One of the most common issues for canines is stool-eating, technically known as Coprophagia. There are several reasons why a dog may eat feces, and no one answer
is necessarily correct. Basically it breaks down into two main categories;
behavior and nutrition.
Stool eating deterrent products, like Only Natural Pet Stool Eating Deterrent
or Solid Gold S.E.P. can be very helpful in breaking
this habit. However, they should be used as part of an over-all strategy.
As puppies, it's very common for dogs to investigate
and play with strong smelling objects in their environment and feces, both theirs
and others, definitely fits the bill. This behavior should be curbed and the opportunity
to engage in it
should be reduced as much as possible. It is especially important to be vigilant
in cleaning up after your pets when you have a puppy around. Often this behavior
will fade away as the dog gets older, but for some dogs it becomes a habit and then
it can be extremely difficult to stop.
Some other behavioral possibilities include something as simple as maintaining their
space. Dogs want to have clean space to play and live in as much as you do and their
most obvious way to rid the environment of waste is by eating it. Some dogs can
be pickier about this than others, so once again, constant vigilance is needed when
you have a dog who eats stool. As always, the best defense is to remove the opportunity.
Stress can also be a factor. As above, when dogs are stressed about their environment
or territory, they may react in inappropriate ways. If your dog has just begun
eating stool, take a moment to think if there have been any recent changes in
your dog’s life. Has a new dog been added to the household? A new family member?
Has their space been reduced or changed in a significant way? Perhaps it is time
to incorporate some
anxiety and stress relief or
flower essences into your dog’s regimen.
If it isn’t behavioral, it can certainly be nutritionally based. Stool eating
can be a sign of inadequate nutrition or nutrient absorption. If your dog is
seeking out alternate sources of nutrition, then there might be some nutrient
missing from their diet. Take a moment to read our article,
You Need to Know About
Your Pet’s Food, and look at your dog’s food. Is it full of fillers and
grains? Sometimes switching to a different diet is the best way to fix a stool-eating problem.
If your dog is getting a good food, perhaps it is time to add a
aid. The old saying is “you are what you eat” but what it should really be
“you are what you manage to digest.” If food isn’t digested and absorbed
properly, it just leaves
the body as nutrient-dense feces. To your dog this means it is still a viable food
source even the second time around. Along those same lines, if your dog is eating
the feces of other pets in the household, then their digestion should also be considered.
If the cat’s stool still smells like food to your dog, it only makes sense your
dog will want to eat it. The better your
cat's digestion, the less their stool will smell like
food because more of the real food will stay in their body.
Some dogs may eat stool because of a condition or a medication that increases
appetite, like diabetes or thyroid disease, or medications like prednisone.
If your dog is constantly hungry, available stool will definitely seem like a food
As a quick and simple summary, to complete a strategy that starts with
deterrent; remove the opportunity, lower the stress, feed good food and add
support. If you consider all of these issues in your strategy, your possibility of
success increases dramatically!
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The articles and information in the Holistic Healthcare Library are presented for
informational purposes only and are not intended as an endorsement of any product.
The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local veterinarian.
Instead, the content offers the reader information and opinions written by our staff,
guest authors, and/or veterinarians concerning animal health issues and animal care