Dogs Eating Poop

Coprophagia (pronounced cop-ra-FAY-jee-a) is the scientific term for eating feces. No one really knows why dogs eat turds, but they do seem to enjoy it. Cat poop is probably the all-time favorite. Rabbit and deer dung come in a close second. Some dogs eat other dog's poop and some eat their own piles if the conditions are right!

Poop eating baffles and frustrates many pet parents. Why does my dog do that; they wonder (or scream). Since people are not going to try it to see what dogs find so delicious about doodoo, we can only theorize as to why some dogs are fascinated with it. The possible causes are:  

  • Missing nutrients in their diet
  • Hunger
  • An underlying medical condition such as worms or pancreatic insufficiency
  • Boredom
  • Stress
  • He sees you picking up the yard and is just trying to help
  • Natural instinct that is passed down undomesticated ancestors
  • Learned behavior from their doggie friends
  • Eating poop might be addictive or maybe

Most of the time, coprophagia is merely a habit which is disgusting to owners but causes no real problems for the dog. However, it is possible that your dog could get sick from eating feces. Internal parasites and worms are common in wildlife or unfamiliar dogs. Toxoplasmosis is a risk of eating cat feces and can make your dog very sick with diarrhea, vomiting and even central nervous system damage. Hepatitis and canine parvovirus can be contagious to your dog from other dog doo as well.  

What can you do about a poop-loving pup? We wish we could be more encouraging, but nothing seems to work 100 percent of the time except to keep your yard clean and keep a close eye on your dog when away from home. However, here are some suggestions.

  • First, have a check up with your vet to be sure your dog is healthy and has no medical issues that could cause coprophagia. Be sure your dog is de-wormed regularly and vaccinated on schedule
  • Feed your dog a nutritious dietsuper_scooper.jpg
  • Teach your dog the ‘leave it' command. Use positive reinforcement to redirect his interest in something more desirable
  • Try the products SEP by Solid Gold, Forbid or Deter
  • Add Digestive Enzymes to their food
  • Natural remedies such as adding pumpkin seed, anise, pineapple or papaya to their food have worked for some
  • Spend time playing with your dog to be sure he has enough exercise
  • Wait. Sometimes your dog will outgrow the habit
  • Use a muzzle
  • Add Tabasco sauce to the poop to deter the dog. However, it makes sense while you are bending over applying hot sauce it would be just as easy to pick it up and dispose of it.

On another note, Against The Grain has discovered a "Super Duper Doo Doo Scooper". It's called the Jaws Scoop by Flexrake. It is designed for one-handed pick-ups on all surfaces and is made of durable polypropylene plastic. Rugged, polypropylene construction stands up to the elements and rinses clean with the hose. The Jaws Scoop makes cleaning up after your dog much faster and easier, the powerful spring action ensures the jaws stay closed until you're ready to empty it. The Flexrake Jaws Scoop has a long 22" handle to help eliminate unnecessary bending. The scoop is 5.5" wide and great for pick-up on grass, cement, dirt and other hard surfaces. Cost is $15

Against The Grain Pet Nutrition is a company that does things differently. We are a small business that is excited about offering pet owners better choices in pet nutrition. We believe that choosing appropriate pet food (be it commercial, raw or home prepared) is the most important factor in any pet's preventative health, convalescence and longevity.  Our name - Against The Grain - reflects our strong passion to provide pet owners with the knowledge to make healthy decisions about pet care even if we go ‘against the grain' of popular thinking.

To contact us:
1024 County Road 109
Montevallo, AL 35115

Phone: 205-665-9026
Fax: 205-665-5683
[email protected]