Probably one of the most unsettling things I’ve ever witnessed as a dog owner is finding strands of human hair in my dog’s poop. It comes in various forms, including long hair strands and hairballs. After discussing this issue at length with my vet, I’ve discovered several reasons why human hair might end up in your dog’s stool. Don’t worry, though, because I’ll also share some helpful tips on how to prevent it.
Why Does Your Dog Have Human Hair in Their Poop?
Your dog might have human hair in their poop if they have chewed or eaten hair. This behavior can be a result of various factors, ranging from behavioral to health-related issues, and even a young puppy’s curiosity. Here’s a brief overview of the reasons:
1. Developmental Reasons
Just like human babies, young puppies have a tendency to chew on various objects. Human hair, with its unique texture, can capture their curiosity, leading them to put it in their mouth to explore its taste and feel. However, most puppies grow out of this phase as they mature. Giving them appropriate chew toys can help prevent this behavior. You can find some excellent chew toys on Amazon.
Pica is a condition more commonly observed in older dogs, characterized by the compulsive ingestion of non-food items. Dogs with pica may consume cloth, plastic, wood, paper, and even rocks. The root cause of pica can be either behavioral or medical. If you suspect your dog has pica, consult with your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
3. Attention Seeking or Boredom
Dogs that lack attention, exercise, or are left alone for long periods of time may engage in destructive behavior to seek attention. I’ve even seen dogs cuddling up to their owners and chewing on their long hair just to grab their attention. It’s their way of signaling to their owners that they need some interaction.
4. Dietary Deficiencies
Some veterinarians suggest that hair eating in dogs may result from a lack of specific minerals and fibers in their diet. However, more research is needed in this area. Adding more fiber to your dog’s diet and providing a well-balanced meal can help address this issue. Consider incorporating pet-friendly fiber supplements or increasing their vegetable intake.
How to Prevent Human Hair from Ending up in Your Dog’s Stool
While it can be unnerving to find human hair in your dog’s stool, as long as it remains as hair strands and doesn’t form hairballs in their stomach, it shouldn’t harm your furry friend. If it were hairballs, your dog would likely vomit them up before experiencing any blockages in their digestive system. The fact that the hair is passing through their system is generally a positive sign.
To prevent the presence of human hair in your dog’s poop, here are some steps you can take:
Maintain a Clean Environment: Try to keep the floor free of hair, as dogs can pick up hair from various sources, such as hairbrushes or loose strands on the floor. Regular cleaning and vacuuming can help eliminate loose hair.
Increase Fiber Intake: Incorporate more fiber into your dog’s diet. Lack of fiber can lead to strange eating behaviors, including hair consumption. You can consider using pet-friendly fiber supplements or increasing the amount of vegetables in their meals.
Hairball Remedies: If you’re concerned about hairballs in your dog’s stomach, there are hairball remedies available. These can be added as drops to your dog’s food to aid in the passage of hair through their system. Check out the hairball treatment options on Amazon for more information.
Can Dogs Digest Human Hair?
No, dogs cannot digest human hair. Their stomach acid is unable to break down hair, so it passes through their system and appears in their poop. Ingesting large quantities of hair can lead to the formation of hairballs, causing discomfort, pain, and nausea.
Recognizing Hairballs in Your Dog’s Stomach
Dogs with hairballs in their stomach may exhibit symptoms such as coughing, loss of appetite, constipation, and behavioral changes. If you suspect your dog has a hairball, it’s crucial to contact your vet immediately, as it could lead to a blockage.
When Should You Consult a Vet?
If you’re concerned about human hair in your dog’s poop, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian. Although a small amount of hair is usually not a cause for concern, if it becomes a regular occurrence or you can’t control it, seeking professional advice is essential. Remember, your vet can provide specific guidance based on your dog’s individual needs.
Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian, and the information provided in this article is based on my personal research and discussions with a local vet. If you’re worried about hair in your dog’s stool, please consult your preferred veterinarian for professional advice.
Finding human hair in your dog’s stool can be quite strange, but it’s a common occurrence among dogs. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to address this issue by maintaining cleanliness, vacuuming regularly, and taking steps to prevent hair ingestion. Remember, dogs can consume various unusual things that may appear in their poop. For instance, you might be surprised to find slugs in your dog’s poop!