Is Your Dog A Poo Eater?
March 12 | Hmmm...No Comments Yet
Out of our three dogs thankfully we only have an issue with one, but trust me when I say that is enough. There is nothing more disgusting than when your dog goes outside and eats poo only to come inside and breath on you. Or wost case scenario, give you a wet willy.
I’ve spoken to our vet about it but so far her advice has not worked. I was told to put meat tenderizer in his food to make it less palatable. Less palatable than poo? Well, the only thing that did was make it more tender, didn’t stop him. Next I was told try some pineapple in his food. Nope, now it became a tropical treat. I was also told I could stand outside while he poos and immediately pour Tabasco sauce to keep him from eating it. I don’t see that happening in this life time.
The scientific name for his behavior is coprophagia and despite what you may have read on the internet, it is natural behavior for dogs.
Dogs instinctively do it when nursing puppies and cleaning their “den” and is not typically a sign of poor nutrition or a nutritional deficiency. It really needs to be addressed as a behavioral problem, just as jumping up or going to the bathroom in the house are often seen as undesirable behaviors that can be worked on through training.
Dietary modifications have only been shown to help in approximately 2% of cases. This includes changes in dog food as well as manipulations such as feeding pineapple, meat tenderizer, yucca as well as the products that are sold in stores for coprophagia.
Keep in mind that things like meat tenderizer and supplements are thought to work by making the stools taste bad. Really?! Shouldn’t it taste bad enough? Some dogs just like it!
The best way to handle this is to offer him no opportunity to eat his or anyone else’s bowel movement.
Take him out on a leash and keep him away from the bowel movement after he has gone. If he tries to go for it, say “leave it” and pull him away. Over time, you should teach him this command, to help you in other situations where he may pick up something he shouldn’t eat.
Next, remove your precious puppy from the area and clean up the feces as soon as possible.
Consider designating an area in the yard for bowel movements to make it easier for you to know where he defecated, making clean-up easier.
There unfortunately is no magic answer to this problem. It is a natural instinct and some dogs continue to eat their stools their whole lives. Please remember it isn’t typically related to the diet you are feeding or anything that you are doing wrong, it’s just a natural behavior that is more persistent in some dogs compared to others.
Work on these training ideas and if you continue to have trouble, consider an appointment with a veterinarian that is an animal behavior specialist. Kisses from your furry best friend are not as much fun when you know they’ve been eating poop.
Not much new there for me but hopefully it will help someone who has a puppy and can stop the behavior before it gets worse. Or like in our case feed him peanut butter to cover up the smell. That’s all I got.