The question of why dogs eat horse poo aka manure aka horse apples aka cow/horse patties has been pondered by many great minds, as evidenced by some of the deep philosophical discussions I stumbled upon when researching this article. I felt obligated to add my equally profound thoughts on this important matter.
In centuries past, when we all lived a more natural life, we ingested herbs and botanicals naturally in our everyday meals. Dogs grazed on the herbs they instinctively knew were best for what they needed. We have all seen dogs nibble grass when they had a bit of an upset tummy, same principle. They will even search out very specific grasses to achieve certain results. Rough grasses with ragged edges lump together in the intestine to scrape worms out, sweet grasses calm a shaky tummy and bitter grass cleanses the stomach when “urped”.
Eating dirt and manure are also ways of self-medicating. Wild animals will travel miles to specific clay deposits to cleanse their systems. Side note: Some women have been known to crave clay when pregnant, even in industrialized places-see, I am not making this up.
The manure of herbivores (such as horses or cows) is full of enzymes and partially digested protein, which can be beneficial for a meat eater’s (your dog) digestive system. I also feel there is a reason for certain “old wives tales” and myths and lore. I also think that if virtually every single dog on earth would eat horse or cow poo if allowed to then there must be a reason! When I read this hypothesis, it made complete sense to me and further research just added to my conviction that nature was giving dogs a dose of really recent probiotics. Of course, if the horse or cow had just been wormed or had worms (etc etc) then it would be a concern and I am NOT advocating a horse poo supplemented diet, merely sharing why dogs seem to love horse poo. That said, I still do not let my dogs eat yak poo…that is just wrong!
As I Googled around researching this article I found some mind-boggling info or would that be mis-info. Here are a couple of my faves…
Why does your dog eat horse manure?
Once again, we are NOT suggesting you allow your dog to eat large animal poo, as there are cases of illness when the horses had just been wormed with Ivermectin and the dogs ingested fresh, drug-packed poo.
I will never get all the images erased from my retinas that I stumbled upon when I googled “dog eats horse poo.” I suppose I got what I deserved. That is Nyker, our mini-horse aka fat pony pictured. I promised him he would be a star. This mini-article sprang off the Aromatherapy article, I found the whole “why dogs eat horse poo” interesting for some reason.
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