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Something no french bulldog owner ever wants to see is their dog eating their own, or other animals, poop. It’s quite gross and difficult to understand. Is it normal for french bulldogs to eat poop or is something wrong?
Why Do French Bulldogs Eat Poop:
When a french bulldog is a puppy it’s not abnormal to see them eat poop once or twice. They’re in their exploratory phase of life and still learning what’s right and wrong. Reasons an older french bulldog eats poop are they’re hiding an accident, nutrient deficiency, or following instincts.
In this post you’ll discover:
- 9 real reasons why french bulldogs eat their own, as well as other animals, poop
- When their poop eating is something to be concerned about
- 5 tips to help reduce, or completely stop, a frenchies poop eating (sometimes tip #3 is the only way to kick the habit)
- And much, much more
Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
9 Reasons Why French Bulldogs Eat Poop
1) They Like The Taste
Put simply, your frenchie may just like the taste of poop which is making them eat it.
It’s not uncommon for a dog to develop a bad habit of eating poop.
If they try it once or twice and find out they don’t mind, or even like the taste, they’ll unfortunately continue to do it.
And it can be quite a challenging habit to break because it’s something they enjoy.
2) Hiding An Accident
If your frenchie is house trained but had an accident inside, they may eat the poop to hide what they did.
Eating their own poop in this situation is typically a form of guilt.
They know they shouldn’t have gone number 2 inside, but couldn’t hold it any longer.
And to avoid getting yelled at, they’ll eat their poop to hide what they’ve done so they won’t get in trouble.
3) Clean Up Crew
Dog’s instinctively don’t like to soil their own space.
They like to keep their area, or their ‘den’, clean.
So if they have an accident in an area they feel is their space, they may eat it to keep it clean and hygienic.
This is quite common if they have an accident in their crate.
For many dogs, a crate is their safe place and is their own personal home inside your home.
If they can’t hold their number 2 any longer and go inside their crate, it’s not uncommon for them to eat it to keep their place clean.
Also, your frenchie may have learned the behavior from their mother.
While mothers would eat their pups poop to keep their ‘den’ clean, they’d also eat it to ensure predators wouldn’t track the scent of the poop.
Which may seem silly given there’s no predators for your pup to worry about anymore, but it’s very much instinctive to them.
4) Low Nutrient Absorption
When a french bulldog’s body isn’t properly absorbing their food’s nutrients, it can cause them to want to eat their own poop.
This is typically because what comes out the other end will look and smell similar to what they initially ingested.
Which means to them, it’s really not that off-putting and since they’re likely hungry, it’s no problem for them to eat.
It can also be because the food they’re eating simply doesn’t have adequate nutrients.
Unfortunately, many popular dog food brands are low in proper nutrients and primarily grain-based.
So your frenchies poop eating could be because their body isn’t properly absorbing nutrients, or their food doesn’t have all the nutrients their body needs.
In either case it’s a good idea to take your frenchie to the vet to have them looked at.
If your pup has clumps of undigested food in their poop, has frequent diarrhea, or is not growing as much as they should, these are all signs of improper nutrient absorption.
Related Reading: 9 Reasons French Bulldogs Are High Maintenance + 4 Tips
5) They Aren’t Getting Enough Food
Unknowingly, you may not be feeding your frenchie enough of their daily kibble which is making them hungry enough to eat poop.
If your pup isn’t getting enough food you may notice it in their overall appearance in addition to their poop eating.
Their weight will be lower than it should be based on their age and you might even be able to easily see/feel their rib cage through their skin.
Natural progression of a healthy french bulldog’s weight will look roughly like this:
4 weeks old: 2 – 4.5 pounds
8 weeks old: 4.5 – 7 pounds
3 months old: 7 – 9 pounds
4 months old: 9 – 12 pounds
5 months old: 12 – 14 pounds
6 months old: 14 – 16 pounds
7 months onward: anywhere between 16 – 28 pounds
Of course these are rough numbers, but if your frenchie is well behind they may not be getting enough food for healthy weight gain.
If you start increasing their daily food intake their poop eating should stop because they won’t feel hungry all the time.
When a french bulldog eats poop only when they’re alone, it can be a sign that your pup has separation anxiety.
Or high levels of anxiety in general.
When a frenchie has separation anxiety they may pick up on several different compulsive behaviors.
One of which is eating their poop.
If their poop eating has been a problem since you’ve had your french bulldog, they may have had a traumatic experience that’s causing them anxiety.
However, separation anxiety can still be developed in later stages of their life without a physically traumatic experience (abuse).
Things like a change in home environment, a change in schedule, or a complete change in where they live can create high levels of anxiety in a pup.
So if your frenchies poop eating is new behavior, and they’ve recently gone through a large life change, they may have separation anxiety.
Related Reading: 7 Ways To Eliminate Your Dogs Anxiety, Shyness Or Fear
7) An Attempt To Get Attention
Sometimes dogs aren’t too concerned whether the attention they get is positive or negative.
What’s most important to them is that they’re getting your attention.
So if your frenchie is feeling like you haven’t been giving them enough attention the last 14.5 minutes, they may eat poop to get a rise out of you.
Since the first time you’ve caught them eating poop you’ve always had a big reaction and went over to them to get them to stop.
Which unfortunately makes them want to do it again in the future anytime their other methods of getting your attention aren’t working.
The best thing to do if you notice them eating poop is to give as minimal reaction as possible.
Simply say no in a firm, low tone of voice, and remove them from the area where the poop is.
Reacting this way will show them eating poop doesn’t get the kind of attention they want.
Related Reading: 10 Best Toys To Entertain Your Dog | Boredom Buster Toys
8) Protecting Their Family
Your frenchie may eat the poop of any animal in your home due to instinctive protective behavior.
How the heck does eating poop protect the family?
In a wolf pack, if one of the wolves was sick, other wolves in the pack would eat their poop in an attempt to stop the spread of the sickness.
If their poop had intestinal parasites the rest of the pack would be at risk of getting them if the poop stayed in their resting area.
And somehow they evolved to know that the parasites aren’t initially dangerous, but if they were left for a couple days, they could make the rest of the pack ill.
So if your frenchie feels one of their animal companions isn’t well they may be eating the poop to protect the rest of their family/pack.
Related Reading: Are French Bulldogs Protective? The Truth + Reasons & Tips
9) Not Feeling 100%
Sometimes poop eating can be caused by an underlying health issue.
Diseases like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or cushing disease can make your frenchie feel hungry all the time.
Your pup is more susceptible to these conditions as they reach their senior years so if your pup is getting a little older it’s a good idea to have a vet look at them.
5 Tips To Stop French Bulldogs From Eating Poop
1) Clean It Up Right Away
When you’re out for a walk with your frenchie, I’m sure you clean up their poop right away already.
But when it comes to their poop in the backyard or if you have a litter box in your home, it’s best to clean it up right away to help them break the habit.
If there’s no poop to be found then there’s no way for your pup to continue eating it.
And after enough time has passed with them not eating poop, their habit or enjoyment of doing it will fade and soon be forgotten.
2) Try a Higher Quality Dog Food
If you notice your frenchies poop is often really runny or has large chunks of undigested food, either their body isn’t absorbing nutrients or their food lacks nutrients.
In either case, it’s worth trying a higher quality dog food.
If you’re currently feeding your pup a grain-based dog food, it’s a good idea to try out a meat-based kibble.
Dog food with a main ingredient being some animal based protein, and says no use of preservatives as well as highly digestible on the bag, are what you want to see.
This will give your pup the best chance of getting the nutrients their body needs to be healthy.
If you notice after feeding them higher quality dog food they’re still having runny or chunky poops it’s something wrong with their bodies ability to absorb nutrients.
Which means they should see a vet for possible treatments.
3) Make The Poop Taste Worse
Who knew poop could taste good…
If your frenchie has unfortunately created the habit of eating their poop, whether it’s from boredom, wanting to hide it, or simply enjoying it, you may need to make it taste worse to stop them from wanting to eat it.
This can be in the form of adding spices to their poop after they’ve gone in your backyard or adding a stool repellent to their food.
Adding something a little spicey to their poop can make them completely uninterested in eating it ever again.
Same with a stool repellent.
If you’d like to go the stool repellent route, Vetrinex Labs Poop Eating Deterrent is one of the best you can find on amazon.
4) Make Accidents As Least Likely As Possible
The best way to make accidents as least likely as possible is to create your pups poop schedule.
Which doesn’t sound like something you can create, but it absolutely is!
If you feed your frenchie at the same time every day, their need to go number 2 will happen around the same time every day.
Which means you can have quite a bit of control over when your pup needs to poop.
This also means you can make it so they’re super unlikely to have an accident and feel the need to eat their poop to hide it or clean up.
When you create a more rigid feeding time for your pup you keep their bathroom break schedule consistent so they don’t have as many accidents.
5) Take Them To See a Vet
Sometimes your pup is going through some underlying health issues that’s making them behave out of the ordinary.
If you feel your frenchie might have something going on internally that’s causing them to eat their poop it’s a good idea to take them to the vet.
It’s also a good idea if you’re puzzled by the behavior.
They’ll likely be able to help give you some answers that make your pups poop eating behavior make sense.
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