COPROPHAGY (FECES EATING)
Yes as disgusting as it sounds this can sometimes be a nasty habit in our best friends.
Despite common theory that the dog doing this disgusting habit is missing something in its diets is usually
is not so. There are some medical conditions that contribute to Coprophagy but these are very rare. Some dogs that are in
kennel situations will eat feces because they are stressed or anxious or even bored. Another theory is that dogs will eat
feces because they watch the mothers eat feces of their puppies and do like wise. Still another theory is that dogs that were
punished by their owners for defecating will eat their feces to escape being punished. There is yet another theory that it
has been passed down through the ages from wolves who in times of scarcity of food would eat their feces as a way to supplement
their diet. It is even theorized that some dogs just simply like the taste (yes we know that, at least to us, is very nasty).
Sometimes it is a case of the dog wanting to eat other animals feces like cats, other dogs, rabbit or deer not just their
It is important to break your dog of this habit. While Coprophagy can be a nasty but usually harmless habit
it can also create problems if a dog eats other dogs or cats or other animals feces. It could cause you dog to pick up internal
parasites such as coccidia, giardia, or worms. Your dog could pick up even more life threatening diseases such as parvo, distemper,
or other deadly viruses.
That being said the best way to prevent feces eating or Coprophagy is to keep the kennel area or yard free
from feces. There are also products out their that can be put onto a dogs food that will make the feces taste nasty to the
dog. The most common being FORBID. Some people have even used pepper, Tabasco sauce, or chili powder to stop this habit. Unfortunately
most dogs will develop a taste for the latter and will once again resume feces eating. Once Coprophagy has developed it is
a very hard habit to break.
We recommend keeping one step ahead of your dog, making sure he has no access to the feces to eat it. This
means when walking your dog keeping a tight leash to avoid piles that may be in your path. A muzzle may also work when taking
your dog out to a dog park. You might try clicker training and rewarding your dog when he does not eat the feces. You might
try using liver treats or their favorite toy to redirect your dog's attention away from the feces. There is also the use of
a squirt bottle and spraying your dog when he tries to eat the feces. Some people have had success with the remote control
shock or spray collars to encourage your dog against eating feces. Also be sure to keep the kitty litter box clean. You may
want to check with you vet to make sure that there is NOT an underlying problem causing your dog's Coprophagy. The sooner
you work to break you dog of this habit after it starts the better your chances of success are.