How Can I Stop My Dog Eating His Poop?
I know. It’s disgusting. The thought of it might even make you want to gag. A dog eating its own poop/dung/feces. Whatever you call it, it’s gross.
It actually has a name – coprophagia
Fortunately, it’s fairly rare. But for those who have to deal with it, the big question is “how can I stop my dog eating his poop?”
Fortunately, it doesn’t pose too much of a health risk.
It is, however, disgusting to us humans and does produce nasty breath in your dog.
It can also infect your dog with worms.
I had a yellow lab named Gracie who was rescued from a puppy mill. She ate her own stool, so I know the frustrations of this.
Why Dogs Eat Dog Poop
1. Hunger – For a dog like Gracie, who was one of over 40 breeding dogs, she probably didn’t get enough to eat. This was one way for her to satisfy her hunger.
Feeding dogs twice a day may help your dog feel fuller and have less of a need to fill her stomach.
2. Boredom – This is another problem Gracie had when she was being used as a puppy manufacturer. She lived in a fairly small kennel and had nothing to do all day. So she ate her poop.
It was probably also a way to keep her kennel clean. Dogs like to keep their sleeping area clean.
3. Curiosity – Many young dogs will put just about anything in their mouths. Feces is just another thing to try out. Usually a young dog who does this will outgrow it.
4. Observation – Sometimes a dog will see another dog nibbling on poop and decide to try it for herself.
What You Can Do
There are some things you can do to stop your dog eating feces.
1. Clean up poop as soon as possible. If you observe your dog eliminating, pick it up with a pooper scooper or plastic bag before she can eat it.
However, since it’s not always possible to be there at the appropriate time, there are some other options.
2. Consider adding digestive enzymes. Sometimes nutrients will slip through your dog’s digestive system unused. Your dog might smell the undigested nutrients and consider it uneaten food, and re-eat it.
Sometimes adding digestive enzymes that help absorb more of the nutrients in the food will stop a dog eating stool.
There are several types of enzymes you can add to your dog’s food.
Probiotics for Dogs and Cats – Powder for Digestion, Diarrhea Relief, Regularity, Promotes Immune System and Digestive Health – 8 ozNaturVet Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotic for Pets, 1-PoundDr. Mercola Digestive Enzymes For Pets – Dietary Supplement For Cats & Dogs – Contains 5 Enzymes – 5.26 ozDigestive Enzymes For Pets – Veterinarian Approved – Contains 9 High Potency Enzymes – 100% Vegetarian Based – Scent Free – Powder Enzyme – For Dogs and Cats – 1 Bottle
3. Make the dung smell bad to your dog. There is a product called For-Bid that you can sprinkle on your dog’s food. It’s supposed to make the poop smell and taste bad for the dog.
Unfortunately, many reviews I read on this stated that their dog developed diarrhea and bad gas after eating the food with the For-Bid in it. I can’t recommend something that can potentially hurt your dog.
A couple of less invasive suggestions might be canned pumpkin or even pineapple juice mixed in with the food. This seems to work for some dogs.
4. Keep your dog occupied. Dogs need activities during the day to keep them busy and less bored.
This could include going on walks, providing chew toys, other dogs for companionship and play time, balls to chase, visiting nursing homes for therapy, etc.
If your dog has other things to do, she will be less apt to get her nose in nasty places where it shouldn’t be.
5. Add fiber to her diet. It isn’t really clear why this helps, but it does seem to. It could be that fiber changes the consistency of the stool, making it less pleasant to the taste buds of the dog.
Dr. Kathalyn Johnson, D.V.M., clinical associate in companion animal behavior at Texas A&M University in College Station recommends adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of Metamucil to your pet’s food every day until she stops eating her stool. Metamucil is very high in fiber.
6. Feed a quality dog food, such as Dynamite’s Super Premium Dog Food, which can be found at dynamitespecialty.com. You’ll also find other holistic supplements and products there.
If you are diligent in trying these suggestions, you should be able to stop your dog from eating its own poop.
If not, just feed her doggy breath mints, worm her regularly and don’t let her lick you on the mouth!
(Links on this page are affiliate links to Amazon.com)