Is horse poo safe for your dog to eat?

Many dogs have habits of eating things they shouldn’t, and whilst it is certainly unpleasant to your nose, is it also unsafe?
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Is horse poo safe for your dog to eat?

If you walk your dog along any bridleway in the UK, you’ve probably come across your fair share of horse poo. Which obviously is fine, but you might have a dog that can’t quite get enough of the stuff. Which raises the question, is it safe?

Is horse poo toxic?

Whilst horse poo (Horse manure, horse dung) on its own is perfectly safe for dogs to eat, it is what it may contain that will cause harm to your four-legged friend. Ivermectin, a chemical used to worm horses, may be present in the horse manure. When ingested by dogs it can be extremely dangerous. This is also a chemical used when worming cows and sheep, so it is important to be aware of any animal poo your dog may be eating. 

How do you know if horse poo contains Ivermectin? 

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing from sight if the poo your dog may be eating contains Ivermectin. The safest course of action is to assume all animal poo is dangerous to eat and therefore be avoided.

How to stop your dog eating horse poo

What are the signs of ivermectin poisoning in dogs?  

If you suspect that your dog has ingested Ivermectin, it is important to monitor their state. Things to look out for are:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of balance
  • Disorientation
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting 
  • Drooling
  • Seizures 

How do I get my dog to stop eating horse poo?

Teaching a dog the ‘leave’ command comes in handy to prevent them eating things they shouldn’t. Using this command requires attention to where your dog is (the leave command is only effective if actually given!). Remember to be extra vigilant when around stables or farms where the amount of Livestock and horse poo will be higher.  If your dog is persistent on not leaving, then there is always an option to muzzle train them. This will prevent them from picking up and eating things they shouldn’t. 

Note: Even with a muzzle on you can continue leave training – if you get progress the muzzle can always come off. 

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