Dogs are adorable pets that provide priceless companionship. Nonetheless, owning one comes at a price; your full responsibility. The furry cuties need you to be all eyes, lest they get into trouble, driven mainly by their curiosity and playful nature.
Your curious dog may bump into chicken poop and push the limits by eating it. While it may sound disgusting, a dog eating chicken poop is common.
If your dog eats chicken poop, you may want to know the reason behind the behavior and possible remedies. An in-depth look at dogs eating chicken droppings will provide you with the necessary information.
Is Chicken Poop Bad For Dogs?
Chicken poop is not food; thus, your dog should not eat it. Whether the droppings harm dogs or not depends on the birds’ health. Waste from sick birds may transmit diseases to your pup. If your birds are healthy, there is a low chance of your dog falling sick.
Let us look at some complications your dog may develop from eating bird excretion.
Birds are salmonella vectors. These bacteria get transmitted via meat, droppings, and body fluids. Your canine may contract the pathogen if it eats poop from an infected chicken.
The following are some of the signs of salmonella infection in dogs.
- Diarrhea which may have blood and mucus traces
- Fever and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Pregnant dogs may miscarry
Salmonella is a serious condition that can spread to your household. You can prevent the disease from spreading by calling in your vet.
Chicken can pass parvovirus, a severe viral disease, to dogs through their droppings. A sniff of the poop is enough to make your pup sick.
Symptoms of parvovirus in canines include vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, and lethargy.
Parvovirus can spread to other dogs via feces or items that come into contact with the virus. Vaccination is a sound preventive measure against this disease. Mortality rates stand at 91% in untreated cases.
Giardia is a parasite your dog can get from bird poop or surfaces contaminated by feces. This parasite resides in the small intestines. It can cause digestive system upsets, characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and abdominal pain.
According to the American Kennel Club, giardia can hinder your dog’s ability to absorb nutrients, electrolytes, and water leading to weight loss and dehydration. Your vet will diagnose your pet and develop a treatment plan for relief.
Your dog can get worms like tapeworms and roundworms from chicken excrement, more so from infected birds. Also, the parasites may crawl into the poop, and your dogs may ingest them.
Worms in dogs present signs like diarrhea, abdominal cramping, a potbelly, a dull coat, vomiting, and body weakness. Deworming is one of the best solutions for a worm infestation.
Bird poop has a strong odor, which your doggo may get from eating. You will have to deal with the nasty breath when your dog wants to hang out with you. Get rid of the bad breath by thoroughly cleaning your dog’s mouth.
Why Do Dogs Eat Chicken Poop?
The following are reasons why your dog snacks on chicken poop.
Dogs are inquisitive, which may lead them to chicken droppings. They may sniff the foreign matter to quench their curiosity, leading to a taste test. They may like the taste and go munchy on the fecal matter.
2. Nutrient Deficiency
Your dog may resort to chicken poop if it is not getting some nutrients from its food, primarily B vitamins, potassium, and proteins. Your canine can sniff out undigested nutrients in the droppings and will go for them.
3. Your Dog Needs Attention
Dogs may go overboard when they need your attention. If you react when it eats poop, then it uses that to grab your attention. It is a sign that you need to spend more time with your furry friend.
Boredom may also lead to this behavior. Provide toys to keep your dog entertained and create time for exercise and play.
4. Pica Syndrome
Pica may be the culprit behind your dog’s habit of eating chicken poo. Pica syndrome is a mental condition where your canine eats non-food items.
This condition varies from dog to dog, as some eat only one inedible thing, while others eat various items. You need an immediate appointment with your vet to treat this illness before it goes overboard.
Dogs, too, get stressed and anxious, especially in new environments. Canines have different coping mechanisms in the face of anxiety, whereby some fill their mouths with whatever they can find to help them calm down. At times, the closest item is bird poop – your dog will snack on it to get by.
6. To Mask Their Scent
In the wild, members of the dog family may eat their feces to mask their scent to keep off trailing predators. Occasionally, dogs, especially puppies, may have that instinct kick in and will eat feces around them to lose their scent.
How To Stop Your Dog from Eating Chicken Poop?
Seeing the potential dangers of dogs eating chicken poop, it is wise to stop this behavior. Below are measures you can employ to deal with the habit.
You can start by cleaning your yard to get rid of chicken excrement. Your doggo will have nothing offensive to eat if the environment is clean.
It may be tedious, calling for extra measures like having the chickens in a dog-proof enclosed area. But it is well worth the trouble.
Provide A Balanced Diet For Your Dog
As mentioned earlier, your doggo may eat chicken poo due to nutrient deficiencies. A balanced diet is a solution to this problem. Ensure it gets enough proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
To make this easier for you, get dog food with all the essential nutrients to prevent your dog from sourcing them from other sources.
Provide Ample Play Time
It would help if you created time for your dog to prevent boredom, which may result in attention-seeking antics. You may play catch with it on the lawn or take it for an evening walk. These activities promote mental stimulation, preventing stress and anxiety, which may lead to depression.
Alternatively, you may get a chew toy to keep your doggo busy. With all its energy focused on the toy, it won’t have time for chicken poop.
Consult Your Veterinarian
You must consult your pet doctor if you suspect its coprophagy is due to pica syndrome. After diagnosis, the vet can determine the best remedy for the situation to prevent your dog from eating non-food items.
Keep An Eye On Your Furry Friend
Do not let your dog roam unsupervised, as it may fall victim to its curiosity and eat things it shouldn’t eat. This is an excellent measure, especially if you have an energetic or playful canine. You may go an extra step and briefly muzzle its mouth.
Make The Excrement Intolerable
You can make the chicken excrement repulsive to your pup in many ways. One way to achieve this is by sprinkling cayenne pepper or hot sauce on the poo. Dogs do not like cayenne and hot sauce and will pass on the droppings.
Alternatively, you can feed pineapple to your chicken. The resulting poop will repel your dog.
Furthermore, behavioral training may come to your aid, especially when dealing with puppies. The training instills discipline in your canine, preventing it from getting overly impulsive.
Why Does My Dog Seem Obsess with Eating Chicken Poop?
Dogs eat chicken poo for various reasons, such as nutrition deficiencies, curiosity, seeking attention, or a case of pica syndrome. Try to get to the root of the problem to find an effective solution.
What Should I Do When My Dog Eats Chicken Poop?
It would be best if you got rid of the excrement or get your dog away from it. You then wash your dog’s mouth to get rid of the stench. Offer water as you observe it for reactions like diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and abdominal pain, which indicate an infection. In case the symptoms persist, call your vet for help.
Is Chicken Poop Poisonous To Dogs?
Chicken droppings are not toxic to dogs. However, it doesn’t mean that it is okay for your dog to eat the waste matter, as it may carry pathogens and parasites that can make it sick.
Your dog should not eat chicken poop! It is a common behavior that you should nip in the bud before it becomes uncontrollable. Use the measures highlighted in this piece to get to the root of the habit and sort it out.