Dogs and their fascination for devouring their own waste is a widely known fact. But why or what leads them to do so has been a mystery for quite a while now. But not anymore!
All those multiple questions on Google about "Why does my dog eat its own poop?" with their ridiculous myriad of answers now have a scientifically definite explanation!
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While many claim that the dog's breed, gender, age, diet, training or living conditions could be responsible, a team of veterinary researchers at the University of California at Davis claim it all dates back to their ancient wolf ancestors.
A second research also tried to find the reason behind your dog being so fascinated to eat their own poop. And involving 1,475 respondents, scientists found that dogs are more likely to be labelled as 'coprophagic' – or the kind of beings that eat faeces – if they are supposedly 'greedy eaters'.
But interestingly enough, there's a historical precedent for this theory, too. Previous studies have shown free-roaming dogs in developing countries being more prone to scavenge through waste and faeces, looking for their next meal.
And this seems like a plausible explanation as the habit could still be prevalent in the modern day dog population. James Serpell, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school, shared this with the Washington Post.
But it has also been established that even though dogs are more than happy to indulge in droppings of all species, they can be extremely picky too. Scientists found that dogs are only interested in eating fresh faeces – specifically poop that's fewer than two days old.
Once again, this thinking goes back to their wolf ancestors, as whenever an old or injured wolf would poop where others live, another wolf would attempt to clean it up by eating it. And since most wolf poop would be infected with parasites, in order to clean up before the parasite eggs hatched, they would eat it up within two days.
Benjamin Hart, the co-author of the study, told the Post that it seems like a 'logical explanation.' But unfortunately, no antidote for that seemingly disgusting behaviour exists, as of yet. Even commercial products like food additives and pills have no effect on altering the behaviour, as the survey found.
However, Hart and the other scientists also indicated that some alternative treatments were being developed for the future; but until then – we just have to grin and bear with our poop-loving buddies!