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Watching your sweet and loyal fur baby pick up frozen poop and eat it is embarrassing, frustrating, and downright gross. It can also indicate a more serious health problem that needs to be addressed. Poop-eating behavior among dogs is not tolerated by any pet owner. Feces carry deadly parasites that can have detrimental impacts on your poor dog’s immune system. The first step to stopping the behavior is understanding its root cause in the first place. Could it be a simple habit that has picked up the pace? Is your dog’s diet lacking important nutrients? Well, there several reasons why dog eat poop and we have already covered them on this post: Why Do Dogs Eat Deer Poop? Feel free to check it out.
But why winter? Why is your pup’s coprophagia behavior more pronounced when winter comes around? In this post, we will reveal some of the reasons why dogs eat poop when temperatures hit the negatives.
Let’s dive in.
Dogs are scavengers by nature. Their sense of smell is unparalleled. Poo may gross you out but your pup is absolutely in love with the smell. This can be his own poo, that of other animals or human waste. During winter, this smell is increased because snow locks in the moisture. This is why most dogs often get into the habit of eating poo during winter. The odor is just too hard to resist. They have no problem excreting and gobbling up on the poo to fulfill their scavenger traits.
Here’s a fun fact: dogs rarely put poorly formed and soft poo near their mouths. Apart from being smellier, frozen poop has a crunch to it. If you have been a dog parent for a while now, you know dogs love crunchy snacks. This is why canines are known for munching on ice whenever they come across it. It is also the reason most dog foods are dry and crunchy. Smacking on crunch seems to be a pleasurable experience for just about any dog. As they move around, dogs may view poo as part of their winter harvest (poopsicles) and will not hesitate to indulge in the treat.
3. Better Visibility
The contrast created between the color of snow and poop makes the latter easier to spot. Pet owners have in the past argued that this is also one of the contributing factors for the increased poop-eating canine behavior during winter. It makes it convenient for the pooch to find his crunchy snack.
4. Beating Grass Cravings
Since herbivores like deer and rabbits are vegetarians, they eat certain phytonutrients that dogs cannot access during the winter months. So, a dog that normally eats grass in the warmer months—but struggles to get the same nutrients during winter—is highly likely to chow down a frozen snack of horse, rabbit, or deer poop.
Some dogs simply enjoy eating poop at certain times of the year. They might have picked this behavior from their parents or siblings or learned it by themselves. In addition to craving poopsicles, these canines may even be specific on the actual poop to be ingested. Some relish horse and rabbit feces. As soon as winter comes, they will be on the hunt for this special type of poo to satisfy their cravings.
The Bottom line
Most pet parents panic when they find themselves with poo eaters for canine companions. However, you don’t have to be. There are myriad things you can do to break the habit once and for all. Keep a close eye on your pup and speak to your vet to find the right strategy for doing this.
Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.