Unfortunately, life with a German Shepherd isn’t always easy. Although it doesn't seem like a big deal at first, you should never ignore the fact that you noticed your German Shepherd how he eats his poop, the poop of other dogs, or cat poop.
If you notice that, you may wonder “OMG, why do they do that, it’s so disgusting!”, but actually, this is “normal” behavior for the dogs. Eating feces, also known as coprophagia, is a common occurrence in many animals, with around 25% of dogs engaging in this behavior.
In general, the reason why your German Shepherd has been eaten his poop, or the poop from other animals, is usually because of stress, boredom, or anxiety. Also, if his food doesn’t have enough vitamins and minerals, or the food of your German Shepherd is poor-quality food, your German Shepherd can eat poop as well.
German Shepherds, and dogs in general, have a different sense of smell and taste from ours. While we use our hands to explore the world, German Shepherds use their mouths to help them comprehend everything, whether it's kissing your face to greet you, holding objects between their teeth, or playing with toys or balls. Eating poo may simply be another approach for your dog to investigate something that piques their curiosity.
But it’s this safe from them? Can they become sick because they are eating poop? Let's find out more about this strange dog behavior!
Why does my German Shepherd eat his own poop?
If you have been noticed your German Shepherd how eats poop, you need to know that this is normal behavior for animals. There are different reasons why your German Shepherd will eat poop and the most popular reasons are:
- Malabsorption syndrome
Did you know?
Did you know that 92 percent of poop eaters want fresh stuff, only one to two days old. To significantly reduce the chance of your German Shepherd dog eating poop, clean the poop as soon as you see it.
There is a long-held belief that German Shepherd dogs eat feces because their diets are deficient in some way, and in this case, a multivitamin for dogs might be beneficial.
If your German Shepherd is on, for example, steroid medications (one of the most popular is prednisone), there is a bigger chance for him to eat his poop due to increased hunger.
German Shepherds can become stressed because they are bored, frustrated, scared or anxious. Dogs are highly social animals. Make sure that your dog doesn’t spend too much time alone, and walk your dog every day.
If you notice that your German Shepherd dog eats poop, have in mind this he learned from its mother. The mother usually eats feces, to keep their puppies clean and help them to go to the toilet. Also, we all know that dogs have not been from always our pets. Long ago, this method was helping dogs to avoid being attacked by predators due to bad smells.
Anxiety is another psychological basis for canine coprophagy, and this behavior is frequently observed in German Shepherd dogs undergoing housetraining. Punishment is common when a puppy is reprimanded for making mistakes during house training. During the training process, this causes anxiety. They eat their poop to hide evidence of what they perceive is a mistake and escape punishment as a result of their anxiousness.
If your German Shepherd has diabetes, a lack of glucose can cause your German Shepherd’s appetite to increase. Polyphagia is the overeating of food. If your dog doesn't have enough food to fill his or her stomach, the hunger will increase, and he or she may consume poop to fill the void in their stomach.
Eating feces can sometimes be a bored response. If your German Shepherd dog is home alone for long periods, then they may eat poop because there’s nothing else to do.
Some parasites in a German Shepherd’s body will deplete the nutrition the dog need. An excellent example is tapeworms. When your German Shepherd detects this, he may eat feces to restore the nutrients she is losing to parasites.
- Malabsorption syndrome
This is a condition that limits a German Shepherd's ability to digest food. The dog is unable to absorb and use the nutrients in the digested food, whether a part of the intestine or the pancreas is malfunctioning.
Why does my German Shepherd eat other dog's poop?
If your German Shepherd eats another dog's (or even another animal's) feces, it’s probably because he is searching for nutrients. An adult German Shepherd dog who eats the poops of other dogs is often deficient in nutrition. If you notice your dog doing this, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Why does my German Shepherd eat cat poop?
According to science, German Shepherd dogs consume cat poop because of the high protein content. It's also possible that a lack of essential nutrition in the dog's body is to blame for this annoying behavior.
Now you may wonder, can this be dangerous for them?
Eating poop from any animal can be dangerous for your German Shepherd dog, because feces contains a lot of parasites and harmful bacteria, such as salmonella.
The best way to keep your German Shepherd away from the poops of other animals is to teach him “leave” and “no” commands.
Why is my German Shepherd puppy eating poop?
The German Shepherd puppy will usually eat his poop, or poop from other animals, because he is bored, stressed, anxious, or he saw this from his mother. Also, German Shepherd puppies can eat feces to get your attention, because dogs are highly social animals, and they love to be in good company.
Is it normal for a German Shepherd to eat poop?
Surprisingly, yes, it's normal. In fact, eating poop is normal behavior for many animals and is seen in roughly 25% of dogs. There are a variety of reasons why your German Shepherd could be eating feces, but the most common explanation is because they enjoy the flavor and feel of it.
But this is something that can be dangerous if you don’t teach your German Shepherd to stop eating his poop, and poop from other animals.
As soon as you notice that your German Shepherd has been eaten a poop, teach them that this is something bad, and talk with your veterinarian.
How to stop my German Shepherd from eating poop?
If your German Shepherd dog too much often eats feces, and you can't control it, you should consider speaking to your local veterinarian or behaviorist for professional advice. Also, here are some tips that will help you to teach your German Shepherd to stop eating poop:
- Teach your German Shepherd “recall” or “leave it”. These commands are most-have commands for every dog, and in this situation, these commands can be really helpful. Stay patient, always practice, and of course, always reward them with their favorite toy or some tasty treats.
- Keep your dog on the leash. If you can’t control your German Shepherd, and he doesn’t understand “come”, “no”, or “leave it” commands, keep your dog on the leash, and you will avoid little accidents like eating poop, and other accidents.
- Get a muzzle for your German Shepherd dog. The muzzle is a great training tool that can help you to teach your German Shepherd to not eat feces.
- Reward good behavior. This can speed up the whole process. Every time when you notice that your German Shepherd obeys your commands, and chooses not to eat poo, reward him.
- Distract your dog. Give your German Shepherd to carry something in their mouth, like their favorite ball or any other toy, but try to avoid sticks.
- Always pick the poop of your dog. Make sure that you pick up the stools of your German Shepherd as soon as possible and keep them on the leash while you do that. If your GSD behaved well, reward him. Also, keep your environment always clean! Pick up the poop of your dog always.
- Give more attention to your dog. As we mentioned before, stress, boredom, and anxiety can be one of the causes why your German Shepherd eats poop. Try to spend more time with your dog, and his mental and physical health will improve for sure!
- Change diet. If you find out that your German Shepherd doesn’t get enough nutrition and all essential vitamins, it’s time to change his diet! We suggest you contact your veterinarian and ask for help.
- Try with unpleasant food. After research, scientists have concluded that dogs who eat “unpleasant food”, such as pineapple, lemon, and courgette, will later avoid eating feces because of "bad taste".
How to clean my German Shepherd's mouth after they've eaten poop?
This isn’t going to be fun and easy at all, but this is something that we must do. After the “poop dinner” it’s time for cleaning, and one of the best ways to clean the mouth of your German Shepherd after he eats a poop is:
- Give him food to eat, and water to drink. This will help them to clean their mouth, and they should be freshened up a little.
- Clean around their mouths with clean wet cloth.
- Use dog toothbrushes and toothpaste to clean their teeth. We suggest you avoid toothpaste that is made for us (humans). Some toothpaste can be toxic for them, so we highly recommend you get a dog toothbrush.
- Give them something to chew on, like a dental stick.
- Don't be mad at your dog, and don't even think to punish him. Try to make your dog as stress-free as possible. After that, it's time for training!
Why does my German Shepherd poop so much?
This can be difficult to know when your German Shepherd pooping too much because you probably don't know how much is too much. Some German Shepherds can poop even 5 times in one single day, and it will be normal for them.
But there is a general rule, that they should produce poop of about the same mass as the food they eat. If they look to be pooping out far more than they are eating, it's a clue that something isn't quite right.
The possible reasons why your German Shepherd pooping to much are:
- Too much food
- It is not the correct type of food.
- Sudden change in diet
- Surroundings that are unfamiliar
- Stress or depression
- When you're not looking, your dog sneaks food
- Loud music
- Colitis (inflammation)
Why does my German Shepherd have loose stools?
A major cause of acute (sudden) diarrhea in German Shepherd dogs is dietary indiscretion (eating rubbish or other disagreeable or irritating things), or a change in diet. Acute diarrhea can also be caused by stress, especially after travel, boarding, or other changes in the environment.
Diarrhea is caused by the movement of feces through the gut at a quicker rate than water, nutrients, and electrolytes are absorbed.
If your German Shepherd has diarrhea, the best food choice for him at that moment is:
- Lean protein
- White rice
- Canned pumpkin
- Prescription dog food
- Dog food for sensitive stomachs
I’ve tried everything and my German Shepherd dog still eats poop
If you have been tried everything, and your German Shepherd dog still eats his poop or poop from other animals, it's finally time to call your veterinarian.
We believe that the Internet is a great place, with tons of great and useful information, but in this case, we highly recommend you to call and visit your veterinarian.
Should you be too much worried when you see your German Shepherd how he is eating poop? No, but you should do something about that. This is normal behavior for dogs, and the best way to solve that problem is through training.
Contact your veterinarian, ask for advice, and don’t skip training!