One reason is a lack of nutrients in their diet. If a dog is not getting enough of the nutrients they need from their food, they might start seeking them out elsewhere. This may include eating the feces of other animals. This is especially true if your dog is eating a low-quality commercial diet. Low quality diets often lack important vitamins and minerals.
Another factor that can contribute to a dog eating deer poop is boredom. Dogs left alone for long periods of time might start to look for ways to entertain themselves. Eating poop is entertaining to a dog. Both physical and mental exercise will help deter eating deer poop
Stress can also play a role in why dogs might eat deer poop. Just like with humans, dogs can experience stress and anxiety due to changes in their environment or routine. When a dog is feeling stressed or anxious they might start exhibiting unusual behaviors. One of those unusual behaviors is eating deer poop.
Digestive problems can also lead to coprophagia. If your dog has an upset stomach or is experiencing other digestive issues, they might start eating poop in an attempt to alleviate their symptoms. This is because the enzymes in feces can help to regulate the bacteria in their gut and ease digestive discomfort.
Finally, some dogs simply seem to enjoy the taste of feces. Just like with people, dogs have their own unique preferences, and some might find the taste and texture of deer poop to be irresistible.
If you suspect that your dog is eating deer poop, there are a few steps you can take to help prevent this behavior. First and foremost, make sure that your dog is getting a well-balanced diet that provides all the nutrients they need. You can also provide plenty of stimulation and exercise to help keep your dog entertained and prevent boredom.
You can try using a deterrent, such as a hot sauce or bitter spray, on the poop to make it unappetizing. You can also supervise your dog when they are outside and redirect their attention if they start to show interest in eating deer poop.
When taking walks in areas where deer roam, keep an eye out ahead of where your dog is walking. Steer your dog in a different direction when you see a patch of deer poop.
While it might seem strange and unpleasant, the act of dogs eating deer poop is a natural behavior. It has been around for centuries. No matter what the reason, there are ways to address the issue and help your dog break the habit of eating deer poop. Understanding why your dog might be indulging in this behavior can help you to take steps to prevent it. It could be a lack of nutrients in their diet, boredom, stress, digestive problems, or simply a preference for the taste.