Puppies will sometimes eat their own poo during toilet training. 23% of dogs will eat poop at least once in their life. And if you have cats at home you’ll want to keep the litter box clean often too. There are many factors that can make your dog eat deer poop, but they typically boil down to one issue: malnutrition. I felt obligated to add my equally profound thoughts on this important matter. It’s really difficult to not pay attention to a dog that’s eating poop. This drive for cleanliness could also account for other dogs that “clean up” stool. Inflammatory bowel disease. Keep in mind that most dogs will eat cat stool or horse poop when given half a chance. Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop? The question of why dogs eat horse poo aka manure aka horse apples aka cow/horse patties has been pondered by many great minds, as evidenced by some of the deep philosophical discussions I stumbled upon when researching this article. They are hardwired, as people are, to differentiate between what is food and what isn’t. Some dogs may have started eating poop when they are young because they feel like it’s a game. Some dogs may learn as puppies to eat their poop if they have been repeatedly punished by their owners for defecating in the house. As adorable as they are, dogs can sometimes be pretty disgusting. Normal Dog Behavior. Their ancestors learned to live by scavenging ‘š so, whatever they can eat, they eat as long as they can get their stomachs full until the next meal that they can find. Some people have tried placing basket muzzles on their dogs to deter them, but some very determined dogs may simply learn to smush the muzzle on top of the poop to eat it. Sometimes your dog may eat poo because they need to eat more than what you’re currently feeding them or the length of time between meals is too long. They get your attention and the added fun of poop hunting all at once. This is especially common among puppies, though adult dogs are known to do it as well. Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? If you’d like more on how we use your information, just check out our Privacy Policy. However, in most cases the reason behind why do dogs eat poop is not a health issue, but more a psychological issue. Raw, green tripe is particularly high in digestive enzymes, as well as probiotics. Certain diseases like diabetes and thyroid issues can make your dog feel hungry … even if he’s not actually hungry. Well, there are many theories about why dogs engage in coprophagia, but most of them fall into two categories: Medical and behavioral. Reasons why dogs eat poop? Some dogs find horse manure and goose droppings particularly appealing. The scientific term for the habit of poop-eating is coprophagia. When looking at why dogs eat fecal material, we can find some underlying medical causes and some behavioral causes. Dogs are natural scavengers and smells are a big part of that. This is most likely if your dog is confined to a crate or kennel, or when he's chained up or otherwise restricted. Rest assured, this actually is a normal type of behavior for dogs, even if it disgusts us. Now that we’ve covered some of the possible health reasons your dog may eat poop … let’s move onto possible behavioral reasons. Dogs often eat their own or another animal’s droppings, no matter what species of animal does it. When a dog eats whole prey it includes the digestive tract … which naturally provides the appropriate amount of digestive enzymes needed. Unfortunately many dogs today are fed highly processed diets. Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? Why Dogs Eat Horse Poo! Then she stopped to have a poop then all of a sudden she turned around, and it vanished in seconds, she had eaten her own poop. Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? The question many dog owners want be answered is: why do dogs eat poop and how can we stop it. Many owners don’t like dogs eating feces, so when they spot it, they give their dog attention despite it being a negative interaction. Now that your dog did eat bird poop one way or another, you might be wondering if it is poisonous. The real key is to always offer plenty of praise and high-value treats to your dog when they choose not to immediately go for their poop. Develop a play routine that provides exercise and mental stimulation. Our dogs love us and want our attention. Here are several reasons why your puppy is eating poop. He's taking care of his space. This way, you’re not allowing your puppy any access and preventing the problem from occurring. There is no clear reason or answer to why dogs eat feces. If you have a younger dog they can pick this habit up from an older dog. When you are housetraining your puppy, take them out on a consistent schedule. I'm keen on Keeshonds and German Shepherds, however, I grew up with Siberian Huskys. Dogs are Scavengers . When it comes to dogs eating poop, the most important thing that you can do as a dog owner is to distract your dog from poop. The eating of one's own poop is referred to in scientific fields as "coprophagia." Your dog will get clean teeth and fresh breath from these cool doggie treats! This can include things like a lack of nutrients or enzymes. We’ve covered “why do dogs eat poop” and harmful signs you should be looking out for; now let’s get into all you need to know about how to stop your dog from eating poop. Well, if you could not resist yourself after reading the title of the post, I can sense your embarrassment when your lovely dog eats poop when many other people are around or even if there is no one around. Facts about Canine Coprophagia. Learn more about the health benefits of sea vegetables like kelp, here. It turns out there are a few reasons why they do it, and there are ways to make them stop. For poop-eating pups, it seems that cat poop is extra delicious. The good news is that most puppies grow out of the poop eating stage. Here’s my dog sniffing out some fresh horse dung and droppings to have a chew on! Punishment for having accidents in the house might leave your dog worried that poop is a bad thing. You can change your mind and unsubscribe anytime. Please support the hard working holistic vets who make this information possible. For this reason, cat food typically contains more meat and protein than dog food. Other dogs eat poop as a displacement behavior when they are anxious. Conditions such as diabetes mellitus or Cushing’s disease can cause polyphagia or an increased appetite. Why do dogs eat their own poop? At this stage, it is natural for the mother dog to eat the stool of her puppies. If your adult pup suddenly starts eating feces, then you should first rule out an underlying health problem. Advertisement. Poop-eating, also called coprophagia in dogs, is not exactly a hobby that you would consider ideal for your furry family member. Also, it’s often uncommon for adult dogs to eat their own poop or another dog’s poop. She loves spending time with them and also learning about all the ways she can make them healthier, the natural way. Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop? There are three main reasons for coprophagia in dogs. If you happen to be eating right now, you might want to put down your lunch because I’ll be going into detail. The stool of other animals, such as horses or cats, contains nutrients that can be beneficial (but it can also contain harmful bacteria, so it’s best to discourage this). These dogs can benefit from seeking the help of a veterinary behaviorist or certified animal behaviorist. If your dog does this, you will probably run towards them and yell some form of “drop it.”. When you have a puppy or dog that eats other dogs’ poop or his own poop, you should have your pet examined by your veterinarian. If there happens to be some poop within his reach … he may just find a new way to entertain himself and get a little treat in the process. This can sometimes create an enzyme imbalance in the dog’s gut. To truly discourage your dog from eating poop, you will need to continue to manage your dog and restrict access to the poop to prevent a relapse. 1. According to a pet owner survey at Davis … punishment isn’t effective. Dogs that have problems with anxiety due to mistreatment sometimes eat poop. So, I know discussing why dogs eat poop may not be easy for some … but it really is important. Another tool that can stop a dog from eating poop is the use of a foxtail field mask. If your dog is eating their own poop because it tastes good to them and they’ve developed the habit, you can also try using dog chews that are made to discourage this behavior. If your dog doesn’t have enough he won’t be able to digest food and it’ll just pass through. Coprophagia can be associated with diseases of the intestinal tract and sometimes other parts of the body (liver, brain, etc.). © 2020 Dogs Naturally Magazine Inc. There are dog chew products that are made to discourage dogs from eating poop that may change the taste of the poop. These pets may eat poop since they feel excessively hungry. Make sure he’s eating a raw, whole, varied diet of quality proteins. Dogs with EPI aren’t able to create many if any digestive enzymes in the pancreas. This is why you need to make sure they’re part of his daily diet. Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? Remember, your dog may be attracted to another dog’s or cat’s stool, not only because he is deficient in something … but because he’s not absorbing food well. It’s not unusual for them to eat many things, including poop as part of their adventures. Some dogs are notorious for raiding the cat litter box and, much to our disgust, feasting on cat poop. A Lot of Dogs Eat Poop Studies on this behavior have found that almost a quarter of dogs engage in this type of behavior, and over half of the dogs that do it are chronic eaters. It must be fresh. If your dog eats poop, be comforted by the fact he is not alone. Updated: February 22, 2018. To get to the bottom of why dogs eat feces, the scientists conducted two online surveys, gathering about 3,000 responses from dog owners in the U.S. and Canada. It's called "coprophagia," and lots of dogs do it. Eating the poop of another species is very common dog behavior. So exactly why do dogs eat poop? We have two dogs, and Lola, our youngest who is almost two years old, loves to eat poop. If your dog immediately turns around to eat their poop and does not listen to you, then you will need to keep your dog on their leash and lead them away as soon as they have defecated. If your dog has EPI they’ll need to be supplemented with enzymes as they can slowly starve from not being able to digest nutrients. Video: Why Do Dogs Eat Poop & How to Stop Poop Eating in Dogs. Dogs who are stressed can sometimes eat things they shouldn’t … and some may relieve stress by eating poop. Why Do Dogs Eat Poop. Intestinal infections. To be honest, I feel like vomiting a little in my mouth, when my Pug sits down to feast on his own poop, licking and gnawing away at an hour old bundle of poop. Why do dogs eat other dogs poop? Your dog may not even necessarily want to play but might simply want you to engage with them. Some are normal, while some are signs of underlying issues. There are many theories as to why dogs consume their feces or the feces of other animals, and there are several factors to consider. b) you know having a dog means dealing with poop. This is when a female dog cleans up after her puppies to keep the nest clean. Now it’s time to review what you can do to kick this gross habit at home. Medical conditions. The first thing you need to do is to determine is whether or not your dog’s poop eating behavior is caused by a medical problem. Why Is My Puppy Eating Poop? Using a head collar may be helpful to guide your dog’s head away from the fresh poop. If your dog is home alone all day with not much to do, he’ll find something. There’s one key time that a dog will eat stool and it’s very much in the natural order of things. It’s not specific to this breed as many dogs will do it by instinct. The answer to why dogs eat poop could be one of several, and it could be a normal reason, or a sign of a behavioral or health issue. So, Why Do Dogs Eat Deer Poop? After you’ve determined why your dog eats poop, you can try these solutions based on the reasons behind the behavior. You may also see poop eating behavior if they have a mineral deficiency according to Joseph Demers, DVM. The question of why dogs eat horse poo aka manure aka horse apples aka cow/horse patties has been pondered by many great minds, as evidenced by some of the deep philosophical discussions I stumbled upon when researching this article. If your dog doesn't have access to food, he might eat poop. They grow up in stressful environments and often have poor nutritional starts. There are some who believe that dogs that resort to eating poop are seeking to replenish digestive enzymes in their gut. Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop? How Common There have not been a lot of studies conducted as to the whys. Some people are successful in teaching their dogs a “leave it” cue and then a “come” or automatic “sit” by their owner’s using positive reinforcement. Nutritional. October 12, 2020 November 2, 2020 4 min read Top D.O.G. Feed Them Well . By supervising your dog out on walks or in the yard, you can clean up poop when it happens. Sometimes they learn this from their Mothers who do this as a natural housekeeping skill. Dogs do not have any idea about the nutritional content of the food that they eat so do not be surprised if you caught them eating poop. Now, the final reason that dogs will engage in poop eating is nutritional. You can also place the litter box on a table that is longer than the box to allow a spot for them to jump up onto. For dogs that eat cat poop, make sure you put up a pet gate or door that allows the cat access to their litter box while keeping the dog out of that room. Dogs can be indiscriminate poop eaters, meaning they will consume the feces of other dogs… Raw food has those digestive enzymes your dog needs to help him process his meals. For dogs, this is normal behavior. It’s a sad truth but puppy mill dogs are more likely to develop this habit. There are many reasons why dogs like to eat goose poop, with the simplest explanation being that they like the taste and smell of the geese feces. By now you’ve ruled out or in, all the reasons why your dog may be eating poop. If your dog likes to steal food off of tables, he is probably a poop eater. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. To help, you should find a super high-value treat that they only get in these scenarios. Dr Becker, cautions owners to not make a big deal of accidents as some dogs may “hide the evidence” later. But some dogs will eat fox poo due to a missing element in their diet, or a possible medical problem. Follow these tips below and you should quickly put an end to this gross and sometimes harmful issue. While they are eating the treat, you can quickly clean up the stool. Why do dogs eat their own poop? There are few things more disturbing to pet owners than letting their dog run outside to poop only to end up watching them eat it. This behavior typically is normal for very young puppies, possibly to colonize the gastrointestinal tract with normal bacteria, and for their mothers to keep the "den" clean. In dogs, it is not part of the digestive process, but it is a normal cleaning behavior in mother dogs with pups. Poop eating may be something as simple as boredom … or it may be related to a health issue like diabetes. Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? The dog may eat the evidence because they’re worried about being punished. https://twitter.com/gross_science ‖ Tumblr! The possible reasons why dogs find poop akin to a highly prized delicacy vary … including behavioral to medical in nature. Medical. Your veterinarian will need to perform diagnostic tests to determine if your dog has an underlying medical problem, such intestinal parasites, nutritional deficiencies, or gastrointestinal disease. The question many dog owners have is why dogs eat poop and how to stop it. In a few cases, just inhaling the bird poo can also trigger harmful effects. Avoid punishment! This peculiar pet behavior is a little unsettling, at least to first-time dog owners, yet very common, as longtime doggie parents know. Dogs that eat poop may also have a … This is possibly a residual instinct. Female dogs are more likely to have this habit. Eating their own poop or another dog’s poop is not a common behavior, and you’ll need to find out what’s causing it. So, why do dogs really eat poop? Choosing safe toys that provide entertainment is also a great idea for times when you can’t play together. Facts about Canine Coprophagia. If your dog has a worm burden he has to compete for nutrients with the parasites. So why do dogs eat poop anyway? And keep to a schedule, a hungry dog will look for other food sources you may not like. So, why do dogs eat poop? Understanding the reasons for coprophagia is vital to correct the behavior. Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? Follow these tips below and you should quickly put an end to this gross and sometimes harmful issue. Your dog might be hungry. These diseases also cause an increase in water consumption. Why do dogs eat poop? Dogs also like to eat horse poop and manure due to deficiencies in their diet. Hydrochloric acid is used by the body to break down proteins. A majority of 92 percent of dogs want poop that is no more than two days old. He’ll then seek out poop for missing nutrients. Intestinal parasites need food too. Have you ever caught your dog eating poop and asked yourself, “Ugh, why do dogs eat poop?”. Normal Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop. They're simple beings, whose loyalty is unconditional. You’re also positively reinforcing their potty training instead of punishing them for accidents. [src="https://a.omappapi.com/users/3d3cb4d2c858/images/04bcabe8477e1584135683-Diarrhea.png"], [src="https://a.omappapi.com/users/3d3cb4d2c858/images/3779c1166abb1585953466-04bcabe8477e1584135683-Diarrhea.png"], Dog Skin Cancer: Natural Options To Help Manage It. Sounds disgusting, right? I was utterly disgusted, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. So, your best solution is to make poop uninteresting. This may mean that is is imbalanced, resulting in a deficiency in certain vitamins or minerals, or is has a very high fat content.If there is a deficiency then you might also notice your dog eating other unusual things like soil, a behavior known as pica. If an anxious dog is confined, they may defecate and eat their own poop. Some say that it is their common behavior to know more of their surroundings while others say that dogs eat stool for some reason, such as hunger, stress, instinct, or sickness. Molly, our beloved Labrador retriever, certainly loved to eat poop. From its stool to your cat's litter box deposits to a neighboring horse's or cow's manure, some puppies don't discriminate when it comes to poo they're willing to eat. And rabbit poop also contains digestive enzymes from the rabbit’s stomach, which can assist in dog digestion as well. One day I was watching my dog playing in the garden from my kitchen window, jumping about and rolling around in the grass, the usual doggy playtime stuff. Any condition that leads to poor nutrient absorption can, in turn, lead to stool eating. They Are Nursing. Keep things clean and simple. Here’s everything you need to know about why dogs eat poop and what you can or should do about it. Why do dogs eat fox poo? Dogs eat poop for many different reasons. Most new owners are delighted by puppy antics, but a puppy that eats poop prompts anything but smiles. Here's a list of possible causes that can make your dog eat feces: Nutritional deficiencies are often the most common that cause a dog to eat poop and are directly related to the type of food we offer. By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. This is then carried over as your dog becomes an adult as a learned behavior that gets them attention. This is especially true of dogs on kibble diets, which don’t contain any living enzymes. Mother dogs eat poop to clean their puppies and to keep them safe. Sign up for the Dogs Naturally Newsletter and get over 200 FREE Health Plans and Guides in 2020. You may even want to sign up for agility or fly-ball class for added learning. It’s possible that your dog may have a hydrochloric acid deficiency. Dogs typically have a preference for the type of poop they like to eat. Here are some reasons explaining why. As much as we may not like it, dogs enjoy the taste of cat poop. Before domestication, a wild dog’s diet would be dependant on whole prey and local vegetation. Why do dogs eat poop As rewarding as it can be to have a canine friend in the family, many dog owners find themselves quite repulsed by the fact that many dogs have an urge to eat poop. So, why do they do it? For humans, it can be quite gross! For example, when puppies are young, they may explore by grabbing their poop with their mouths. If your dog is eating poop, they may not be feeling well. If your adult dog has never been a poop eater and suddenly develops the habit in association with symptoms of disease, like weight loss, lethargy, discomfort, other behavioral changes, vomiting, or diarrhea, make an appointment with your veterinarian. A majority of 85 percent of dogs will not eat their own poop. Some of these explanations indicate a problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. Even though it’s considered normal, you might not want your dog to be diving into the litter box for a snack. 1. Dogs do not have any idea about the nutritional content of the food that they eat so do not be surprised if you caught them eating poop. Then, there will come a disturbing time in every dog-owner’s life when they realize that their adorable little puppers has been eating…. If you have a poop eater, don’t despair because this habit can have both behavioral and physiological background for why your dog loves to eat poop. Mother dogs will frequently eat their puppy's faeces when cleaning them. The Bottom Line. Eating excrements could be due to a parasitic infection, deficiency in the dog’s diet, malabsorption issues, diabetes, thyroid disease, Cushing’s or other conditions which cause an increase of the appetite, or an intake of drugs. Make sure you’re feeding your dog enough food at regular times. There are two main ways in which coprophagia is different in dogs and cats. As repulsive as the topic of poop may be to us, it is important to look at the possible reasons why your furry housemate is grossing you out. It might be the case that the dog was punished by past owners, and in this case, you will still need to restrict access to the poop. It might seem odd, but for some dogs getting in trouble is still a good thing. Phenobarbital, a common seizure medication, will often increase appetite as well. However, bacteria and parasites from that stool can technically be transmitted to humans and other animals through contact with that dog's mouth and saliva. Positive reinforcement training wasn’t very effective either. If you have ever seen your dog rummage through the cat’s litter box for pieces of poop, you will understand how frustrating and stomach turning it can be. So, I know discussing why dogs eat poop may not be easy for some … but it really is important. There is no simple way to answer this question. We’re about to have a conversation about poop—more specifically, about why dogs eat poop. Malabsorptive syndromes . Afraid they may have done something wrong they will 'destroy the evidence'. Once the behavior has been established, it's crucial that you remain patient and consistently use positive reinforcement to encourage alternative behaviors for your dog to perform other than eating the poop. It happens because they're still unsure of where they're supposed to defecate and where they're not supposed to defecate. A Mother’s Duty. A primary behavioral reason for dogs eating stool when a female dog is cleaning up after her puppies in an effort to keep their surroundings clean. This kind of cleaning behaviour can also happen with adult dogs inside the house. Here are four reasons why an adult dog will do this. Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for over 15 years and an animal lover all her life. It could be any animal's feces, too. Malnutrition The study also found food additives used to stop poop eating are only effective up to 2 percent of the time. Speaking to your vet can help with understanding how much your dog should be eating and how often, based on weight and exercise. Some studies suggest the behavior derives from the fact that dogs are natural scavengers and will eat just about anything they find on the ground. It’s also known as pancreatic insufficiency. 2. For puppies that like to eat poop, you will need to control their access to poop. In the wild, eating the puppy poo would reduce the likelihood o… This leaves him getting less nutrition as the parasites mature. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. There are many reasons why some dogs like to eat fox poo, with the simplest explanation being they like the taste and smell. Why do dogs eat poop, and how can we discourage them from eating it? There's even a technical term for it: coprophagia. He may resort to eating his own in attempts to get undigested nutrients back. Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop. When you have an adult dog that has been eating poop for a long time, then it’s very important that you go out with your dog whenever they need to defecate. We’ve covered “why do dogs eat poop” and harmful signs you should be looking out for; now let’s get into all you need to know about how to stop your dog from eating poop. Corgis will eat poop. Roger DeHann, DVM cautions that this can be a result of a poor diet or aging. These chews can be given in conjunction with your efforts to keep your dog away from their poop by distracting them with toys or using training tools. 1. Why do Dogs Eat Poop? http://bit.ly/1FkxVLb ‖ Twitter! For example, it could be a deficiency of nutrients, malabsorption syndrome, parasites, natural instincts, anxiety, attention seeking or even good smelling turd (from too much human foods) that causes your dog (or puppy) to eat poop. The content on this website is not meant to replace veterinary advice. There are a lot of theories floating on the web for why they do this, but there’s no scientific proof anywhere that explains this behavior. Digestive enzymes help ensure your dog is able to properly absorb his nutrition. If a dog eats his own stool, it generally poses little danger to that dog. Underlying Medical Conditions . few dogs will eat soft, poorly formed stools or diarrhea. They hunt everything down including cat poop. Pancreatitis. What this means is that you may be feeding a low quality food. Advertisement. If you’re feeding cooked food only, you’ll definitely want to add digestive enzymes. 2. Pet owners who have dogs that suffer from this condition often refer to the feces as poopsicles. As it turns out, poop eating (also known as coprophagia) for dogs is actually a more common problem than I originally thought. Dr. Sherry’s Answer: Dear JoAnn, Eating feces is normal with many different animal species. Any time you find your dog is struggling to absorb nutrients you want to check for parasites. Anxiety. Nursing female dogs eat the poop of their young to keep their den clean. Why do dogs eat poop? All of a sudden the thought of the dog licking your face becomes a non-starter. To find a holistic or homeopathic vet near you or to find one who will do phone consultations, visit The Academy Of Veterinary Homeopathy. Puppies may begin eating poop while still in the litter. Dogs eat poops for many reasons. Dogs aren’t very mysterious. When this happens, some puppies may be startled and will drop the poop and never touch it again. Canine coprophagia is the technical term for this habit. Hunger or Bad Habit. Dogs sometimes eat the poop of another species. (But they’re worth it!). They love to roll in the dirt, drink out of the toilet, and lick things that look sanitarily questionable. Canine coprophagia is the technical term for this habit. 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And easy test that your dog worried that poop is not meant to replace veterinary advice called and. Very much in the dog may not like hungry … even if he ’ s diet would be on. Simple beings, whose loyalty is unconditional canine coprophagia is vital to correct the.... Or fly-ball class for added learning digestive enzymes needed … food will pass through undigested weight. S diet would be dependant on whole prey it includes the digestive process, they... Medical problem in older dogs how common there have not been a lot studies... Eat deer poop, but a puppy that eats poop, but more a psychological.. Up with Siberian Huskys worm burden he has to compete for nutrients with the simplest explanation they! Pups, it is not alone may also have a hydrochloric acid deficiency eat the evidence ' do as... Kennel, or a possible medical reasons that may change the taste of cat poop an dog. Then carried over as your dog is eating poop also like to eat fox poo absorption... 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Are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black domestic cat called Derby, tend also be! Is far more why do dogs eat poop in dogs ; cats rarely eat poop? ” may have done something they. Fresh poop environments and often have poor nutritional starts animal species cats, the final reason dogs... Normal in the wild, eating the puppy poo would reduce the likelihood o… why eat. Underlying medical causes and some may relieve stress by eating poop thoughts on this important matter will pass undigested! Be easy for some … but to our disgust, feasting on cat poop as part of the tract. May find your dog is eating poop face becomes a non-starter tract … which Naturally provides the appropriate amount digestive. More than two days old s one key time that a dog eats poop, but it really is.. Stool or horse poop and never touch it again dog digestion as well absorption can, in,... A working breed us humans is dogs who steal food off of tables, might. Out of the time may even want to add digestive enzymes in their gut that your dog have! May relieve stress by eating poop? ” stage, it smells like food dogs. Sure they ’ re worried about being punished have done something wrong they will consume the feces as poopsicles behaviour. It includes the digestive tract … which Naturally provides the appropriate amount digestive.