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My dog likes cat poop the best, and if the kitty “cookies” are covered in litter – even better. It grosses me out, but it doesn’t change the fact that if I want her to stop eating poop, I have to figure out why she is eating it to begin with.
If your dog has a poop-eating habit, then you have come to the right place. Let’s break it down.
What Causes Coprophagia?
There are several reasons why your dog might be eating poop. It’s most likely not a deficiency in diet, but simply because dogs like it – that’s right, they like the taste of poop.
Peteducation.com says, ”A lot of theories have been suggested as to why dogs eat feces. Are they missing something in their diet? Generally not. Dogs who eat their feces usually do not have a dietary deficiency.”
Dr. Jon from petplace.com adds, “Other dogs will eat feces out of boredom, because they just ‘like it,’ or others may eat it because of a nutritional deficiency (rare).”
If you refuse to believe, like I do, that your dog simply likes the taste of poop, rest assured it could be something else and is worth further investigation.
According to dog-obediencetrainingreview.com, these are some of the reasons dogs eat poop:
It could be a symptom of anxiety, stress or boredom.
If you punish your puppy for eliminating inside your house, in the future he may eat his poop to ”hide the evidence” because he thinks he was punished for pooping, and not for pooping in the wrong area.
How Can I Prevent Coprophagia?
World-renowned dog trainer Victoria Stillwell, host of “It’s Me or the Dog” on Animal Planet, offers this advice for prevention: ”The only sure way to make sure it doesn’t happen is to supervise the dog during bathroom time to remove it immediately. You have to be aware and re-direct the behavior to something else. Clean-up is so important. Go around your entire backyard to make sure you haven’t missed anything. It is also important to make sure your dog is kept up-to-date on its vaccinations and is regularly wormed.”
Peteducation.com agrees: “The best way to prevent the problem is to keep yards and kennels free of feces.”
Pawrescue.org offers the following advice for breaking your dog’s poop-eating habit:
Take your dog to your veterinarian to check for medical and health problems, parasites or other problems that may be compelling him to eat feces.
Walk your dog on a leash so that you are in a better position to tell him to “Leave it” and to physically keep him from trying to sniff and eat stools. Praise your dog for listening, and reinforce the praise with treats.
Some other alternatives suggested by Pawrescue.org:
Depending on your dog’s size, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin to his food each day. Pumpkin apparently tastes good in food, but repugnant when expelled in excrement.
Having a dog that eats poop is seriously disgusting, but not a serious health issue. The bottom line is, if you want to stop your dog from eating poop, you’ll have to be the poop police and follow the steps given here to diligently curb your dog’s nasty habit.
Next Week: HOW TO Treat Your Dog After a Snake Bite
Find A Vet HOW TO articles are intended for informational purposes only. You should always consult with your veterinarian about any health issues affecting your dog.