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One of the more disgusting things you can see your schnauzer do is eat poop. Whether it’s their own or another dog’s or animals. It’s flat out gross.
Is it normal for schnauzers to eat poop or is something wrong?
Why Does My Schnauzer Eat Poop:
When a schnauzer is otherwise healthy, they will eat poop because they have found they enjoy the taste or if they want your attention. If when they eat poop you make a big scene, this only makes them want to continue eating poop. It can also be caused by an underlying health issue.
In this post you’ll discover:
- 8 reasons why schnauzers eat poop
- When your schnauzers poop eating is something to be concerned about
- 5 simple tips to help your schnauzer stop eating poop (Tip #2 is the simplest solution!)
- And much more
Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
8 Real Reasons Why Schnauzers Eat Poop
1) Unfortunately.. For Attention
Sometimes the reason for your schnauzer eating poop is simply because they want attention.
Which is a pretty unfortunate habit considering how gross it is.
But, if your schnauzer has learned that every time they eat poop, it gets them attention, they’ll want to continue to do it.
Many people aren’t aware that your pup isn’t too concerned about whether they get positive attention or negative attention.
All that matters to them is that you weren’t paying attention to them before and as soon as they eat poop, you now are.
The best thing to do if this is the case for your schnauzer is to be as calm as possible when you catch them.
Don’t yell, run after them to make a big scene in general.
Simply walk over, put them inside or in their crate and say nothing to them.
This shows them eating poop gets them the opposite of what they want.
Which can help stop poop eating for this reason.
2) Hiding What They Did
Another reason your schnauzer might be eating poop is because they’re trying to hide what they did.
They know they weren’t supposed to go inside but they simply couldn’t hold it any longer.
And to avoid being punished they decided to eat their poop to hide the evidence.
This type of poop eating is more of a form of guilt from your schnauzer.
It’s not about enjoying it or doing it for attention purposes and more about wanting to stay in your good books.
3) They Want Their Space Clean
Instinctively, your schnauzer wants to keep their space, or their den clean.
Which means any areas that they feel are their home, if they have an accident in them, they’ll want to eat the poop to keep their space clean.
Dogs are naturally very clean animals and don’t want places where they spend a lot of their time to be unhygienic.
The most common place for this to happen for many pups is their crate.
This is their home inside your home.
And since it’s a space that’s quite closed quarters, they don’t want to leave poop sitting so close to them because their instincts tell them it could cause them to get sick.
So, they eat their poop to keep their space clean and safe from illness.
Your schnauzer may have seen and learned this behavior from their birth mother when they lived with the rest of their litter.
4) High Levels Of Anxiety
If your schnauzer has a lot of anxiety, they may start eating their poop as a way to cope.
This is one of the more common reasons for dogs to start this habit.
When a pup is feeling anxious, they’ll do anything to try and calm themselves down.
And for some dogs, eating poop does the trick.
It’s a disgusting habit but it’s one that might provide relief for your pup.
If your schnauzer is eating their poop due to anxiety, you’ll want to try and find out what’s causing them so much stress.
Once you know what it is, you can start working on ways to help them cope with it in a healthier way.
Related Reading: 7 Ways To Eliminate Your Dogs Anxiety, Shyness Or Fear
5) Lack Of Nutrient Absorption
If your schnauzer is having trouble absorbing their food’s nutrients it can result in them eating poop in an attempt to get the nutrients they’re missing.
Many times this is because of a food allergy.
Which means their body isn’t able to take in the nutrients from their food, so they’re looking for other ways to get them.
One of those ways being poop eating.
If you think this might be the reason for your schnauzer’s poop eating habit, you’ll want to take them to the vet to get them checked out.
6) Accidently Being Underfed
If you’re accidently underfeeding your schnauzer, it’s understandable that they’d start looking for just about anything to eat, including their poop.
This can happen during their major puppy growth spurt, or it can be that your doggo simply has an unusually fast metabolism.
The only way to know for sure if your pup simply has a quicker metabolism would be to have a vet do some tests and tell you this is the case.
If you’re comfortable trying something before taking them to the vet you can try simply giving them more kibble throughout the day to see how their body responds.
If their poop eating stops and you don’t notice any unhealthy weight gain, you likely found the culprit.
But if they continue to eat poop even though you’ve started giving them a little more food it’s best to have a vet take a look at them.
7) They Found Out They Enjoy The Taste
Some schnauzers simply enjoy the taste of their own or other dog’s poop.
It’s gross, but it’s true.
And if your pup finds out that they enjoy the taste, they may start doing it more and more.
Which unfortunately becomes a habit that’s difficult to break.
In their eyes there’s nothing wrong with doing it and it’s just something they enjoy.
8) Underlying Health Issue
Last but not least, if your schnauzer is eating their poop there could be an underlying health issue that’s causing it.
This is the most serious reason for a dog to start this gross habit and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
Some health issues that may cause a dog to start eating feces are: pancreatitis, liver disease, intestinal parasites, and Cushing’s disease.
If you see your pup eating their poop and they don’t fit into any of the other categories we’ve talked about, it’s best to take them to the vet for a check-up.
They’ll do some tests and determine if there is an underlying health issue causing your schnauzer to eat their poop.
5 Tips To Stop Your Schnauzer From Eating Poop
1) Have a Vet Look At Them
Before trying anything on your own, it’s always a good idea to have a vet take a look at your pup to ensure their strange behavior isn’t anything serious.
My brother (who’s a vet) usually recommends an ‘elimination’ process in these types of situations.
Where they do different tests eliminating certain possibilities.
This way they can narrow down the possibilities behind their odd new behavior.
If you’re also noticing other strange behavior like frequent vomiting, diarrhea, sleeping more than usual, etc. it’s definitely worth having a vet take a look at them.
2) Make It Taste Worse
If your schnauzer is simply eating poop for attention or because they enjoy the taste, try making it taste bad.
Who knew poop could taste good in the first place…
You can do this by adding some spice to their poop or adding stool repellents to their food.
Both solutions can help make them much less interested in eating their poop because it now tastes bad to them.
Which means it’s not worth eating for attention and certainly not enjoyable anymore.
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.
3) Try An Elimination Diet
If your vet isn’t able to find any underlying health issues that could be behind your schnauzers poop eating, they’d likely recommend a change in diet.
If your pup is allergic to an ingredient in their food it would affect their body’s ability to absorb the nutrients and cause them to want to eat poop.
Most of the time the allergy is from the food’s main protein source.
Chicken, beef, pork, etc.
So changing up which protein source your schnauzer’s food has can help their body properly digest their food and stop their urge to eat poop.
4) Help Them Break The Habit
If your vet can’t find anything wrong and you’ve tried making their poop taste bad, the next step is to help them break the habit.
Which means never giving them the chance to eat poop.
I’m sure you pick up their poop right away when you’re on a walk with your schnauzer.
But when it comes to going number 2 in your backyard, many people leave it and do a big clean up every once and a while.
You’ll want to clean up their poop each time they go even when it’s just in your backyard.
This will make sure they’re never given the chance to eat poop.
And over time, this will help them break the habit because enough time will have passed since they ate some.
As the saying goes, out of sight out of mind.
5) Boredom Buster Toys
If your schnauzer eats poop because they’re looking for attention or simply because they’re bored, you may want to look into more stimulating dog toys.
Toys that will keep their attention and help tire them out so they’re not as restless/bored.
Plus, it’s always good to have more stimulating toys around anyways to help prevent any other bad behaviors from popping up.
Related Reading: 10 Best Toys To Entertain Your Dog | Boredom Buster Toys
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