Probably one of the most unsettling things I have ever seen in my years as a dog owner is seeing human hair in my dog’s poop. It’s taken a few different forms when I’ve seen it including long strands of human hair plus actual hair balls.
Having spoken to my vet in length about this, I learned there’s a number of reasons why you might find human hair in dog poop, all of which are listed below followed by some helpful tips on preventing it.
Why is there human hair in my dog’s poop?
You can find long human hair in dog poop after you dog has eaten or chewed on hair. This can be down to a range of reason from behavioral to health, to even a puppy’s curiosity.
I’ve written a lengthy guide about why dogs do this in the first place, but here’s a quick synopsis of the reasons:
1. Developmental reasons
Young puppies like to chew all kinds of different things, very similar to how human babies do. Human hair has a strange texture, so puppies can be intrigued by it, putting in their mouth to see what it tastes and feels like.
Puppies tend to grow out the exploratory chewing and eating of odd things, and you can help prevent it by giving them chew toys instead. Here’s a great chew on Amazon.
This is more common in older dogs and is an issue where they are inclined to eat non-food items. Here’s a quote from the Great Pet Care website:
“Pica in dogs is characterized by the compulsive ingestion of non-food items. Dogs with pica might eat cloth, plastic, wood, paper, or even rocks. The root cause of pica in dogs can be behavioral or medical.”
3. Attention seeking or boredom
Dogs that don’t get enough attention and exercise or are left home alone for long periods of time can exhibit destructive behavior to get noticed.
I’ve seen some dogs cosy up to their owners and start chewing on their long hair! It’s one way for you to sit up and take notice of them!
4. Something lacking in their diet
I’ve heard of some vets who attribute hair eating to a lack of certain minerals and fibers in their dog’s diet. More about that further down the page.
Handy Hint: Have you ever seen what look like tiny white specks or dots in your dog’s poop? If yes, here’s what it could possibly be.
How to stop getting human hair in your dog’s poop
Admittedly it is very freaky when you see your long human hair matted or poking out of your dog’s poop. But, don’t be too concerned, as it shouldn’t hurt your dog providing the hair is strand-like and not in the stomach as hair balls.
If it was hair balls, your dog would probably be vomiting it all back up, before it got to the stage of being lodged in the digestive system leading to constipation.
I might be more concerned if you weren’t seeing your dog pooping at all after eating human hair, because that would be the sign that there was a blockage. The fact it’s passing through the system is actually a good sign in many respects.
To stop finding human hair in your dog’s poop you need to identify the source. I’ve heard of many dogs that will chew on hairbrushes, which is where the hair gets into their stomach. Others will pick it up off the floor either after it’s been cut, or just individual hair strands that fall from the owner’s head during the day.
If you can eliminate and keep hair off the floor better, you will stop seeing hair in your dog’s poop. It’s not that easy to completely stop hair from falling to the floor though, so there are a few alternative methods, such as:
- Add more fiber to your dog’s diet: Some dogs will eat human hair due to a lack of something in their diet. It’s the same reason they will sometimes eat earth and dirt. There is a pet-friendly supplement on Amazon which contains fiber. Other ways of getting more fiber into the diet is to increase your dog’s vegetable intake.
- Use a hair ball remedy: If you are concerned about human hair in your dog’s stomach you can use hair ball remedies. Again, there’s a hair ball treatment on Amazon you simply add as drops to their food each day.
Can dogs digest human hair?
Hair in your dog’s poop won’t have been digested, because your dog’s stomach acid can’t digest it. This is why hair will pass through their system and come out in their poop stools.
When eaten in large quantities, hair balls can form rather than it coming out in the poop, and this can lead to discomfort, pain, and nausea.
How do you know if your dog has a hair ball in their stomach?
Dogs with hair balls in their stomach can cough, lose their appetite, become constipated, and exhibit behavioral changes. If you have any suspicion they have a hair ball, you need to contact your vet immediately as it could cause a blockage.
When to call the vet about human hair in dog poop?
If you are at all worried, then that’s when you call your vet. From what I can gather though, a little hair is no real cause for concern, unless it’s becoming regular and you cannot control it.
Disclaimer: I am not a vet and the notes in this blog post are a result of my own online research and talking to a local vet about the topic. You should always consult with your own preferred veterinarian professional if at all worried about hair in your dog’s stools.
All dogs will eat some human hair at some point in their life and poop it out. It’s an odd things to see, but thankfully is easy enough to solve my ensuring quite cleaning and vacuuming, particular if you cut hair in your house.
Handy Hint: Dogs can eat all sorts of strange things which will often appear in their poop. For example, I recently find out why you might even slugs in your dog’s poop!