It comes as no secret to many dog owners that your dog would eat more or less anything they find on the ground. Regardless of how careful you are, some dogs may be quick to act, making it difficult for you to stop them. Instead, the one thing that you can do is inspect what your dog has eaten afterward.
If you’re living in an area where there are geese about, you may notice your dog chomping down geese poop. So, what happens if your dog accidentally eats geese poop? Is it harmful to your pooch?
It can be harmful to your dog to eat geese poop. This is as geese excrements typically contain bacterial strains like salmonella and E. Coli. While eating geese poop in small amounts may not be immediately harmful, these parasites and toxins may cause health issues to your dog in the long run and should be discouraged.
Let’s look at some of the negative health implications your dog may experience if they eat geese poop.
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Why Eating Geese Poop Can Harm Your Dog
The habit of dogs eating poop is known as coprophagia and is more common in most dogs than you think. Although the health implications may not be immediate, it can be harmful to your dog if they happen to eat geese poop for a prolonged period.
Like most birds, geese are often carriers of bacterial strains such as salmonella, listeria, and E. Coli. They’re mostly present in a goose’s poop, and when ingested by your dog, may cause health issues such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Separately, veterinarians have also warned dog owners of the possibilities of contracting giardia – an infection caused mainly by the parasitic bacteria found in geese poop. While it isn’t common, a giardia infection often results in your dog passing loose stools with a green tinge. This is further tied to major weight loss in dogs, making it a worrying condition if left unattended.
In more serious cases, dogs may also contract a disease known as Avian coccidiosis after ingesting geese poop. This disease, caused by the parasite known as Eimeria, does not show any symptoms, so it could be hard to track if your dog is suffering from it.
While some dogs may play host to the Eimeria parasite and pass it out with little to no complications, more serious cases may cause diarrhea, loss of appetite, or death in your dog. Because Avian coccidiosis is an asymptomatic disease, you may have to keep a closer eye on your pooch for a week after they have eaten geese poop to see if they are suffering from it.
With that said, you don’t have to panic if your dog has recently ingested small amounts of geese poop. Instead, it may even be better for your dog if you monitor its condition instead of bringing it to the vet immediately.
Some signs to watch out for includes monitoring your dog’s stool or whether there is a change in its appetite. A vet visit should only be made if you notice your dog’s condition deteriorating as you don’t want to scare your pooch.
Why do dogs like eating geese poop?
As a dog owner, it may be a known fact that dogs would technically eat anything they can find on the ground. They may, however, have a particular liking to bird excrements. Below are some reasons why dogs may like eating geese poop.
- Dogs like the taste of geese poop: While the idea of eating any sorts of excrements is disgusting to humans, dogs may find it as a tasty treat. This is mostly due to the geese’s diet of grass, seeds, and other natural foods, making geese poop an irresistible snack for your dog.
- Dogs are curious: Like children, dogs are naturally curious animals, which contributes to your dog’s habit of eating geese poop. As such, it’s more common to see puppies chomping on the stuff than older dogs.
- Geese poop resembles the look of dog food: Some dogs may also mistake the look of dried geese droppings to dog food, hence the rush to snack on them. The smell of geese droppings may also confuse your dog, so it’s possible that your dog doesn’t like geese poop, but they’re just confused.
- Your dog may be hungry: Separately, your dog may only be nibbling on bird droppings because they are hungry. If you notice your dog looking for geese poop during its walks and before mealtime, you may want to switch your routine and ensure your dog is well-fed before going out.
- Your dog might feel stressed: This may sound odd – but some dogs may look to eating poop when they feel stressed. To your dog, ingesting geese poop is its way of self-medicating, despite the bacteria and possible parasite infection.
How can I stop my dog from eating geese poop?
Fortunately, there are simple ways to stop your dog from eating geese poop.
One of the ways to tackle this problem is to ensure they are well-fed before you take them out for walks. While hunger is not the constant driving factor behind why your dog may eat random excrements from the ground, keeping them full may deter them from wanting to eat geese poop again.
Subsequently, you may also try to teach them that eating geese poop is bad. To do this, you may lead your dog away each time it approaches it. Firmly tell your dog to leave the excrements alone and reward it with a dog treat each time they ignore it.
Over time, your dog will learn to associate geese poop with something they should leave behind. Don’t forget to shower your pooch with occasional praises when this happens because it shows that they’ve done a good job in learning a new “trick”.
If your dog is still on the hunt for bird excrements after trying these tips, it may be a good idea to keep your dog on a leash when taking it out for walks.
This reduces the likelihood of your dog running astray to look for poop to ingest and makes it easier for you to control its movements. You may also consider switching your walking routes to keep your dog away from its regular hunting ground where all sorts of animal feces can be found, and within time, they will forget about how “delicious” geese poop is to them.
Yes, it may be harmful to your dog if it ingests geese poop, but the good news is, you don’t have to immediately panic if your dog has eaten a small amount of geese poop.
Instead of rushing your dog to the vet immediately, you should monitor the condition of your dog to see if there are any serious conditions in them, so you don’t scare your dog in the process.
Most dogs may find vet visits highly stressful, and the last thing you’ll want to do is to put them in a distrusting position. However, the next time you see your dog munching on geese poop, you’ll want to discourage this behavior as you’ll never know when it could harm your pooch.