How to Stop Your Dog from Eating His Poop
9 October, 2012
My friend, Kathleen, has a dog named Benji, who has the not-so- pleasant habit of eating his own poop when he is out on a walk. While this is not particularly favorable in your pup, it can actually be dangerous if he or she eats another dog’s poop. This behavioral pattern is not uncommon in dogs and can be corrected if it becomes an issue.
Is it dangerous for a dog to eat his own poop?
Generally speaking, Coprophagia, the name of this lovely behavioral pattern, isn’t dangerous, just unpleasant. This is especially true when your pup or dog just eats his own stool. However, if your little pup seems intent on snacking on every random poop he finds, then it can become hazardous to his health.
Many of the most dangerous and contagious dog illnesses are transmitted through feces. If your pooch ingests the poop of a sick dog, he could get very ill himself. Parasites such as worms can also be transmitted through the ingestion of feces which is clearly not something you want for your dog.
Below are some recommendations to prevent this pattern from continuing.
Feed your dog a high quality dog food
Make sure that you’re feeding your pooch a high quality, nutritious diet. A good dog food is highly digestible and results in fewer stools. Further, your pup’s stools are definitely less attractive as potential snacks because they’re not full of the undigested fillers and junk that cheaper, lower quality foods contain.
Don’t overfeed your dog
Watch that you don’t give your pup too much food. Overfeeding can result in undigested dog food in his feces, which makes them smell and taste really good to your dog. And, we know what happens next…
Make sure to scoop the poop quickly
As soon as your dog eliminates, make sure to pick up the poop right away. If you are on a walk, grab it. If it is on your grass at home, again, pick it up immediately. Don’t leave it (if you can help it) and give your pup a chance to eat it.
Use a leash when you take your dog out
Keep your dog on a leash when you take him out. If he’s a dedicated stool eater use the leash even if he’s just going ‘potty’ in the back yard. If he tries to nibble on his stool, tell him ‘no’ firmly and tug his leash as a correction. Redirect his interest right away with a treat or a game.
Try placing something spicy on your pup’s stools
You can try pouring hot sauce (or something similar) onto the stool piles. It will make them a lot less appetizing to your puppy. Of course, if you’re going to take the time and trouble to do this, it’s just as easy to pick them up. And, the hot stuff will hopefully associate eating poop with an unpleasant hot taste.
Use Coprophagia Remedies
You can ask your vet to recommend some products that could help deter the condition. Usually, they can be added to your dog’s food that can sometimes help with the eating. Once this type of food passes through your dog’s digestive system, your dog will be less interested in eating his poop!
I hope these tips help. If you dog continues to eat his poop, I would recommend hiring a dog trainer or pet behavioral specialist. Good luck!
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