My Dog Eats Poop!
by Lorna Paxton
A couple of years ago I rescued a little Westie mix named Brie. She plays well with my other dog RiQui and is such a sweetie…but, sadly she’s poo eater.
The very first night we got her my husband told me he saw some poop on the floor. I went to the kitchen to get a paper towel to pick it up and by the time I got back it had disappeared. I thought my husband was paranoid and didn’t think anything of it.
But the missing poop episodes continued and I finally came to terms with the fact that I have a poo eater. There’s even a medical term for eating poop –coprophagy. Medical or not, it’s very disgusting, I mean, who wants a dog who has just eaten their own feces (or someone elses) to come give them a big wet kiss on the face? GROSS!
What’s worse than the gross factor is that it can be dangerous. The main concern is that parasites, including giardia, coccidia, roundworms and whipworms, can be transmitted through dog and cat feces.
Anyway, I will share with you what I learned about Poop Eaters—Why they do it, and how to get them to stop
Why dogs eat poop
There are various theories and speculation on this topic which I’ll now reveal, but the most important thing is how to get them to stop (that’ll come in a minute)
- Some say that some dogs eat poop in order to ‘hide the evidence’ . That might happen with dogs who have been punished for going to the bathroom where they shouldn’t.
- Others say that it’s a habit passed down to dogs from their ancestors . Coyotes and wolves have been known to eat poop during food shortages.
- Monkey see monkey do. Eating poop can be a learned behavior . If one dog sees another one doing it, they’ll copy. It’s the old “If Fido jumps off a 50 foot building are you going to?”
- It’s also normal for females to eat the poop of their pups. Some think say this is to keep the den clean while others think it’s a instinctual response to hide their litter from predators.
- And then again, maybe they do it because it tastes good . Remember, a dog’s taste buds are simpler than ours. They’re into smell and texture so poop is quite a delicacy.
- Many puppies eat their stool because they become confused about where to go so they figure it’s easier to just eat it!
- Other puppies find nutrient value in their feces if their digestion isn’t complete. They’re attracted to undigested rice, corn or peanuts and other lovely nuggets found in poop!
Managing the Problem & Solutions
- Maximizing digestion can help solve this problem. You can add enzyme supplements like papain (a natural enzyme from papaya) to their food, or foods high in enzymes, like pineapple or pumpkin. Stir the enzyme rich food into your dog’s food and let it sit for 15 minutes before feeding. This should make the poop less appealing unless of course you feed your dog those yummy nuggets that come out the other end like peanuts or corn.
- If your dog does happen to eat poop, you will want to try to remove all evidence of the poopy mouth. Spray some Dog Smog Remedy into their mouth. This is a breath freshener and Digestive solution for dogs. Peppermint, spearmint and fennel will remove the bad breath while Digestive enzymes of papain and bromelain will help with digestion.
- Be sure that you’re feeding your pooch a high quality diet which digests easier. Check out the nutritious diet from the Honest Kitchen . Also be sure you’re not over feeding your dog which could result in weight gain and more poop!
- Coat the stools with hot sauce or vinegar , thereby making the experience of eating it unpleasant. Some report injecting the poop with hot sauce so the dog gets a hot mouth of poop. This, for a couple of week is usually enough to deter the dog back to his dog bowl. But the idea of injecting poop with anything sounds mighty unappealing for the human.
- There are a few products you can buy to discourage poop eating including .
o meat tenderizer . Just put a small amount on the dog’s food
o Solid Gold’s S.E.P (stop eating poop) This all-natural product contains glutamic acid. When mixed with stomach acids it makes the stool taste very bitter and nasty.
- The most logical solution is to obviously limit access to the poop.
· Pick up your yard daily
· If you have a cat, make sure the litterbox is in a place the dog can’t get to.
· Walk your dog on a leash.
Hopefully this tricks and tips will help you break your dog of this nastiest of habits. Good luck!