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Old 05-09-2007, 03:59 PM   #1
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Default Info: Why dogs eat poop and what to do

Coprophagia, or eating feces, has to be one of the most revolting aspects of owning a dog. It is fairly common, and can be dangerous for puppies. There are many reasons why dogs do this, and so there are also many possible solutions.

Why dogs eat poop
There are many possible reasons as to why dogs have this disgusting habit.
The first one to rule out is a medical condition. Problems with the digestive system or pancreas (possibly from too much fat in the diet) can cause coprophagia. However, unless the dog has diarrhea, this cause is not likely.

One theory is that if your dog sees you picking up feces (like with a "pooper scooper") he is trying to imitate you. Another is that something is missing in the diet that the dog is trying to make up for by eating stool. Some dog owners report that this behavior disppears when the switch is made from a low-grade food to a higher grade one or to a raw diet. Boredom has been identified as anohter possible factor. Finally, some people have decided that dogs just plain "like it" and that there is no special reason.

What do do about it?

Eating his/her own feces
If your dog is eating his/her own stool, you have a chance of stopping it by adding something to your dog's diet to make the taste so bad that it will stop. Meat tenderizer, sea kelp, brewers yeast, spinach, pineapple or commercial products (such as "Forbid" or "Deter") have been known to help.

Eating feces from other dogs or animals
If your dog is eating another animal's feces (say from the neighbor's dog or wild animals) then training your dog to avoid it may be the only way to prevent it. For example you can train the "leave it" command while out on a walk. If your dog starts to get a little bit "too" interested in the poop out there on daily walks, say "no" and lead him away to let him know that this is unwanted behavior. You might also try to get your dog to develop a negative assocation with feces by deliberately leaving it where it is and putting tabasco sauce or lemon juice on it. The idea is that your dog will learn to dislike it and stop on his own.

The cat litter box
Two strategies for keeping the dog from snacking on "tootsie rolls" or "almond roca" make use of the fact that cats are usually smaller and more agile than most dogs. For example, a hooded litter box will solve the problem if the dog is large (assuming of course than you can train your cat to use it ). Another possibility is to make your own litterbox by starting with a deep storage container and cutting a hole in the lid which is large enough for the cat to fit through. Kitty drops down into the business area, and jumps back out, dog has no chance to get to it. Unless your dog is very good at climbing, putting the litter box on a platform where the cat can get to it but the dog cannot will help. Just be sure that when you choose a spot for the litter box that it is "private" enough for kitty. Cat's hate being watched when they do their business and will often refuse to use a litter box if they do not like the location.

The good news is that most dogs eventually stop. Remember you are not alone, and if one method doesn't help, don't give up-keep trying!

more info here: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1613
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Last edited by skunkstripe; 09-25-2007 at 01:07 PM.. Reason: added link

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Old 05-09-2007, 04:04 PM   #2
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Great info and a perfect candidate for FAQ!
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:55 AM   #3
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My puppy did this a lot when he was tiny. It seems to be an indicator that he is hungry and needs more food. We started feeding him more, and it soon stopped.

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Old 03-04-2009, 12:06 PM   #4
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Myka is more into sheep, deer and horse poop. Not much for dog poop, except Maddie's which has been aged over night and cooled to perfection (sorry). I need to let him out after I go out and pick up her poop from the night before.

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Old 03-04-2009, 05:12 PM   #5
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Excellebt Info Jean While Nipper has no interest in her poo she does still ( if given a chance) eat other dogs poo. So Thanks again. The dirty beggars
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:39 AM   #6
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Lucky for me my dogs do not do this. I have had puppies in a litter do this when out on grass, out of playfullness or boredom one might go and find a pile to lick at, I put dirt over it and occupy the pup doing another job.

You have to get a dog to eat that junk to go through it into fecal matter. That may not be so easy. You can get distaste and it is tasteless in dog food but it makes them stop this. Best way is to clean up the pile right away so they do not get into this habit.

A dog would have to be starved to litterly eat fecal piles or hunt some to do this. It could also be a genetic thing, I have often seen dogs on a leash walking stopping to nibble when riding a street. It with me is more in puppies and that stops when they get homes or I never hear about it and most email me results of their pups temperments.

Good thought for those that have poopie eaters though. lol.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:30 PM   #7
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thank you for the informetion,is good to know.my csillag she stop eating poo when i start taking her out more.i was irritating time i am gled it over.

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Old 03-18-2009, 08:00 AM   #8
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This is intresting as if one of my dogs eat poo I think that its because their diet is lacking something, for example the other day, as I have had to change Honey and Diesel onto a store brand dog food which I hate having to do Diesel for the first time ever after being on this food for about a week went into the garden and ate some poo out there, so I though oh maybe the food isn't giving him something that he needs, maybe he needs more energy or something from his food as I think being as he is so fast he must burn off more energy then a normal dog, as he runs from start to finish to if you get what I mean. And as this food is for just adult dogs maybe he needs something else added, so now I am looking for another cheap dog food that has what he needs in.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:13 AM   #9
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Ive come to the conclusion that something in the poop just plain tastes nice!! Both my two can run by loads of dog poops in a particularly messy park but will both hone in on the same poop pile and devour it.
As they get tons of exercise, so not bored, get high quality food and plenty of it I can only assume that eating it is sometimes an extension of rolling in it.
I dont think its coincidence that both my dogs are super submissive teeny things.

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Old 03-18-2009, 08:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz View Post
This is intresting as if one of my dogs eat poo I think that its because their diet is lacking something, for example the other day, as I have had to change Honey and Diesel onto a store brand dog food which I hate having to do Diesel for the first time ever after being on this food for about a week went into the garden and ate some poo out there, so I though oh maybe the food isn't giving him something that he needs, maybe he needs more energy or something from his food as I think being as he is so fast he must burn off more energy then a normal dog, as he runs from start to finish to if you get what I mean. And as this food is for just adult dogs maybe he needs something else added, so now I am looking for another cheap dog food that has what he needs in.
Chaz is Diesel a Adult dog? I think the 'cheap' dog food with loads of additives don't help well not in your case My advice would be switch to a better brand and read the label don't get taken in by a pic of a happy tail wagging dog on the bag/tin HTH
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