My dogs live with horses and whenever they run into the horse paddocks they run around and then make a beeline for the horse poo and eat it. It's not something we ordinarily stop. If the horses have been wormed, we don't allow them to eat it, as it can be toxic for the dogs.

I'm wondering why they enjoy eating the horse poo so much.

  • 2
    Why do they eat their own poo for that matter? We didn't cone across many horses on our country walks, but my Labrador loved a nice fresh cow pat.
    – Mick
    Jun 18 '20 at 18:18

Many animals eat feces. Some animals must eat feces. There is even a name for it, obligate coprophagia.

There are several reasons.

First, the digestive system is not 100% at absorbing all the value of the food. For animals that must eat their own feces, it is because it takes two passes through the digestive system to get all the nutrition from the food. Ruminants do this by having two stomachs and chew the first phase a second time.

Dogs can't process cellulose well, because they are intrinsically carnivores. I suspect that by eating horse feces they are getting minerals from the partially digested vegetable foods the horses have eaten.

  • 1
    Interesting answer, thank you!
    – user6796
    Jun 19 '20 at 4:34

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