Coprophagia – dog who eats their or other dogs poop
Hi there, my dog BLUE (blue merle pomeranian, 1 year old on April 21, 8lbs, neutered) struggles with Coprophagia, I’ve researched online and it could be parasites (I’m getting him dewormed in about 2 hours at the vet), nutrients deficiency from his food, or some underlying health condition.. While I don’t think its a underlying health issue – I really am leaning towards it just being a repulsive behavior or not getting enough nutrients from his current dog food. Before I spend hundreds of dollars on tests for why he has Coprophagia, I would like to try to do the simple stuff first before I get myself neck deep.
I try to pick up poop after they eliminate (I have a 5 year old pomapoo female – she is disgusted by even the thought of poop LOL), and I do pick up poop atleast 1 time a day, but of course I’m not perfect lol. My husband thinks he eats poop just to eat it, he eats everything he can get ahold of (frogs, plastic, dead bees, black widows, one time i broke glass and he ran from across the house to try and start eating it, yard mulch, rocks) you name it, he’s probably ate it when I’ve not looked or has had it in his mouth at one time & has given us numerous heart attacks – I literally watch him like a hawk 24/7 to prevent himself from ingesting something that could kill him…
Anyways, I need recommendations on dog food varieties, Blue is currently on Acana Pacifica – he’s been on it since I’ve had him, we did try solid gold and blue buffalo but he just could not stop having diarrhea. The thing with Acana is his coat is phenomenal, but he legit poops about 3-5 times a day (big poops and small) no gas though. I’ve done some research and think I’ll be trying FROMM Gold Holistic… It doesn’t help that the dog food he’s currently on is like the most recommended premium stuff on the internet, but if anyone could give me recommendations on other dog foods I should try let me know – if somehow I could stop getting him to poop so often maybe he’d be healthier (in thinking of aspects where he absorbed more nutrients than the dog food he’s currently on therefore pooped less)? IDK LOL?
Thank you in advance everyone!
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.
What you describe regarding eating foreign objects is called “pica” ask your vet for more information and treatment options.
Has the vet ruled out medical issues?
PS: Do not free feed. Feed at the same time, twice a day and you will be able to predict when the dog will have a BM.
For what it’s worth
I have a rescue
And a. Few of my dogs had that habit
I found out that if I feed them crushed pineapple from a can
They won’t touch the poop
Don’t ask me why I don’t know
Must be it taste good going in
But not Cumming out lol
Worked for me
If I were a dog that liked the taste of feces, I don’t think that pineapple would deter me!
Close observation, scoop and discard. That’s the ticket. Maybe feed less? Most dogs have bowel movements once or twice a day, some small breeds, maybe 3 times per day (petite bms). More frequent elimination could indicate overfeeding….something else to discuss with your vet.
Also, are they getting enough exercise? More walks, even 10 minute ones might help, they may be bored, dogs need mental stimulation too. Going around the neighborhood and sniffing trees, is like for humans reading the newspaper every day.
Thanks for sharing your experience Freddy w, having others participate and share their experiences and POV’s are helpful! ☺
So I feed Acana twice a day morning and night 1/4 cup – sometimes he doesn’t even eat, he’ll just skip a meal or will grab the 1-2 kibbles and barry it all around the house (its great when you sit down somewhere and kibble just comes popping out or Blue will nudge me to move because I’m sitting on his “dog food pantry”. I’ve even locked him up in his crate so he couldn’t go and pretend he was a squirrel and barry distribute his food around the house, but instead of eating – he just goes to sleep LOL.
I just ordered a 5lb bag of Orijen Adult dog food, looks like theres about 4-6% less carbohydrates than Acana and multiple websites I’ve came across stated to switch them on a high protein low carbohydrate. Looked at Fromm, made me nervous & I bailed out of that because carbohydrates are around 40%! Big things that I think of is Will my dog get a hot spot or some sort of skin or yeast infection due to different kinds of dog foods, because that is something messy I would love to avoid all in all because he has loads of hair.. I would spend the money on premium dog food just to avoid that mess, but every things a gamble. Next I looked at Evo, but ASH content was about 11%, seemed a little high.. Then it was Dr. Tim Kinesis, we used to have a lab and she was on it, she did great, but then I read about beet pulp and how it can be used as an artificial stool firmer and if they get gastrointestinal problems you’d never know because of that ingredient. Finally, my last choice was Solid Gold Barking at the moon high in protein and low in carbohydrates, but I saw on another discussion that orijen has way less grains than Solid gold soo I chose Orijen for now… (blue was on solid gold lil boss & had borderline diarrhea and pooped about 5 times a day)… Would anyone like to give input on the dog food choices? I also saw Natures Logic, but carbohydrates are about 35%.. (all percentages are from the food analysis on this website)
Crushed pineapple? hmm, canned or fresh? Sounds like a good idea!
I guess I could walk him more, he has great stamina, like amazing, he can out-walk me – after 2 miles I call it a day lol (momma gets tired)
[Strict] Scooping the poop looks like its the go – to plan for me at this moment, even if the pineapple and new dog food doesn’t work… It seems to me that my dog blue is like a baby lol (always need changing the diaper aka picking up the poop)
My dogs do well on Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea and Chicken dry as a base, over 4 years. One is a small breed with environmental allergies and has about 3 small bms a day, it is what it is.
The other two go about 2X per day. The old guy was a feces eater in his youth, but he doesn’t bother any more…my other feces eater got cancer and passed away at 9+ years.
Check Chewy . com for prices, I am thinking of trying Orijen but I can’t get beyond the price tag.
All 3 of my dogs went to the vet for annuals recently, lab work etc, all tested within normal limits. So, I am hesitant to try anything new, for now.
From what I’ve read, it HAS to be fresh pineapple because it still contains bromelain which is a digestive enzyme that breaks down the proteins. The problem with that for my dogs is that we would have to feed it to all the dogs in the neighborhood because they like their droppings too on our walks. Yuck!!!!
My dogs are almost 5 years old now and still eat poop now and then when we don’t pick it up right away. But, for the most part, they are way better than when they were young. It has improved a lot. I’m guessing that there is not anything wrong with your dog. It is just a nasty common habit, especially in young dogs. I actually feed lower protein food now than I used to and they have gotten better.
But, please let us know if you use the fresh pineapple and it works. Best wishes!! 🙂
That dog food sounds promising, I’ll put it on my list of future dog foods to try!. I do agree with you, changing dog foods is always hesitant especially if your dogs have done good on it for so long.
I love Chewy! Thats where we get all our dog food from, my other dog Molley does really well on Blue Buffalo Wilderness Toy so I’m not changing it (1 good solid poop in the morning everyday- couldn’t ask for anything better). Orijen for 3 dogs is a lot of money to be spending, not going to lie – I probably couldn’t do it either. But since Blue is the only one on it (a 5lbs of dog food lasts 1 month and 1.5 weeks), it lasts longer and isn’t so much a price tag issue because its only 3-4$ more than Blue Buffalo & we get free shipping on orders over 49$ 😀
Crazy4Cats – I plan on grabbing a pineapple at sprouts tonight, fingers crossed it works 🙂 I’d like to think its a nutrient deficiency and getting him new food will be the cure, but I’m afraid your right .. it is just a nasty habit I will have to live with. I tell my Husband he’s such a boy dog, loves to be in the mud, water, be naughty, and dig out the trash whenever he can LOL.
I see that most of your research has been browsing through the opinions of other pet parents with similar situations. The problem with that is exactly what you have come across…SO many different view points, so many different opinions. Makes it impossible to know what the best coarse of action is for YOUR dog.
It sounds to me like this is a very invididualized case (since he is also eating other foreign objects that he shouldn’t be) that needs the attention of a trusted vet. They will be able to exam your dog and help you determine the cause. Until then, the more you change, the harder it will be to pin-point the cause.
As for the food…Acana might have too much or the wrong kind of fiber for your dogs digestive system given that he is pooping 3-5 times a day. It sounds like this may not be the best food for your dog. However, I would make an appointment with the vet before changing foods and also ask about the frequent bowel movements to confirm.
I’ve had a number of copraphagics over the years. Some I’ve been able to fix, others not. For some dogs, adding FRESH pineapple, Adolph’s meat tenderizer(not the one w/ MSG), or digestive enzymes has worked. My current copraphagics, can’t eat foods with “natural flavoring” or other sources of MSG or he will start eating his poop. The other dogs can’t eat it either, he isn’t picky about whose poop he eats.
Eating other things that are not food is called pica and is commonly associated with zinc deficiency.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by theBCnut.
Hi, when I rescued Patch he was eating cat poo, the neighbour cat was coming & pooing on the lawn & Patch was having desert as the vet put it, the vet called the Animal Behaviourist to come & see Patch & me, she taught me “Leave It” & I had to teach Patch… I had to put a kibble under my front of shoe near the toe & let Patch smell the treat or kibble, then say “No Leave It” if he left my shoe & treat alone, I had to get a treat off the table or kitchen bench or out of my pocket, make him sit & give him the treat or kibble from the table my pocket, not the kibble under my shoe, so when your walking thru park or in back yard & see your boy going to eat a poo in a stern voice say “No Leave It” clap ur hands & when he does leave poo alone then call him & give him a treat or a kibble…
I’ve also read when a kibble is high in protein some dogs don’t digest the protein in kibble properly cause it’s too high & they poo the protein back out & other dogs can smell the protein & eat the poos, so change kibble to a lower protein under 30% that why Patch was eating the cats poo, cat food is high in protein around 40-50% & he could smell the meat/protein, also pumkin add 1 spoon of pumkin to meals if the Pineapple doesn’t work & you’ll also need to teach the word “No Leave It”
I haver had my share of poop esters, tried so many things but nothing worked except picking it up when they go.
“Susan”‘s advice is spot on if your pup is eating poo from a neighbor’s pet (whom you have no control over), plus teaching your pup “Leave it” is critical
“For-Bid” powder has worked wonders for us. I care for a Shih Tzu who likes to eat her own poo, so I sprinkle this on her food for several days and she no longer shows interest. (I put the powder in a WELL-LABELED salt shaker for ease of application.) sometimes, a month or two later I will have to apply a repeat dose.
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