Sometimes dogs can be quite picky about the foods that they like, but at other times they seem to put almost anything in their mouths, no matter how disgusting it might seem! If you’re unfortunate to have ever been in a situation where your dog ate human poop, then you will want to know what you need to do about it!
Most of the time, human fecal matter is not particularly harmful to dogs, though it will inevitably cause very bad breath. Some poop can, however, contain harmful bacteria that lead to gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is also possible for your dog to pick up toxins, parasites, or viruses from any kind of poop that they might eat.
Read ahead to find out what harm your dog might experience from eating human poop, what you might need to do when it happens, and why they might try to consume it in the first place.
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Is It Dangerous If My Dog Ate Human Poop?
Eating poo is, unfortunately, a relatively common behavior in dogs. It might seem very disgusting, but it is rarely too harmful to them.
The most common risk that your dog might face when consuming poop is ingesting the harmful bacteria that can build up in it. Large amounts of bacteria can lead to an upset stomach, which will be quite unpleasant for your pooch. Gastrointestinal distress from bacteria can cause:
- Low Appetite
- Stomach pain
Additionally, they might ingest a parasite (like worms) or a virus, that could make them sick in other ways. There is also the chance that medications, unsafe foods, or even illegal drugs can be present in the poop, which could potentially be very bad for your dog’s health.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Human Feces?
You don’t necessarily need to worry too much if you catch your dog eating human poop – you might just need to clean out their mouth.
If you notice any signs of an upset stomach, though, then you should contact a vet. These symptoms can take hours before they arise, so stay attentive. Your dog should recover on their own, but you might need to provide some additional support for them.
Follow the advice of your vet but, generally speaking, you should make sure that your dog is well hydrated and comfortable until they are feeling better.
Even if you don’t spot common symptoms straight away, you should monitor your dog’s wellbeing and behavior closely over the next few days. If they are acting out of character, or appear unwell in any way, then you should call your vet as soon as possible.
You may need to take your dog to the vet to be properly examined. This could include blood work and fecal sampling to determine if they are suffering from a parasite, virus, or infection that might need treatment.
How Do I Clean My Dog’s Mouth?
Even if your dog seems to be perfectly healthy after eating some poop, you should always give their mouth a good clean. Not only does this help with the smell, but it will prevent bacteria from building up and spreading around your home.
Getting out your dog’s toothbrush and doggy toothpaste is the most comprehensive way to get this done, but you can start by wiping with a clean towel if you are away from home.
Make sure to use lots of water and give everything a very thorough rinse.
Will My Dog Need Treatment For Eating Human Poop?
Most of the time, your dog won’t need any kind of treatment after eating human feces. They might get an upset stomach, which doesn’t require much in the way of intervention besides lots of water and rest.
However, if they have ingested a high number of toxins from the feces, like drugs or unsafe foods, then they can become dehydrated and suffer from organ damage. In this case, they may need treatment, which will often be specific to the substance that they have ingested.
Typically, a vet might need to induce vomiting and potentially provide additional fluids via an IV drip, if your dog has become dehydrated. This will also help to flush toxins out of their body by encouraging urination.
Activated charcoal is also a potential treatment for harmful toxins as it can neutralize them in your dog’s system. For more serious infections, a course of antibiotics might be necessary. Whatever treatment option your vet suggests, it’s important that you follow it closely and continue it at home until the full course is completed.
Why Do Dogs Eat Feces?
It might seem like completely baffling behavior to us, but a lot of dogs will eat all kinds of poop when they can find it. In fact, it is estimated that around a quarter of all dogs do it.
Part of the reason is simply the strong smell. Dogs don’t necessarily distinguish between good smells and bad smells, they tend to go off the intensity alone. Additionally, poop contains a lot of information about whoever or whatever made it, which dogs find very interesting.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Poop?
Ideally, you don’t want to have to deal with this problem at all. As any dog owner knows, though, it can be very difficult to stop them from doing something that they want to do – no matter how disgusting it seems.
Good training is always going to be your best option. Teaching your dog a reliable “leave” command and ensuring excellent recall can keep them away from the offending article. Make sure to be very patient and give lots of praise if you want your training to stick.
You can also use a leash so that you have more control over the areas your dog has access to, and you can give them something to carry to keep their mouth occupied while they are out and about.
Changing up your dog’s diet might also help, as dogs that are less hungry tend to have less of a problem with eating unsavory things.
Summary: Dog Ate Human Poop
So, what should you do if your dog ate human poop? Most of the time, it isn’t going to cause too much of a problem, but human feces can be dangerous for dogs. It might contain harmful bacteria, viruses, toxins, or parasites that can cause them to become very sick.
Firstly, you should make sure to clean your dog’s mouth thoroughly, and then you should monitor them to see how they are feeling. If they start to show signs of sickness or stomach upset, then get in touch with your vet straight away to see what kind of treatment they might need.