Many owners find that even though owning a dog is a wonderful experience, it can come with certain challenges.
This could be your dog chewing or digging, barking, howling, or destroying furniture. Sometimes, owners may be faced with the quite common problem of their dog eating poop.
It could be their own poop that your dog is consuming, or another dog’s or species.
In shirt, the best way to stop your whippet eating poop is to add pineapple or courgette to your dog’s diet. These will make your dog’s poop taste foul, causing it to be unappealing to him.
Another way is to purchase a safe citronella collar controlled with a remote that will release the scent of citronella every time your whippet eats poop.
This will link the act of eating poop to this unpleasant smell and prevent it. Also, ensure to tidy up any poop in your garden, and on walks, use a leash to keep your whippet away from another dog’s stools.
The scientific word for the act of eating poop is coprophagia. Whippets, just as other dogs, could be prone to this behaviour.
Please read along to find out the reasons behind your Whippet eating poop, and what, if anything, can be done to stop it.
Why Do Whippets Eat Poop?
Spotting your Whippet eating poop is a concerning issue for many owners. Not only may it be disturbing, but you may wonder, is there any way this behaviour could be dealt with?
First of all, let’s find out the answer to the question, ‘Why do whippets eat poop?’
To Gain More Nutrients
Some Whippets and other dogs may eat their own poop because they do not get enough nutrients in their food.
Other times, Whippets may experience a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
This means that there are not enough enzymes in the dog’s pancreas which break down food and extract enzymes.
Due to this health condition, your Whippet could not be absorbing enough nutrients, and therefore will take to eating poo to re-gain some.
Another condition your Whippet could have if it eats poop is called malabsorption syndrome.
This is when a dog is unable to absorb all nutrients from food in the small intestine and will take to eating its poop to try to gain more nutrients.
To Seek Attention
Some dogs will do just about everything to be noticed and get attention from their owner. If your Whippet is eating poop, it may simply be because he is seeking attention from you.
Your Whippet may eat poop because it wants you to look at him, and awaits a reaction. Even if he knows it is bad behaviour, by eating his poop he will get what he wanted – your attention.
Imitates Other Dogs
Dogs often copy one another’s behavioural traits and learn from each other. If your Whippet saw another dog eating poop, he may want to imitate this conduct.
Fear Or Anxiety Response
Your Whippet might eat its poo due as a response to stress or anxiety.
As well as that, if it is punished for pooping in the wrong place, it could eat its poop out of fear to avoid punishment
For instance, if a dog is scolded for doing its business on the front lawn, it might eat its poop next time to hide it.
Associates The Smell Of Faeces With Food
If your dog is fed in his kennel or outside near to where he goes to the bathroom, it might associate the smell of poop with food.
Your Whippet may recognise the two smells as one, and take to eating poop as it thinks it the same as food.
If a Whippet is bored, it could start doing things it’s owner does not approve of, simply just to occupy its time.
These dogs are very energetic, so if they don’t get to release that energy and have things to do, it may result in problematic behaviours.
It can range from barking, digging, to chewing and destroying furniture, but it can even result in eating poop.
Make sure that your Whippet receives enough physical activity, playtime, and things to do to avoid giving way to such problematic behaviour.
It may be that your Whippet is being underfed and still experiences hunger even after a meal. However, there could be a presence of a serious health condition like diabetes.
Diabetes will cause your dog to experiences high sugar blood levels, which might make your dog feel that is constantly hungry or even starving.
As well as that, Cushing’s disease in dogs can also make the dog feel like it is starving.
What Age Do Whippets Usually Stop Eating Poop?
Sometimes Whippets and other dogs may eat their poop because they had adapted this from their mother.
A mother who had just given birth will eat their puppies’ droppings fresh to avoid them getting infected with larvae parasites.
It is an instinctive behaviour, as wolves in the wild would poop away from their lair to avoid coming into contact with any parasites.
This instinct has been passed down to dogs, and that is why a mother will eat her puppies’ faeces to keep their surroundings clean and avoid the risk of infection.
Instinctively, the dog mother also eats her puppies’ poop to hide any traces of the scent that could be given off. In the wild, this scent could attract predators, which could mean grave danger.
Sometimes, puppies might imitate this behaviour that their mother is displaying. Seeing her doing it might also lead to curiosity and this might move them to eat their poop.
If this is the reason behind your Whippet eating poop, the behaviour should stop when he begins to come out of the puppyhood phase.
This crucial stage in his life will usually occur between six months and a year. At this time, the problem of eating poop commonly begins to stop.
How To Stop Your Whippet Eating Poop
One method would be to call your Whippet away when you see him eating stool to distract him and draw his attention away.
When he obeys, feed him a treat as a reward.
However, this does not always work. Your Whippet could continue eating despite you calling out to him or scolding him.
One way to stop this behaviour would be to add courgette to your dog’s diet. This would give his faeces a bitter taste, discouraging him to eat him.
Another thing that you could add to your Whippet’s meals is pineapple. An enzyme found in pineapple, called bromelain, will make his poop taste foul, which will prevent him from eating it.
Bromelain is also contained in meat tenderizer, however, this is not the healthiest thing to give your dog, so pineapple would be a better choice.
Some people swear by sprinkling cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce on your dog’s poop to avoid him eating it.
However, the best way is just to go out after your dog when he finishes a meal, and pick and dispose of his waste when he goes to the bathroom so that he can’t reach it.
When out walking, keep your dog on a leash around other dog’s poop so he can’t get near it and eat it.
Another thing that works is a special citronella collar and spray designed for dogs, with a remote control.
The small dose of citronella used in these sprays is not harmful to dogs and can very effective in avoiding unwanted behaviour in your Whippet.
Whenever your dog starts to eat poop, the spray option can be activated with your remote control which will make citronella fumes go up in the air.
Due to the fact that dogs don’t like this spray, the smell will discourage him from eating poop because each time he does, the collar will emit the smell of citronella.
Now he will always associate this smell he doesn’t like with eating poop, and avoid the action altogether.
When considering this option, it is important to buy from a safe and reputable brand. Otherwise, there may be a risk involved if a brand sells products which may be controversial or harmful.
More On Whippets Eating Poop
There is always a possibility that a puppy Whippet may eat its own poop because the smell of it reminds him of his mother.
This could occur especially in a puppy that had been taken away from its mother too early. The stress may cause it to eat poop to remind it of its mother and litter.
It is always important for Whippet puppies to stay at least six to eight weeks with their mother before being able to be separated.
Some puppy mills, however, don’t take this precaution, which could result in much consequences.
Among them is the fact that your Whippet may miss its mother and take to eating his poop for comfort, because it links the scent with both her and his siblings and den.
Eating poop in Whippets should always be dealt with as soon as possible. This is because your dog might catch parasites or develop a condition such as gastroenteritis due to this action.
Additionally, coprophagia might mean the dog has a nutrition deficiency or an illness causing him to lose nutrients. This is one of the reasons why your Whippet may eat stool.
Whenever you see your puppy or adult Whippet eating poop, you should take him to the vet just to make sure there are no underlying health problems for this behaviour.
Also, if your Whippet is taking steroid medications like Prednisone, or a seizure medication like Phenobarbital, it could be causing increased hunger.
As a result of this hunger response, it could be the cause of your Whippet eating poop.
For a first time or a long time Whippet owner, seeing their dog constantly eating poop may be a formidable problem. However, it is a problem that can be overcome.
Just like other behavioural issues, a poop eating problem can be combatted. The most important thing, however, is to get to the bottom of why your Whippet is eating poop.
When you know the reason for this frustrating behaviour, strategies can then be put into place to stop it once and for all.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!