My Puppy Eats Poop

Stool-eating (dog coprophagia) is a prevalent issue in pet dogs. It’s gross, but poop eating is often a normal dog behavior.

The great news is eating stool will not generally hurt your dog. The bad news: it is messy, disgusting, and results in bad breath. There is also the risk of getting parasites if your canine pal eats stool from other animals.

Breaking a pooch of the practice is hard, but it can be done. Here are ways to stop the potentially dangerous and filthy problem.

Determining why your pooch is eating poop

The gross behavior depends on the pooch and the situation. However, there’re underlying causes of unappetizing behavior. It’s crucial to find the reason behind your pooch’s love for poop. Some of the reasons include:

Isolation or boredom. Puppies left alone or unsupervised for long periods may play with, investigate, and eat stool.

Nursing mother. A natural cause of coprophagia is when a pooch becomes a mom. Natural maternal instincts will simply have your nursing pooch eat the stool of its young ones. The two main reasons are to keep their pups’ environment clean and hide the stool from predators.

Food obsession and hunger. A pooch suffering from severe malnutrition or starvation can eat anything. Some pooches, even though well-nourished, are usually hungry all the time, a sign of disease or personality of the pooch. Most canines are obsessed with food and can simply ingest anything, which tastes great to them.

Unluckily, many pooches seem to like the taste of poop, especially cat feces. Most individuals believe dogs eat stool when they lack some nutrients on their diet.

Stress, fear, or anxiety. A dog under a good deal of stress or in fear may eat her own poop. If you punish your dog for inappropriate defecation, she may associate the punishment with the presence of stool. By eating poop, she is removing the proof in order to avoid punishment.

Attention seeking and behavioral issues. Eating or playing with poop normally attracts lots of attention from the dog owner. It may further boost or reinforce the disgusting behavior.

Symptom of illness or disease. ‘Pica’ is a health condition, which drives pooches and even humans to eat non-food objects or items.

You might find a dog eating poop, paper, stones, dirt, drywall, hair, and more. Other diseases such as diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, and thyroid malfunction can also cause increased hunger and consequently eating poop. If your pooch’s stool-eating habit has just begun, visit your vet.

Puppies behavior. Pups might eat stool to mimic their mothers; remember they are learning how to be a pooch. Naturally, pups’ curiosity might lead them to taste, eat, or smell their own poop.

The mother normally stops eating her young ones’ feces after the first 3 weeks of lactation. But a pup who has begun eating poop may still continue until she becomes mature. You can gradually discourage the behavior by cleaning up after your puppy before they eat it.

How to deal with coprophagia

Once you’ve ruled out medical issues as a cause for stool eating, you’re left with addressing the unappetizing behavior.

Because coprophagia is considered a self-rewarding habit, it can be hard to reverse. Here are ways you can train your canine companion not to eat stool.

Remove all stool from your dog’s vicinity

Don’t give your dog the chance to eat or play with his poop. Start by cleaning up the place where your canine has been eating poop. Go around with little bags, scooper, a shovel, and pick every dropping every time it defecates. Keep it on the leash when defecating.

Also, remember dog poop is an insect and fly attractant, not to mention a public health hazard. So, consider properly disposing of the waste in your garbage can, which should have a tight lid.

Give it heaps of mental and physical stimulation

A bored pooch will decide it wants to play with or eat poop to fill the void. So, ensure your stool eating pup gets plenty of time to play and exercise. Four or five minutes’ walk each day is an excellent start.

Playing will also give the dog both mental and physical stimulation. Also, give your dog the amount of attention it requires.

When you’ve to leave your dog alone for quite a while, provide it age-appropriate toys. Toys will help relieve his loneliness, boredom, or stress so he will not resort to eating stool.

Feed your dog a good-quality dog food

Consult the vet to find a good-quality food to ensure your canine is getting the nutrients she needs for normal development. Observe the dog for signs, which she may be suffering from improper digestion:

  • Watery stool
  • Vomiting
  • Poor growth
  • Poop with large undigested particles
  • Weight gain

In case your puppy has any of the above signs, visit your veterinarian. It can become a more serious health problem if not treated.

Make poop taste so bad to the pooch

Even though it seems like poop already tastes really bad, they do not to a pooch. Deterrents like Tabasco sauce, red pepper flakes, or bitter apple can be applied to stool deposited on the ground.

Apply the substances frequently for the pooch to get a great taste of the deterrent. It will, hopefully, develop a repulsing towards the poop.

Teach your pooch the ‘LEAVE IT’ command

If your pooch doesn’t know the ‘leave it’ command, then it a good time to teach it. You can practice it in the house using tasty treats. Make sure there are no distractions, then show it the small gift in your hand. Allow it to sniff it and say ‘leave it.’ If the dog looks at you just say ‘yes’ and give it the treat.

Give your pooch medication

Consult with the veterinarian to see if medication like Clomicalm is right for your pooch. Consider it if stool eating has become an obsessive and compulsive behavior.

The final verdict

Have your veterinarian check if your pooch is healthy. If it is healthy, all the above techniques will greatly help. Ensure the foundation of your canine pal’s diet is balanced.

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