Is it ok for dogs to eat deer poop?
In short, not really. Dogs eating deer poop can be quite dangerous and comes with some health risks. If you read on, you can see the reasons why dogs like eating deer poop, then I will detail dangers associated with this peculiar habit
And finally, tips on how to prevent your dog from eating poop, and what to do if they do manage to steal a bite when you turn your back.
The opening of this article probably made you squirm a bit. I apologize. The reason I painted a picture like that is to remove the judgment from the whole sordid topic and laugh about it a little. “Coprophagia” (that’s the fancy name for eating poop) is extremely common in dogs.
In fact, the American Kennel Club cites a study that showed 24% of the dogs in the sample ate poop at least once (view source).
If we multiply that to the dog population as a whole, that is a quarter of all dogs that have once had a nibble on their own dung or that of other species – such as deer poop/
So, let’s set the stigma aside for a moment and think about the reasoning behind it. I joked that poop could just be delicious and – who knows – I could be right.
Most scientists believe that dogs eat the excrement of other animals because they contain nutrients. Like most things in life, blame it on evolution.
That may be the origins of this strange habit, but there are also specific behavioral and psychological factors at play.
Can Dogs Get Giardia From Deer Poop?
Giardia is a microscopic parasite that affects all sorts of mammals, dogs, deer, and humans included. It spreads by accidentally eating particles passed in poop; either through contaminated water, directly eating poop, or through contact with it in the environment then licking the paws. However, there are different types of Giardia, and the type that affects humans doesn’t often affect dogs, and vice versa.
According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, dogs are infected by types/assemblages A1, C, and D. Deer tend to have assemblage A or assemblage E. The deer assemblage A is the most likely to affect dogs, but it’s the type that affects humans- which means it doesn’t seem to affect dogs much. It’s therefore possible for dogs to catch Giardia from eating deer poop, assuming the poop is infected with the right sort of Giardia. In practice, healthy adult dogs are unlikely to catch severe Giardia from deer poop.
Your fur baby is a being with limits, too…
That’s why they also get stressed.
And like in people, the feeling has to be redirected somewhere.
Some will tap their feet. Others will bite their nails.
They chose an unconventional way to cope…
Your pup is trying to handle their stress by eating deer poop.
“Out of all the food that they could’ve picked for stress eating…
Why? Why must it be deer poop?”
And to be honest, there’s no straightforward answer to that yet.
A simple theory will be because the poop is there. Then, your stressed-out pooch sees it…
With that, the feces gets eaten.
But, it’s not the end of the story.
You must handle this the right way.
Identify what gave your pooch this feeling. Once you know, get your pupper away from their stressor.
Then, do everything you can to avoid it from showing up or happening again.
If you don’t want your dog to always live in fear, you can train them not to feel that way. You can use famous training methods like counterconditioning and desensitization.
How do I stop my dog from eating deer poop?
How toxic is deer poop?