Hi, when we got our puppy, she was on a raw diet. We decided to continue that, and also introduce kibble. I didn’t like the idea of feeding my pup raw food so I decided to explore other options so I can slowly phase out raw food. Decided to try The Honest Kitchen when I heard about it. The shop owner recommended Embark for puppies as it’s highest on the protein scale for their product range. She loves it! But overtime, we noticed she started playing and eating her poop. She’ll even bring it to her bed to eat. We thought it was a behavioural change or a phase initially. Then we spoke to a trainer who suggested it could be a diet issue. So we did the elimination method, and once we stopped feeding her THK, she left her poop alone. Anyone else faces this issue/ knows what’s the issue? I’m just wondering if THK doesn’t give her the required nutrients she needs resulting in her eating her poop, or THK is so tasty that even after pooping she wants a second go at it. I still have about 3lbs left of it don’t know what to do with it.
I have had a dog or two over the years that was a feces eater (coprophagia)
The only thing I found that worked, was to follow them around with a pooper scooper when you think they are due for a bowel movement, scoop and discard immediately, out of sight out of mind. After awhile they stop turning around to look for it. In my experience, it doesn’t matter what you feed them. Sometimes puppies will out grow this nasty habit as they mature. It is what it is. You cannot let these dogs alone with their feces.
Has the vet ruled out medical issues?
Excerpt from the article I provided via link below https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-behavior-training/coprophagia-eating-feces-behavior-in-dogs/
Coprophagia is not an abnormal behavior for canines in certain situations. Bitches naturally consume their own pup’s feces – presumably, to keep the nest clean. This behavior provides a survival benefit as it prevents unhygienic conditions from developing in the nest; a state of affairs that could lead to disease. The biological drive to eat feces, which is implanted as a survival instinct, compels nursing bitches to ingest their pups’ feces.
In addition, many puppies go through an oral stage in which they explore everything with their mouths, sometimes ingesting a variety of non-food items, including feces.
As time goes by, the majority of pups eventually learn that food tastes better than feces and they swear off the stool-eating habit for the rest of their lives. Some older puppies may continue to eat feces for a few months, but most grow out of the habit after the first year.
Barring nursing bitches, the majority of “normal” adult dogs have absolutely no interest in eating feces.
Slow learners, “oral retentives,” and pups in which habits are easily ingrained may continue to engage in coprophagia well beyond the accepted “norm” and may engage in it to excess. Such hard-core coprophagics continue the behavior long after their peers have developed new interests. Dogs like this, that seem addicted to the habit, may best be described as “compulsive.”
Below is a list of possible contributing factors though more than one may be operating in any one case.
The opportunity to observe the dam eating stool
High protein, low residue, puppy food
Irregular feeding schedule
Feeding inadequate amounts of food
Constant opportunity to ingest feces
I have never tried any supplements for coprophagia, the price deterred me and the fact that they look like chemical junk? Also, you would have to give them to every dog in your household, plus I have heard that they don’t work.
PS: Has the vet ruled out medical issues? Good article here : http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/coprophagia-eating-feces (excerpt below)
Medical Problems to Rule Out
Starvation, Malnutrition or Malabsorption Disorders
If your dog isn’t getting sufficient food or isn’t able to digest the nutrition in his food, he may resort to coprophagia as a way to supplement his diet. Before doing anything else, it’s important to have your dog thoroughly examined by a veterinarian to rule out medical problems that could cause coprophagia.
Maybe you can buy something else and use a little bit of the THK till it is gone, but if he goes back to eating poop than I would return it if you can.
If food is being poorly digested for any reason the resulting feces can be more attractive to the dog.
When I fed my dog THK the food came out pretty much looking the same way it went in unless I cooked the diet.
At that time I had asked THK if they did digestion trials. They had not and they reported it is “normal” to have 4-5 stools a day on their foods. I considered that excessive and discontinued feeding THK.
Yikes, Aimee. I would agree with you about all the above —
it being excessive and not acceptable, thinking they should test and trial their food for digestibility (among other things), and problematic for what they sell/how they market if you needed to cook it (although I favor cooking anyway). And I shouldn’t see all unchanged food coming out! Boo to that.
Adrianne, thanks for sharing your experience. That certainly gives me pause re HK & I’d have been concerned too.
I would hope that HK and/or the seller would take their food back and refund . . . particularly now that she’s stopped on a different food.
I so cannot read additional detailed poop eating posts and educational materials on the subject, sorry. I’ll gag.
I am thankful that none of my dogs have ever done this. I’m going to stick to what I do, as it has served me well.
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