Anybody who has owned a dog will know that they sometimes get a hankering for some of the craziest possible ‘foods’. In some cases, this can mean that they eat poop. Now, for the most part, a Beagle eating poop shouldn’t be a major problem. It happens. However, there are some times that you may want to pay attention and try and stop the problem in its tracks.
On this page, we want to go through some of the reasons why a Beagle may be eating poop. We also want to give you a few ways that you can deal with the problem should it start getting out of hand.
Why Do Beagles Eat Poop?
Poop eating is known as Coprophagia. However, in the interests of keeping things as non-scientific as possible, we are just going to call it ‘poop eating’. If you head to your vet to discuss the condition, then the chances are pretty high that they will actually call it Coprophagia, though. You can also use that term to carry out further research, if you wish.
Now, there are several reasons as to why Beagles may end up eating their own poop. We are going to go through as many of them as we possibly can here. However, you should probably remember that not all of these are going to apply to your Beagle. You will need to pay attention to their behavior in other areas to get a rough idea about why they are munching down on poop.
Beagles Eat…A Lot
There are a few things that are guaranteed about Beagles.
The first is that they are not-so-intelligent animals. One one of the least dog breeds.
The second is that they eat a lot of food. A lot of it. In fact, Beagles are essentially a bottomless pit of food. Beagles do not seem to have that signal that tells them ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to eating food. This means that they will constantly be eating food until somebody tells them not to.
So, what does this have to do with poop? Well, poop is pretty much food to your beagle. It is an organic material and, to them, it is going to be looking incredibly appealing.
If a Beagle really wants to eat at that moment, and chances are that they will because this is a Beagle’s nature, then we wouldn’t be putting it beyond them to eat a dash of poop if they had the opportunity to do so.
Dog Poop is Nutritious
No. This does not mean that we are advocating for you to start chowing down on your dog’s poop. It isn’t that nutritious for you. It could potentially be nutritious for a dog, though.
In order to understand why this may apply, you have to think about the reasons why the Beagle was originally bred as an animal.
The Beagle is a hunting dog. While you may be keeping it as a pet with no intentions to go hunting with it, everything about that breed has been designed for hunting. Not too long ago, they would have been running around in packs. This would have happened for days on end without any other food in sight beyond what they scavenge. Now, this is where the natural behavior of dogs comes into play.
As pack animals, dogs have a hierarchy. There would be limited food to go around. The top dog would get the best food that came through, and the lower you go down the hierarchy, the less quality food a dog would end up getting. If there wasn’t enough food to go around, then the bottom dog would be able to get any of that normal food that was scavenged from animals or the edible plants.
When you are hungry and need nutrients as a dog, your poop starts to look quite appetizing. This is because dogs have a shorter immune system than humans. As a result, their digestive system doesn’t pull as many nutrients out of the food. This means that there are still some nutrients left in the poop once it comes out of their rear end. In the absence of anything else, the dog will eat this.
Even if your dog isn’t running around in a pack now, the same behavior will apply. If your dog doesn’t seem to be getting all of the nutrients that they need from their food, they will eat their poop. This often happens if you are feeding your dog cheaper, lower quality food. Try to avoid doing that.
They Enjoy the Taste
Many people can’t fathom that dogs are different to them. For example, there are some people that will refuse to feed their dogs some fish because the owner doesn’t like the taste of fish. They think that the dog would be the same. Guess what? Things don’t quite work out like this.
Now, you and I would never eat poop. It looks hideous. It smells hideous. We assume that if you tried it, it would probably taste hideous too.
The thing is, dogs do not think the same. For many dogs, the taste of their poop is like eating a meal at a 3 Michelin-Starred restaurant (one would imagine). The dog has cooked up this little culinary treat, and they can’t wait to sink their teeth into it. They just enjoy the taste and texture.
If your dog always seems to be eating poop and their food seems to be fairly nutritionally balanced, then there is a good chance that they just enjoy the taste of the poop. You may also notice them eating the poop of other animals for this reason.
Sometimes dogs do things because they have nothing else to do.
As you may well know, Beagles need a lot of exercise. Because these dogs are not the most intelligent of breeds, exercise is always going to be the best form of stimulation for them.
If your dog isn’t getting much exercise beyond a run around in your backyard, then chances are that they may eat their poop just to feel alive. Well, OK. Not feel alive, but they just want something to keep them entertained.
Lack of Attention
While Beagles can be quite independent dogs at times, they are still going to need to have your attention every so often. If they do not get your attention, then they are likely to start acting out.
There are a variety of ways that your dog will act out through a lack of attention. One of the ‘symptoms’ is eating their own poop. It may help them to deal with the anxiety of being alone. Remember, dogs are social animals. They cannot thrive alone for long periods of time.
If your dog seems to have only just started eating their own poop, then you may want to consider whether a change in your schedule could be the reason behind it.
Dogs can suffer from a condition known as Pica. This is a condition characterized by a dog eating a food that wouldn’t normally be seen as food. This could potentially include poop. If they are only eating poop and no other non-food objects, then chances are that they are not suffering from Pica.
There are several things that can lead to a dog experiencing Pica. This can include anxiety or loneliness. It could also be the symptom of a serious underlying medical condition. If your dog seems to have Pica, then your best bet is to head to your vet and have them treated for the condition.
They Have Recently Had Puppies
If your dog has recently had puppies and is still mothering them, then eating poop is a natural behavior and it isn’t really something that you need to worry about. They may even eat the poop of their own puppies.
This is because your dog knows that the puppies are weak. In the wild, a beagle will eat the poop of their puppies to minimize the risk of the group of them being tracked down and becoming attacked or the food for a much larger predator. They may even protect them from other dogs who are known to kill the puppies of other dogs.
Now, while your dog is likely going to feel safe when you are caring for them and the puppies, they still won’t be able to shake the natural behavior that they have. The chances are pretty high that they will stop munching upon the poop by the time the puppies are about 8-weeks old.
They Are Sick
If there seems to be no other discernible reason as to why your Beagle is eating their own poop, then there is a chance that they are sick. If you have noticed other symptoms in them, then it may be wise to zip them over to the vet as soon as possible.
If your dog has just randomly started to eat poop, then it could be a sign of sickness too. Most dogs will either eat poop most of their lives or never. It is rare that they will just start randomly eating it, unless they are just acting out in a bid to catch your attention.
- What Can And Can’t Beagles Eat? (The Ultimate Guide!)
- Why Is Your Beagle Not Eating (All Reasons Explained)
- Why Do Beagles Eat So Much? (And When Is There Something Wrong?)
- Do Beagles Smell? (And How To Deal With A Smelly Beagle)
Why Do Beagle Puppies Eat Their Poop?
Beagle puppies won’t really be eating their poop for that many more reasons than an adult dog. So, if there is a reason why an adult dog is eating poop, then that is probably going to be applying to a puppy too.
The only ‘additional’ reason that may be relevant here is that Beagle puppies may eat their own poop as a way of sniffing (quite literally!) out the world. They are trying to work out what is edible and what isn’t. Chances are that they may eat their poop once or twice before they realize that this life isn’t really for them.
If your Beagle puppy eats their own poop more than a couple of times, then you will know that there is an issue that you should really be dealing with.
How Do You Stop Your Beagle Eating Poop?
Perhaps the best way to stop your Beagle from eating poop is to try and work out why it is happening in the first place.
If your dog seems to be lonely or not getting enough mental stimulation, then these are both pretty easy problems to rectify. Remember, dogs shouldn’t really be left alone for more than a few hours at a time, so you can deal with that.
If there seems to be no reason why the Beagle seems to be eating the poop, then you can go to your vet and they can give them a once over to ensure that there are no problems.
There are a few things that we suggest that you try, though.
Clean Up Their Poop Immediately
If your dog is eating their own poop a lot, then we suggest that you clean it up immediately. The quicker you clean it up, the less chance they will have to eat it.
If your dog seems to be eating a lot of poop from the backyard, particularly old poop, then this should probably deal with the problem quickly. Dogs really should not be eating their old poop, even if it does belong to them.
If your dog seems to be eating the poop of other animals, then try to steer clear of situations where this may happen e.g. you shouldn’t hang around dog parks all that much, or you shouldn’t wander through fields with sheep or cows. If you have to do so, then keep them on a leash so that you can correct them.
Check Their Diet
As we said before, if a dog does appear to be eating a lot of poop, then this could indicate a nutritional deficiency somewhere along the line.
If your dog is eating a low quality food, then this is most likely going to be the culprit. We suggest that you switch to a better food. You should also pay attention to the nutritional information on the packaging. This should tell you exactly how much you should be feeding your dog.
Remember, Beagles are prone to overeating. It is unlikely that they will overeat to the point where they cannot stomach their normal food. However, it is still going to be wise to keep tabs on everything else that they are consuming ‘just in case’.
Train Them Not To Eat Their Poop
This isn’t going to be the easiest thing in the world to do. Beagles can be difficult to train. However, if you do catch your dog in the act, then you can use it as a training exercise.
If your dog is eating poop, then give them a stern ‘no’ and try to distract their attention to a favorite toy, or even a treat that they love (Beagles are easy to train with food in tow due to how food-focused they are)
It is important that you do not punish your dog if you catch them eating poop. That is never going to work. It is all about the positive reinforcement in dogs. If you do that, then your dog will, slowly, start to learn that eating poop is not an issue.
The Best Training Program For Beagles
If you haven’t trained your beagle properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your beagle completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
Why is Your Beagle Obsessed With Eating Poop?
If your Beagle seems to be obsessed with eating their own poop, it is likely that they are suffering from a nutritional deficiency or a condition known as Pica. For the other causes of poop eating, it doesn’t really seem to be an obsession. They won’t be eating it all that much e.g. in the case of anxiety or if the dog has started to act out for attention.
Can Your Dog Get Sick From Eating Poop?
If a Beagle is eating their own poop ‘right away’ then probably not. If they are eating poop that has been lingering around for a few hours, or the poop of other animals, then there is a small chance that they can get sick from the consumption. However, the dog’s immune system should do a decent job of fighting off the bulk of the bacteria.
How Do You Clean a Beagle’s Mouth After They Eat Poop?
In most cases, you won’t have to do much. Giving your dog a dental chew and wiping their teeth down with paper should be enough. Food and water will also help. A Beagle will have no issue eating food if you give it to them. In rare cases i.e. if your dog seems to be constantly eating poop, then purchasing a doggy mouthwash could also be beneficial.
In most cases, if your dog is eating poop, it shouldn’t be a major issue. It can be a natural behavior for your dog. However, if there does seem to be a bit of an obsession around the poop eating, then you may want to look into an underlying cause. Thankfully, if you can determine the underlying cause, then the problem should be pretty easy to deal with.