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Explaining coprophagy

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Explaining coprophagy

Post by Dragon on Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:22 pm

Dogs are scavengers. As many dog owners know to their cost, dogs often have a penchant for things that we find less than palatable. If it's not counter or table surfing, it might be raiding the kitchen rubbish bin or snacking on rich pickings from the park, street or elsewhere.

Occasionally, those rich pickings include poo, much to the disgust of many owners. That poo can be from a range of species (birds, horses, rabbits, cattle, sheep, deer, and in my own dogs' case, cat poo is a particular favourite). But sometimes, dogs have a desire to consume either their own or other dogs' faeces. This behaviour is called coprophagy, literally translated as "faeces eating" and, unsurprisingly, many dog owners don't like it.

But the study authors suggest that coprophagy is something much more basic. It's possible that poo eating is an evolutionary remnant from dogs' ancestors, where faeces could be a source of disease, especially from parasites. Removing faeces early by eating it might represent a way of cleaning it up to prevent infectious parasites developing in the days after it's deposited. And dogs today may indulge in exactly the same behaviour.

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Re: Explaining coprophagy

Post by Cloud on Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:23 pm

Come to think of it, that would make sense
Natural instincts for them (phew)

Thanks for sharing

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