Why Do Dogs Eat Chicken Poop?

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Perhaps the most common question we hear from dog owners is, “Why do dogs eat chicken poop?”

The answer is a little complicated and involves understanding what drives dogs to eat, their anatomy and physiology, and evolution.

Red chicken full of poop

Why Dogs Eat Chicken Poop

There are several reasons why dogs may eat poop. It’s important to understand the reasons because your best course of action will depend on which reason applies to your pet. 

For example, some pets will eat manure-covered straw or grass because they like the taste of the soil.

Other times, it can be due to a medical condition like malabsorption or pancreatic insufficiency.

Genetics

Dogs evolved from wolves, who ate everything in the carcass after a kill. This meant eating meat, bones, organs, and feces.

The digestive system of canines hasn’t changed much since then, so they still produce a lot of enzymes that break down these elements, even though they don’t need them anymore. 

Their bodies also aren’t very efficient at absorbing nutrients from food before it passes through the large intestine.

So dogs will re-eat their feces to get the vitamins and minerals they need[1].

Learned Behavior

Dogs communicate through scent and body language more than humans, so some pets may learn that eating something makes another pet happy or excited.

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Puppies learn what is safe to eat from their mothers and other pack members.

So if a puppy sees another pet eating feces, it may assume that it’s okay for them to do so, too.

Hunger

If a dog is hungry, it will eat anything it can find, including poop[2].

This is particularly common in puppies, who are still learning about their environment and may not have developed a good sense of what is safe to eat.

A lack of food can also make dogs scavenge for things to eat, including feces.

Poor Hygiene

If a dog’s living environment is dirty, it may eat feces to keep its food source clean.

Pets will also eat feces if they’re not groomed regularly, and their fur is matted with feces and urine.

This is not only unhygienic for the pet, but it can also lead to skin infections.

Likewise, if a pet’s water and food bowls are not cleaned regularly, the same is true.

Inadequate Diet

If a dog is not getting the correct nutrients in its diet, it may eat feces to supplement it[3].

Pets fed a poor-quality diet are prone to this behavior.

Typically, this is only a problem with puppies, who need to eat a diet that is high in protein and nutrients.

There are several reasons why dogs eat chicken poop, but the most common one is that they are trying to get nutrients that they are missing from their diet.

If your pet is eating chicken poop (or cat poop), make sure that you are feeding them a high-quality diet rich in protein and nutrients.

You may also want to have your veterinarian check their thyroid levels to ensure they are getting the right amount of nutrients.

Is It Ok for Dogs to Eat Chicken Feces?

Is It Ok for Dogs to Eat Chicken Feces?

While it’s not ideal for dogs to eat chicken feces, it’s generally not harmful.

However, you should keep an eye on your pooch to make sure they are not overeating chicken feces.

If you see that they are eating it regularly, you may need to change their diet or living environment.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Chicken Poop?

Chicken poop is not toxic to dogs[4] and is unlikely to make them sick. But, it may contain bacteria or parasites that can be harmful if your pooch develops an infection. 

However, they can get sick from eating other types of feces, so it’s important to keep their living environment clean.

What to Do When Your Dog Eats Chicken Poop

What to Do When Your Dog Eats Chicken Poop

If your dog is eating chicken feces, you should first check their diet to make sure they are getting the nutrients they need.

Punishing your puppy for eating chicken poop will not help and may worsen the problem.

Puppies need to be watched more closely, as they are more likely to eat feces due to their lack of experience and knowledge. 

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Eating Chicken Poop

If your dog is eating chicken feces, you can do a few things to stop them. Here are a few tips:

  • Correct The Underlying Problem – If your pet is eating chicken feces because they are not getting the nutrients they need, you might need to adjust their diet.
  • Clean Up The Environment – Make sure your dog’s living environment is clean and free of feces.
  • Train Your Dog – You can train your pet not to eat chicken feces by using positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise.
  • Groom Your Dog – Make sure your pet is groomed regularly so that its fur does not become matted with feces and urine.
  • Use A Fence – If your pet is constantly eating chicken feces from the yard, you might need to fence the area.
  • Chew Toys – Give your pet chew toys to keep them occupied and away from chicken feces.

Final Thoughts

Dogs eat chicken poop for a variety of reasons, but the most common one is that they are trying to get nutrients that they are missing from their diet. 

If your dog is eating chicken feces, make sure that you are feeding them a high-quality diet that is rich in protein and nutrients.

If the problem persists, you may need to take your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up.

FAQs 

Is Chicken Poop Dangerous for Dogs?

Chicken feces is not harmful to dogs, and they are unlikely to get sick from it. However, it may include germs or parasites that can be harmful.
If your dog gets an infection from eating chicken poop, it might require treatment from a veterinarian.

Resources

  1. https://peterdobias.com/blogs/blog/5-most-common-reasons-why-dogs-eat-feces
  2. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/why-dogs-eat-poop/
  3. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dog-behavior-problems-coprophagia
  4. http://www.askavetquestion.com/answer_np-id-702-title-ve-heard-chicken-poop-bad-dogs-this-true-so-what-can-i-do.htm

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