Why do dogs and other animals eat poop?
Why do dogs eat poop? You are not alone in asking that question. But many animals eat poop on a regular basis. These include rabbits, rodents, gorillas, many insects such as dung beetles and flies, and yes...even dogs. (Keep that in mind the next time a dog wants to lick you!). Herbivores such as rabbits and rodents eat their own poop because their diet of plants is hard to digest efficiently, and they have to make two passes at it to get everything out of the meal. This is equivalent to a cow chewing its cud, only cows are able to re-eat their food without having to poop it out first. Another reason why animals eat poop is that poop contains vitamins produced by their intestinal bacteria. The animal is unable to absorb the vitamins through the intestinal wall, but can get at them by eating the poop. Poop also contains a certain amount of protein. A dog’s guts have a powerful immune response to bacteria. The modern dog’s diet can be so sterile that they may even seek out bacteria in order to address the balance and keep their immune system working effectively. So, it is important to point out that your dog will not suffer many ill effects as a result of eating poop; at least not in the way that humans would. Dogs are particularly fond of cat poop because cat poop is high in protein. So don’t be surprised – as an owner of a cat and a dog - if you never have to clean the kitty litter!