Do Beagles Eat Poop?

beagle eats poop

Why Do Beagles Eat Poop? Best Tips On How To Stop It!

Beagles are cute, loyal, and energetic dogs that have captured the hearts of many dog owners worldwide. However, there is a popular belief that these furry friends have a rather unsavory habit of eating their own poop or even that of other animals. This idea has led many to believe that beagles are unhygienic and dirty. But is this really true? 

In this article, we’ll discuss the truth about beagles and this disgusting poop-eating habit

We’ll answer the question – Why do beagles eat poop?  

We’ll explore why they might engage in this behavior, whether it’s normal or not, and what you can do to discourage it if your beagle has picked up the habit. 

So, buckle up and get ready to learn more about your favorite beagle companions bathroom habits and the idea of beagles as poop eaters.

What is Coprophagia As It Relates To Dogs?

Coprophagia is the scientific name for a behavior commonly observed in dogs that involves the consumption of feces. While it may seem strange and unpleasant to humans, this behavior has been observed in various breeds of dog and has roots in their evolutionary history.

There are various reasons why dogs engage in coprophagia. One explanation is that dogs may have inherited this behavior from their ancestors, such as wolves. In the wild, wolves and other ancestors of dogs consume feces as a way to extract additional important nutrients for their diet. 

This behavior may have persisted in domesticated dogs as an instinctual behavior, although it should not be considered one of their food sources and it is not necessary for their nutritional needs.

Another reason for coprophagia is related to a dog’s environment and upbringing. Beagle puppies, for example, often learn from their mother dogs to keep their living area clean by poo eating

This behavior serves as a way to maintain hygiene and prevent predators from being attracted to their den. However, some puppies may continue to exhibit coprophagia into adulthood if not properly trained or if they are stressed or anxious.

Nutritional deficiencies can also contribute to coprophagia. If a dog is not receiving a balanced diet or lacks certain essential nutrients, they may be compelled to seek them out in the poop of other dogs, or their own waste

This is particularly common in dogs that are fed low-quality or poorly digestible diets. In such cases, adjusting the dog’s diet and providing proper nutrition can help alleviate the bad behavior.

Coprophagia can also be a behavioral issue. Some dogs engage in this behavior as a result of boredom, lack of mental stimulation, or as a response to separation anxiety or stress. In these cases, addressing the underlying cause of the behavioral issue, such as providing more exercise, mental enrichment, and addressing any anxiety or stress triggers, can help reduce or eliminate coprophagia.

It is important to note that coprophagia can pose health risks to dogs. Consuming poop can cause medical conditions and expose dogs to parasites, bacteria, and other pathogens present in the stool. It is crucial to prevent dogs from engaging in this behavior to protect their health.

History of Beagles and How It Relates To Eating Poop

The history of Beagles can be traced back centuries, making them one of the oldest breeds of dog in existence. Their origins can be found in ancient Greece, where they were highly regarded for their exceptional hunting abilities. 

During the Roman Empire, Beagles gained immense popularity for their incredible sense of smell and tracking skills. They were used for hunting a variety of game, including rabbits and hares. The Romans admired their hunting prowess so much that they introduced Beagles to Britain, where the breed eventually flourished.

In Britain, Beagles were further developed and refined as hunting companions during the reigns of Edward II and Henry VII. The breed’s popularity continued to grow, and by the 18th century, Beagles were widely recognized and valued for their excellent scenting abilities. They were frequently used by English nobility and gentry for hunting small game.

It was in the 19th century that Beagles became particularly renowned for their proficiency in hunting rabbits. Reverend Phillip Honeywood, an avid hunter, played a crucial role in shaping the modern Beagle breed. He was known for his pack of Beagles, which were meticulously bred for their hunting skills and compact size.

In 1887, the National Beagle Club was formed in the United States, solidifying the breed’s presence across the Atlantic. Beagles quickly gained popularity in America as well, thanks to their charming personalities, adaptability, and outstanding scenting abilities. Their compact size made them ideal for hunting rabbits and small game in diverse terrains.

The 20th century saw further development and recognition of Beagles as an exceptional breed. In 1928, the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Beagle as a distinct breed. Since then, Beagles have consistently remained among the top ten most popular breeds in the United States.

Beagles also found their place in popular culture. One of the most beloved Beagles of all time is Snoopy, the famous character from Charles Schulz’s comic strip, “Peanuts.”  Snoopy’s whimsical and imaginative adventures captured the hearts of millions, further elevating the Beagle’s reputation as an endearing and iconic breed.  Snoopy certainly doesn’t eat poop!

In recent years, modern beagles have not only excelled as hunting companions but have also ventured into various other roles. Their friendly and outgoing nature, coupled with their keen sense of smell, has made them valuable assets in scent detection work, such as drug and bomb detection. 

I’m a little biased, but most importantly, beagles have become popular as family pets, cherished for their loyalty, playfulness, and affectionate nature.

Beagles have so many qualities that make them the perfect family pet or hunting buddy, but that doesn’t hide the fact that they can have an appetite for poop.  Their ancestral connection to wolves and other carnivorous dogs is most likely the link to eating their poo.  Read more below to learn why.

Why do Beagles Eat Poop?

It might seem strange, but there are actually various reasons why beagles might have a poop-eating problem. One of the most common reasons is that their natural instincts are telling them to do so. 

Beagles are scent hounds and ancestors of wolves and wild dogs, which means they rely on their sense of smell to track prey. In the wild, they would eat their prey’s poop to get a better sense of their scent and track them down. 

They would also eat other animal’s poop in an instinctual effort to mask their own scent with that of another animal. These instincts can sometimes carry over into their domestic life, causing them to eat their own poop or that of other animals.

Another reason why do beagles eat poop is that they are not getting enough nutrients from their diet. If their body is lacking in certain vitamins or minerals, they might try to supplement their diet by eating poop. 

This is especially true for puppies, who are still growing and developing their bodies. If they are not getting enough nutrients from their food, they might turn to poop as a source of nutrition.

Lastly, some beagles might eat poop simply because they are bored or have nothing else to do. This is especially true for dogs that are left alone for long periods of time without any toys or entertainment. 

Eating poop might be a way for them to pass the time and alleviate boredom.  It’s a good idea to always have plenty of toys around for them to play with and pass the time without being destructive or bored.  

Need dog toy recommendations?  We have the perfect beagle toy article for you!

Common Types of Poop Your Beagle May Be Eating

Eating Their Own Feces: This can cause diarrhea, upset stomach or other gastrointestinal unpleasantries. This could be a sign of poor nutrition, or related to underlying health conditions. Additionally, a beagle treated for worms may reinfect themselves from the eggs found in their own poop. 

Eating Dog Poop From Other Dogs: Obviously this is similar to eating their own poop, but with more unknowns regarding the health and origin of the pooper. Concerns with eating the poop of other dogs include roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms, hookworms and disease including campylobacter, parvovirus, cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, coronavirus, and salmonella.  

Eating Cat Poop: A dog can contract intestinal parasites or worm from eating cat poop.  These parasites leave their eggs in the cat feces, which then get deposited to the cat’s litter box.  

Clostridium, Salmonella, and Campylobacter are three of the most common infectious bugs that can be transmitted to your beagle from eating cat poop.  If your beagle shares the house with a pet cat, make sure to keep the litter box in a secure location where only your cat can get to.

Eating Rabbit Poop and other Wild Animal Poop:  If your beagle is eating rabbit poop, you’re not alone.  This is the most common poop eating habit you’ll see in a beagle.  Beagles have natural instincts to hunt and flush rabbits, so it’s no wonder they like to dine on their poo.  Rabbit poop eating is generally harmless, but still should be prevented where ever possible.  

Eating the poop of other wild animals should also be prevented, there is a wide array of diseases and parasites in the poop of wild animals; especially when you consider poop originating from raccoons, foxes, coyotes and other predatory scavengers.

do beagles eat poop

Is it Normal for Beagles to Eat Poop?

While it might seem strange and disgusting to us humans, eating poop is actually a fairly common behavior among dogs, including beagles. In fact, some experts estimate that up to 16% of dogs engage in this behavior, that’s essentially 1 in every 6 dogs! This means that while it might not be pleasant to witness, it is a normal behavior for dogs.

However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s healthy or safe. Eating poop can put your beagle at risk of contracting diseases and parasites, as well as causing digestive issues and nutritional imbalances. 

It’s important to discourage this behavior if you notice it in your beagle, and take steps to prevent them from eating poop in the first place.

Health Risks For Beagles Eating Poop

There are several health concerns associated with beagles eating both their own excrement and other animal’s poop. First and foremost, eating poop can expose them to diseases and parasites that can make them sick. 

This includes things like parvovirus, salmonella, coronavirus, and giardia, which can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Additionally, eating poop can lead to an imbalance of gut bacteria, which can cause digestive issues like bloating, bad gas and diarrhea.

Gas and gastrointestinal issues are one of several reasons your beagle may stink.  Check out our article on why beagles stink to learn about the other reasons!

How Do I Get My Beagle To Stop Eating Poop?

We’ve answered the question – Why do beagles eat poop?  Now, lets disuss some solutions to preventing it!

If your beagle has picked up the habit of eating poop, there are a few things you can do to discourage this behavior. The first step is to make sure they have a healthy and balanced diet that provides them with all the nutritional value they need. This can help reduce their desire to eat poop as a source of nutrition.

You should also make sure to clean up your beagle’s poop as soon as possible, so they don’t have the opportunity to eat it. This means regularly walking your beagle and picking up after them, as well as keeping your backyard clean and free of poop.

Another effective way to prevent poop eating is to distract your beagle when they are about to eat poop. You can do this by calling their name, offering them a toy or treat, or simply moving them away from the poop. Over time, they will learn that eating poop is not a desirable behavior and will stop doing it.

There are also commercial products that can be introduced to their food to help discourage the consumption of their own poop.  Check out our links to Amazon for really helpful products:  Bark & Spark No Poo Chews or For-Bid

We may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through the above Amazon links.

Or you could try simply adding in some pumpkin or spinach to their food dish.  These have natural flavors and chemical compounds that react with natural digestion to develop an unsavory flavor in their poo.

Why Does My Beagle Eat Its Poop? Alternative Reasons

While poop-eating behavior is a common occurrence among dogs, there are other reasons why do beagles eat poop. For example, they might be suffering from anxiety or stress, which can cause them to engage in compulsive behaviors like eating poop. 

They might also be seeking attention, suffering from beagle separation anxiety, or trying to communicate something to you, such as a need for more exercise or playtime.  30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day is the common recommendation for adult beagles, you’ll be amazed at the positive effect this will have on your dog over time. 

If you notice that your beagle is eating poop excessively or seems to be doing it for reasons other than nutrition, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. They can help determine if there is an underlying health issue or behavioral problem that needs to be addressed.

Common Myths About Beagles and Poop

There are several myths surrounding beagles and poop that are simply not true. For example, some people believe that beagles eat poop because they are unhygienic or just frankly a dirty dog breed. 

However, this is not the case. Beagles are rather clean and tidy breed and also relatively low-maintenance for their owners.  Eating poop is a natural behavior for dogs, and has nothing to do with their hygiene or training.

Another myth is that feeding your beagle pineapple can stop them from eating poop. While some people swear by this trick, there is no scientific evidence to support it. In fact, feeding your beagle large amounts of pineapple can actually be harmful to their digestive system.

What's Next?

We’ve figured out why do beagles eat poop?!  And, while it might be a disgusting habit to us humans, eating poop is a normal behavior for dogs, including beagles. However, it’s important to discourage this behavior and take steps to prevent your beagle from eating poop, as it can put them at risk of health issues

By providing them with a healthy and balanced diet, cleaning up their poop promptly, and distracting them when they are about to eat poop, you can help prevent this behavior. 

If you notice that your beagle is eating poop excessively or for reasons other than nutrition, be sure to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues or behavioral problems.

Puppies are frequent violators of the no-poop-eating policy!  Not to mention they’re wild and rambunctious.  That begs the question When Do Beagle Puppies Calm Down?  We have your answer!!

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