Dogs do some peculiar things. One of the most puzzling behaviors is when dogs eat poop. Doesn’t it taste terrible? What’s the point? If you’re asking yourself: my dog ate poop, how do I clean his mouth? You’re in the right place.
While you find it disgusting, it turns out that it may be perfectly normal behavior. When it does occur, however, you want to be ready to clean your dog’s mouth so that his breath smells fresh and it isn’t gross when he tries to lick your face.
With a few simple steps, you can make sure your dog has fresh breath once again and his mouth is as clean as possible.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
There is a scientific name for why your dog eats his poop or poop from another animal (cat poop, anyone?); it’s called canine conspecific coprophagy, or coprophagia. It’s estimated that one in six dogs regularly eats feces.
Coprophagia may be tied to medical issues your dog is experiencing, which is why it’s important to ask your vet about your dog’s health and see if there are any underlying health issues such as intestinal parasites, digestive system problems, and nutritional deficiencies going on. Some signs that your dog is not well include behavior changes as well as vomiting and weight loss.
Your doggy could also be experiencing mental health issues, such as separation anxiety. Figuring out your dog’s triggers and then treating them could put an end to his poop eating. For instance, perhaps he eats his own feces when you leave the house because he’s anxious without you around. You could ensure he has a comfortable kennel and toys to play with when you’re gone so he can self-soothe.
If your pooch just became a mother, she may eat her puppies’ poop when they go potty to keep the area where they are residing clean. She might continue this behavior even after her puppies are weaned.
Why does my dog do this if he’s healthy?
If your dog is perfectly healthy, then he could just be bored and seeking attention, because typically dogs like even negative attention.
If your dog is a greedy eater and steals food from other dogs or animals in the house, then he may be more likely to be a poop eater as well. Dogs’ evolution included scavenging, so he may just be tapping into his wild instinct.
Keep in mind that if your dog is eating his own poop, in general, this is harmless behavior. However, if he eats another animal’s poop, this could be harmful because that animal might be sick.
Once you figure out why your dog is eating poo, you can then clean his mouth in the right way.
How to Clean Your Dog’s Mouth After Eating Poop
May dog ate poop, how do I clean his mouth? You can first clean your dog’s mouth and help eliminate bad breath by brushing his teeth with dog toothpaste or coconut oil. Never use human toothpaste on your pup, because it may be toxic to him. You can use a regular, curved dog toothbrush or a finger brush on your dog’s teeth. Letting him have a little taste of the toothpaste before you brush his teeth could help him get used to it and enjoy the experience much more.
You can also use dog wipes to remove microbes and bacteria that are in his mouth after he eats poop. These are helpful for getting rid of tartar and plaque, too.
Putting dental additives in your dog’s water bowl and giving him dog mouthwash should get that poop taste and smell out of your dog’s mouth. An oral spray for dogs is another option.
Giving your dog dental chews is a good idea, as your dog will enjoy the taste of them and they will help to clean out his teeth and mouth.
If he has a chew toy, the rough texture of it could remove the poop that’s stuck between his teeth. Some good chew toys include the Dogwood Wood alternative dog chew toy and the Orka Bone treat-dispensing dog chew toy. The Dogwood Wood toy mimics the texture and taste of real wood and BBQ flavor that your pooch will love and encourages positive chew behavior, while the Orka Bone Treat-Dispensing toy is made from solid TPE rubber, which is a safer and tougher alternative to traditional dog bones that will satisfy your dog’s natural urges to chew.
Your dog’s saliva is also naturally cleansing and will break down the bacteria and remove them. When he eats and drinks, it also helps the saliva production process to clean out his mouth faster.
Getting Your Dog to Stop Eating Poop
Dog owners may be bewildered by the fact that their dogs are eating poop and want to do whatever they can to put an end to this behavior.
First, you’ll need to limit access to your dog’s own feces or another animal’s poop. Keep your yard clean by scooping poop when you see it, and fence off areas where another animal may be pooping. If you have a cat, put the litter box in a different room where your dog can’t get to it.
You can do positive reinforcement training starting from when he’s a puppy, or even when he’s an adult dog. Teach him to “leave it” when it comes to poop by rewarding him with a treat whenever he doesn’t go near it. Slowly, you can take away the treats and he’ll learn to cut out this poo eating behavior.
If you yell at your dog when he accidentally poops in the house, he may start eating it to avoid being yelled at. Instead of using punishment, use positive reinforcement training and reward him every time he goes outside until he learns that that’s the right thing to do.
When you let your dog outside, give him a treat or a toy to play with to keep him occupied so that he doesn’t start going for the poop.
You can also add digestive enzyme supplements to your dog’s food so that his poop doesn’t taste as good. You can try putting cottage cheese, papaya, pumpkin, and crushed pineapple in his food as well.
Avoiding Poop Eating and Keeping Your Dog Healthy
My dog ate poop, how do I clean his mouth? By taking a few preventative actions, you can train your dog to stop eating feces. If it does happen, then there are easy ways to clean his mouth. Ensuring he has a clean mouth and diet will keep your dog healthy and happy for years to come. Good luck!