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Why Do Dogs Eat Goose Poop?

by Lucy

As adorable as your pup can be, there are times when you will be astonished at some of the things that they happily chomp down. We all know dogs aren’t exactly discerning eaters, so there’s no doubt you’ve probably seen yours chow down on some pretty nasty stuff.

As disgusting and alarming as it might be to see your dog eat goose pop, you should know that they’re not the first dog to do so, and they certainly won’t be the last. It is actually quite common in all dog breeds to snarf up some goose droppings from time to time. But why?

Why do dogs eat goose poop? Dogs tend to eat goose poop because they like the taste or smell, are exploring the world with their strongest senses through teething, are deficient in nutrients, or have simply mistaken it as a treat.

But, yeah, we’re with you on thinking of this strangely common behavior as a very nasty habit. So let’s look a little deeper into the possible reasons behind it and how to stop it from happening again.

Is Eating Poop Common In Dogs?

Dogs do eat all kinds of things. There is a medical condition common in dogs that includes the tendency to eat, lick, or swallow objects and inedible things, known as Pica. And, the medical term for eating poop is known as coprophagia.

According to research led by Dr. Benjamin Hart from the University of California in 2012, canines from multi-dog households and greedy eaters were more likely to want to eat feces. Moreover, males that were not neutered were less likely to be stool eaters than neutered males or females. Also, the behavior of most canine stool eaters was ‘overwhelmingly concentrated on fresh stool.’

There are both behavioral and physiological reasons why your dog might revert to eating poop of any kind, let alone goose poop. Don’t despair, because once you know the cause, you can find the solution.

Why Is My Dog Eating Goose Poop?

As mentioned earlier, your dog may be a stool-eater, but it is a behavior often found in almost all dog breeds. To further understand, here are some of the possible causes why your dog is eating goose feces.

1. Your Dog May Like The Taste

It’s hard to comprehend what must attract your dog to goose droppings. But all you have to consider is that geese eat seeds, grains, grass, insects, shoots, roots, and berries. The food that geese eat is very quickly digested. It doesn’t stay in the intestines long enough to ferment and develop a malodorous stench. So, the feces still contains most of the nutrients from the food they eat.

Now, it makes perfect sense for you to be revolted by the thought of your dog eating geese stool. But, the smell, texture, and taste of the feces will appeal to your dog, as most dogs love to nibble on berries, seeds, and even grains.

2. Traits Of Puppyhood

Dogs explore and discover the world around them with their sense of taste. A dog’s sense of smell is indeed fantastic, and so is their hearing. But, canines get a feel of the world around them by licking anything and everything.

So, you’re bound to find your puppy sampling some goose poop at some point. There’s a high probability that your dog is simply trying to understand what it is. 

Most experienced pet parents call it the investigative and scavenging phase, where your puppy will literally put everything in its mouth to get an idea of what the thing is, and the same behavior is found in babies of other animals.

Even human babies can’t stop putting things in their mouths when they are young. However, most pups tend to grow out of this phase when they reach nine months of age. 

3. Replacement Of Missing Nutrients Or An Enzyme Deficiency

Sometimes when your dog lacks certain nutrients or minerals in its body, then the smell and the taste of goose feces will appeal to them more strongly. As mentioned earlier, geese droppings are rich in enzymes and partially digested proteins, so your dog will take to eating geese stool when it starts to feel low.

Furthermore, it isn’t altogether an unknown phenomenon in the animal kingdom for one species to eat the feces of another animal. So, your dog has the same instinctual urge to recover any lacking properties in its own body by consuming the excrement of other creatures.

4. Your Dog Is Hungry

There is a very strong possibility that you aren’t feeding your dog enough. And, if your furry friend is hungry when it goes out for walks, it’s going to do all it can to find something to eat.

Even if you are feeding your dog enough, but your dog still insists on eating goose poop, then it might just be a greedy bugger. Taking some snacks or kibble with you on walks will quickly remedy the stool eating problem.

5. Resemblance To A Yummy Treat

The smell that comes out of the dried feces is going to appeal to your dog’s senses due to the partially digested food particles that are found in goose droppings. 

So, you can’t really blame your doggo for trying to take a bite of something that it believes is a tasty treat, just lying by the side of the road or a pond.

6. Protection Of The Pack

During his research in 2012, Dr. Benjamin Hart of the University of California also concluded that “Eating of fresh stool is a reflection of an innate predisposition of ancestral canids living in nature that protects pack members from intestinal parasites….”

You see, what Dr. Benjamin Hart was trying to say is that if a member of the pack had an accident in the den area, then it would have to eat its own poop in order to protect its pack from possible parasites within it.

Thankfully, your dog doesn’t have the same obligation. But, over the centuries, it has become an instinctive response in canines to eat dung in different situations.

How Bad Is Goose Poop For Dogs?

Well, there are no two ways about how to deal with your dog eating poop, geese, or otherwise. It’s a definite no-no for your furry friend to be having goose poop. There’s always the chance of an upset stomach, even if your dog has a hardy constitution. But, some fur babies have delicate tummies and can wind up with a gastrointestinal infection.

There is also the risk of bacterial infections, particularly if the poop was infested with parasites, viruses, or toxins. Furthermore, your dog can develop oral health problems with the consumption of goose feces.

Not to mention the gnarly mouth odor that your dog may develop as the eventual consequence of consuming poop. Even if your dog seems to do very well downing a few bites of goose poop every time, it’s still a disgusting habit that should be discouraged.

What Can I Do To Make My Dog Stop Eating Dog Poop?

You have to understand that your furbaby may be suffering from behavioral or physiological problems if it is eating poop constantly. Hence, a visit to the vet becomes a must.

If your vet recommends running a few tests to diagnose the issue, then do not delay. If there are certain mineral deficiencies, then you’d best get the vet to prescribe some supplements for your furry friend. And, if it is an underlying health problem, you can get it treated as soon as possible.

However, if your dog is given a clean bill of health, then you can always use the assistance of an animal behavior expert or a dog trainer to help you train your dog.

Positive reinforcement and some extra TLC go a long way in helping your furry friends get over any bad habits that they might learn. Either way, it’ll take your pet some time to get over its nasty habit, and it’ll take quite a bit of patience from you to support your companion.

Yet, if your doggo was simply munching away on dried goose poop because it thought it was kibble or your fur baby was hungry, then you’ll have to make every attempt to feed your dog some snacks before you take it out for some exercise or on walks.

And, then too, you will have to keep a close watch to ensure it doesn’t get close to anywhere that might have some goose poop lying around.

Final Thoughts

Having a dog as a family member can be an enriching experience. Dogs are incredibly lovable and loyal creatures. Yet, these sensitive beings require your love, attention, and time too. If your dog has somehow gotten into the habit of eating some goose poop, there is no reason for you to think of giving up on your fur baby.

You see, being a pet parent isn’t just about fun and laughs; it’s about responsibility too. And, as a caring and loving pet guardian, it is your responsibility to help your furry friend get over any bad habits it may take up. Indeed, it is a hurdle that can be easily surpassed if you work hard with your fur baby.

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