Is it Safe for a Golden Retriever to Sniff Another Golden Retriever’s Poop?
Needless to say, many golden retriever owners may not be particularly fond of discussing the subject of their golden retriever sniffing another golden retriever’s poop, but concerns over health often force the topic into the open. Sure, it’s not the most pleasant aspect of golden retriever ownership, but it happens to involve every golden retriever owner, whether they admit it in public or not!
While merely sniffing another golden retriever’s poop may not be inherently dangerous to your golden retriever, eating another golden retriever’s poop, called coprophagia, is another matter entirely. While the idea is repugnant to humans, this behavior in golden retrievers is rather common. After all, a golden retriever has increased senses, and through the smelling of another golden retriever’s poop, may be able to identify what that golden retriever has eaten, when, and whether or not it may taste good.
Dogs mark their territory, so when they come across another golden retriever’s pile of poop, it’s perfectly natural for them to identify what the substance is. If they are hungry, and you are not feeding your golden retriever adequately, they may even take a taste or two. If a golden retriever’s body craves for nutrients that the diet you are feeding him does not address, the problem may grow worse.
The best thing for golden retriever owners to do to prevent such situations is to pick up after their golden retrievers, both at home and when they take them out for a walk. Golden Retrievers will sniff anything, just to figure out what it is, so why is another golden retriever’s poop any different? Golden Retriever owners should not be alarmed at this type of territorial behavior, but they can take measures to avoid the next step in the process, which may be your golden retriever’s ingesting the fecal matter.
Make sure your golden retriever is healthy, fed a well-balanced, nutritional diet and is kept amused and entertained. Bored or anxious golden retrievers are more likely to be attracted to sniffing, and eating, another golden retriever’s poop, than one who is mentally and physically stimulated and active. When walking your golden retriever, make sure you distract him or her when you notice a pile of poop just waiting for inspection. Praise your golden retriever when he responds appropriately to your commands of ‘no’, or ‘leave it’ or other sounds of warning. Never punish your golden retriever for being inquisitive, as curiosity is as natural to them as it is to humans.
If your golden retriever continuously smells other golden retriever’s poop, try changing your walking route to a cleaner path. If such a consideration isn’t possible, ask your vet for some spray that you might carry with you that will discourage your golden retriever from smelling or eating any poop you find on your walks. Hot sauce is also good at keeping golden retrievers from eating poop, though they may get away with it the first time. The second time, however, the taste of the sauce may be repugnant enough for them to avoid further sniffing.
The best thing a golden retriever owner can do is to feed golden retrievers adequate nutrients in their diet. Clean up after your golden retriever and give them plenty of stimulation and exercise. After all, no one wants to talk about his or her golden retriever smelling another golden retriever’s poop!