Here's Why Dogs Eat Poop (You’re Welcome!)

DO NOT read this article while eating your lunch. You’ve been warned.

Dogs are amazing creatures that we welcome into our lives, our homes and our hearts by means of kisses and cuddles. And, it’s all well and good until your dog goes to give you a face kiss and you recoil with disgust remembering what you saw him chomping on in the backyard — poop. Yeah, we said it — dogs eat poop and it is probably the only thing about them we do not love. Maybe if we found out why they have such gross eating habits we’d be less judgmental of our furry friends … or maybe not. Let’s find out!

To start, do you think your job stinks? Well, you could be a dog poop scientist. Veterinary researchers at University of California, Davis have been studying this very thing. We’re not exactly sure what lead them to this topic, but we can only assume it was because asking Yahoo Answers just wasn’t cutting it. (Despite what Internet searches may tell us, this behavior isn’t linked to a specific dog breed, age or diet and cannot be “cured” by food additives or pills. Thanks for nothing, Yahoo.)

The team of researchers surveyed more than 3,000 dog owners to get to the bottom of the (scatological) matter. They found several factors that make dogs were more likely to eat feces like if a dog is normally a “greedy eater” or if they live with one or more dogs. These "indulgent" dogs do still have some standards — they only were interested in fresh excrement; they would not eat anything older than two days old.

This behavior is also seen in places that have free-roaming dog populations that are forced to scavenge for their next meal and may be rooted in biology dating back to wolves. Ancient wolves were forced to eat the poop of old or sick wolves that defecated in the den as a way to keep their living area clean and sanitary. It’s not like ancient wolves had pooper-scoopers or the thumbs required to properly operate them — they had no choice but to eat it! The wolves would also be forced to do said housekeeping quickly, within a two-day range, to prevent the excrement parasites from being spread into their own system.

Ok so, in conclusion, dogs, we get it why you are gross poop-eating monsters. It’s not your fault; it’s the fault of evolution and your desire to keep the backyard mess free. Or maybe you are just greedy jerks, scarfing up everything you see. Either way, we still love you … although we may need to love you from a distance so you keep that gross poop mouth away from our faces.

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