Catching your dog chowing down on their own waste is enough to make your stomach churn, especially when you think about the big slobbery kiss they’re bound to give you later. The technical term for consuming feces is coprophagia, and it’s a condition that almost always has to do with a problem in your dog’s digestive system.
It could be a general lack of nutrition that has your dog searching the yard for an unsanitary snack, and for many poop-eating pups, an unbalanced intestinal microflora is to blame. A dog’s intestinal microflora is made up of good and bad bacteria that assist in breaking down food and absorbing nutrients. The helpful bacteria are called probiotics, and a dog that doesn’t get enough probiotics in their diet could resort to eating their own waste.
What’s the Deal With Probiotics?
Many people recognize probiotics as a daily pill they take to improve digestion or as a word printed on yogurt containers. Probiotics have long-since been proven to benefit humans, and advancements in veterinary science show they also do good work for man’s best friend. Most people think bacteria is bad, but probiotics are good bacteria that are essential for gut health in both dogs and people. They’re often the key to treating digestive issues including chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas, and acid reflux. According to WebMD, they stimulate nerves that control gut movement to keep food moving smoothly through the digestive system. Humans and canines obviously have different biology, but veterinarians and animal nutritionists have found good bacteria is just as important for dogs as it is for people.
Probiotics in Dogs
Dogs naturally produce some of the digestive enzymes and intestinal microflora they need for healthy digestion, but they rely on the food they eat to fill in the gaps. Most dogs today eat diets of high-carb dry dog food because it’s convenient and affordable for humans. It’s not that dry dog food is bad for dogs, but eating that cooked kibble isn’t natural. Their bodies are designed to be carnivores preying on whatever animals they can hunt down. The difference between a natural diet made up of prey and an inorganic meal of commercial dog food is a lack of nutrition.
Dr. Karen Becker with Mercola Healthy Pets explains how and why dogs are missing out on essential probiotics. Because probiotics are live bacteria, it’s virtually impossible for them to survive long enough to do their job in a commercial pet food. Many dog food recipes include probiotics to begin with, but heat from cooking and preservatives needed for a long shelf life kill them off.
In the wild, dogs get live probiotics and digestive enzymes by eating raw meat. When a wolf takes down a deer, they eat the deer’s digestive tract. Inside those digestive organs are things like digestive enzymes and live probiotics that the wolf needs to digest their own food. Dogs typically don’t go prowling the forest ready to take down prey, and even dogs that are fed raw diets don’t get entrails in their dish. All this leads to an unbalanced microflora where the bad bacteria is stronger than the good.
How a Probiotic Supplement Can Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop
When a dog eats their own poop, something is missing from their diet. For whatever reason, they’re trying to make up for gaps in their nutritional intake and unbalanced microbiome. Adding probiotics to their diet can get their system back on track. A healthy gut is essential for a healthy dog, and supplements are the most effective way to make sure they get what they need.
Giving your dog a daily supplement including probiotics and all the other digestive essentials that make up a healthy gut will help them stave off digestive upset. It’ll give their body what it needs to correct digestive issues while filling in nutritional gaps left by an inorganic and incomplete diet. When they get everything they need at mealtimes, they’ll be less likely to go foraging for feces later.
Choose the Right Supplement
The best kind of digestive support is a supplement that includes all the good stuff that goes into a healthy gut. Your dog needs probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and even digestive herbs to keep things humming. Pronine™ Flora from iHeartdogs is a four-in-one digestive aid that covers all your dog’s digestive needs. It helps restore digestive balance while relieving symptoms of poor nutrient absorption and food digestion including constipation, gas, and diarrhea.
Eating poop is a dirty little habit you wish your dog would drop already, but it’s not something that will simply go away. Help your dog overcome their digestive issues by prioritizing their gut health. When their gut gets everything it needs, your dog will be less likely to consume their own feces. Talk to your vet about the benefits of a probiotic supplement before you’re the victim of a poop-breath dog kiss.
Featured Photo by James Barker on Unsplash
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.
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