Your dog eating their own stool actually isn’t uncommon, it’s a question we get regularly at our dog training business in Northern Virginia. Many owners are completely appalled and disgusted at this behavior; however, it’s somewhat common and normal for many dogs. The official term for this behavior is Coprophagia.
Four of the most common causes of this behavior we will discuss:
-Lack of Nutrients In Their Diet: You will need to go see a vet to ensure that your dog does not have some underlying issue such as worms or parasites. If your dog has worms or parasites, they can often consume many of the nutrients your dog is eating; therefore, your dog is eating their stool in order to get all of the nutrients they can.
-High Stress: Sometimes high stress situations can cause this behavior in your dog. If you recently adopted a dog or made a major change in your dog’s normal routine, this could also cause this behavior.
-Cleaning Up: Many new mothers do this to “clean up” their area of with their new litter there; however, dogs without litters can do this in an effort to clean up their area, as well.
-Taste: If your dog is eating foods that are rich in fats and proteins, your dog could simply like the taste.
Solutions To This Behavior:
-Obedience Training: With a proper obedience training regime, a qualified trainer can show you how to properly correct and redirect this behavior.
-Keeping A Clean Yard: In case your dog feels like they have to “clean up,” constantly keep your yard clean and free of any fecal matter.
-Give It A Bad Taste: This is one of the most common and widely used methods to help control this behavior, you can simply make the fecal matter taste horrible; therefore, you are deterring the dog from eating it. Some of the things you can do in order to make it taste bad are: Meat Tenderizer, a product called “For-bid,” or even adding some canned pumpkin (about 1/2-1 cup) to the dog’s food. All of these things taste very good to your dog while they ingest them; however, they make the fecal matter taste horrible when coming out. One last thing you can do is add a hot sauce to their fecal matter, which will clearly leave your dog not wanting anymore; however, it will not hurt nor harm your dog in anyway.
If you stick to these guidelines, you should find a simple solution in no time. As stated above, consult with a licensed veterinarian on your dog’s nutritional intake, as well.