I have to reveal an embarrassing habit my funny and gorgeous princess Yoshi has. It’s hard to believe, but like many other dogs, she loves eating poop. She was doing this as a puppy and never stopped, now she is 1.5 years and still enjoys this meal on a daily basis. We talked to our vet, and she explained that there could be several medical reasons and sometimes it’s simply a habit. I did additional research and will make a summary of the reasons that cause coprophagia in dogs (yes, it’s the medical term). We are still trying to completely resolve this problem, I’ll update this post with the results of using different methods and supplements.
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Why is your dog eating poop?
Various types of deficiencies
Your dog might be having a problem to digest nutrients properly. The food dogs eat in an urban environment doesn’t include digestive enzymes, which are naturally present in whole food, like gut in prey for example. As a result, dog’s poop comes out so reach in nutrients that they want to reprocess it once again.
There are some strictly medical conditions which should be diagnosed by a veterinarian, which make also cause enzymes deficiency, such as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) or just parasites that absorb the nutrients your dog consumes with food. Other DVMs also mention hydrochloric acid deficiency and trace mineral deficiency that can also both lead to poop eating.
I think it’s important to check the health of your dog and try to understand whether or not there are medical reasons behind this habit. If your vet, like ours, doesn’t see serious reasons to be worried the nutrients and your dog has sufficient amount of food every day, maybe then you are facing a purely behavioral problem.
If you think your dog can’t digest nutrients, a very high-rated solution is Prozyme Original All-Natural Enzyme Supplement for Dogs and Cats. Some dogs stop recycling their stool in 3-4 days using Prozyme. It’s entirely natural plant derived enzyme supplement that will help your dog in digesting fats protein fiber and carbohydrates to maximize the nutrition from food. As a bonus to solving the poop-eating problem, you will notice that your dog’s hair is not dull anymore, the dog is full of energy and if there were weight issues, it will also help. Vets prescribe Prozyme for various digestive problems, such as excessive gas, gastroenteritis, etc. Prozyme is plant-derived enzyme with a lactose base made in the USA, so you know that your dog is safe.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
Puppy eating poop
Puppies are simply exploring the world in all its diversity, and when they meet a funny smelly thing on their way, they just try it. This might later become a habit.
Cleaning up / being scared or bored
Female dogs often eat the poop of their puppies to clean up the nest. Dogs can adopt some habits from each other. During the first few months of their life, puppies that live in apartments, are taught to pee and poop outside of the house and often punished. Dogs may try to clean up the place and hide the poop by eating it. And after all, being home alone, your dog might just feel bored and do both things – poop and eat the poop just to have a nice time while no one is watching. Remember that dogs naturally are not disgusted like humans by garbage or stool, besides that, the smell of their poop around the house gives then the sense of control over the territory and thus the feeling of being in a safe and friendly environment.
There are so many behavioral reasons that could answer the question, why dogs eat poop, but for dog owners, it’s important to find an effective way to prevent this.
Ways to stop dog from eating poop
It’s, of course, imperative to clean poop immediately, so the dog doesn’t even have a chance to eat it. But it’s not possible every time, so what can we do? Should we try to punish the dog? This is ineffective, according to research among dog owners, as well as positive reinforcement training, in this case, doesn’t work. So many of us are wondering what to put in dog food to stop eating poop.
According to many reviews of dog owners, an effective product for this problems is “For-bid“. It’s a powder that gives the poop a bitter flavor. It’s recommended to give it with food twice a day for 4-6 days. If after this period the dog keeps eating, the dog owners are advised to add 1 gram per day for about 2-3 weeks until the dog gives up the bad habit. I tried this with Yoshi, it helped to significantly reduce cases of stool-eating, but from time to time she is still doing it.
If For-bid doesn’t work, probably, your dog really has issues with digesting nutrients, in this case, Prozyme Original mentioned earlier, might solve the problem. Most importantly, don’t give up trying because the longer your dog has been eating stool, the stronger the habit is, and thus it’s harder to stop it.
It’s important to understand that For-bid powder makes only your dog’s stool bitter, so it will stop eating its own feces, but if your dog likes to taste feces of other animals outside, this can happen because of the nutrients in them. Then you should try Prozyme or consider using a muzzle when you take your dog for a walk.
How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop
- Why is your dog eating poop?
- Puppy eating poop
- Cleaning up / being scared or bored
- Ways to stop dog from eating poop
I’m Anastasia and I’m a full-time blogger, online entrepreneur, and Pinterest marketing strategist. I help digital entrepreneurs and bloggers drive targeted traffic from Pinterest either through my online courses or through Pinterest consultancy.
We found the perfect solution…clean up the poop as they do it…if there is nothing there…there is nothing to eat. Our Papillions ate poop and they licked the carpet until the created holes down to the pad…dont know why…we kept the carpets vacuumed and carpet cleaned year around. Quirks of this breed maybe?? My Chihuahuas show no such habits …dont know, but I am glad.
I wish I could do the same, but it is impossible to be all the time right next to the dog to clean it. Besides, my dog mastered the skill of eating it so quickly to hide the crime that even if I’m right next to it, she cleans it faster than I make a step. I also read that dog trainers don’t recommend removing the poop in front of the dog or shouting at the dog to prevent eating it because this way the dog will just avoid doing it when the owner is around but will keep doing the same in a safer place, for example behind a sofa. Will it make things easier? Not sure about it…
My vet said to try a teaspoon of pineapple juice in my Chi’s food. Tastes good in food, but not in poop. I have also read meat tenderizer. Perhaps the papaya enzyme is the key in the tenderizer. I’m not sure why she does it, perhaps the pooping in the house and trying to destroy the evidence. I just know it’s gross.
Hello, Gail! Thank you for the additional recommendations coming from your vet! I’ll try them as well with Yoshi. Yes, there are many reasons dogs do it, for owners, it’s always a big mess, and it’s always worth trying to prevent your dog from eating poop. Even as a temporary measure, you at least have some rest from the sickening habit of your pet.