3 Ways to Help Your Dog Kick this Nasty Habit

Dog sniffing in the grass
Dog sniffing in the grass

Spring is almost here and that means spending time outdoors. If you’ve ever shared an outdoor moment with your dog, chances are you’ve witnessed a repulsive behavior – coprophagy.

Coprophagy is a fancy way of saying your dog eats his (or another’s or the cat’s) poop. It is disgusting to watch and often alarming. But why do they do it?

Here is a fantastic article by Dr. Karen Becker that explains in great detail why dogs often engage in eating poop.

Below, find three solutions to help your dog stop eating poop.

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Feed an appropriate diet. Dogs are carnivores and should eat meat. However, 71% of respondents to a recent Twitter poll said they feed their dogs dry kibble or canned food. Carbohydrates significantly comprise the ingredients in kibble. According to Lew Olson, Ph. D., “When dogs digest grains, reserves of important bacteria in your dog’s intestines become depleted, causing essential vitamins like vitamins B and K to be passed with the feces.” Dogs often eat their own waste or the waste of another animal in an attempt to reclaim the missing nutrients.

Prepare Wholesome Meals for your dogs with this cookbook by Dr. Karen Becker

Give your dog a daily supplement. Because dogs seldom get all the nutrients they need from food alone, a daily supplement is necessary to ensure optimal health. If the problem is a lack of vitamins B and K in their diet, offering a supplement containing these nutrients could help curb your dog’s appetite for poop.

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Keep the yard clean. Wolves clean up after their pups to keep competing predators away. This instinct may also compel your dog to eat his or her poop. I recommend scooping up dog poop at least once-per-week. This keeps your yard clean while removing your dog’s temptation. If you don’t have time to clean up, services like PetCorps are available to do the dirty work for you.

For further reading, check out Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Lew Olson, Ph. D.

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3 thoughts on “3 Ways to Help Your Dog Kick this Nasty Habit

  1. Veda says:

    As a former Veterinary Technician I have never heard of a vitamin B deficiency being the reason for a dog eating poop. We sold a product called Forbid which when added to their dog food made their stool taste bad. I learned something new today thanks.

    1. petcorps says:

      Veda, thank you for your comment. When I worked in a vet clinic a decade ago, it was common practice to give a client Forbid for the treatment of coprophagy. I held the belief that adding something to the diet that would make the waste fouler than it already was would help combat the behavior. I can’t remember where I read the information about the vitamin deficiency, but I am confident it was either in Pukka’s Promise by Ted Kerasote or in Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Dr. Lew Olson. I will find the reference and post it here for you and others who may want to research the matter further.

  2. petcorps says:

    Here is the reference:
    “When dogs digest grains, reserves of important bacteria become depleted, causing essential vitamins B and K to be passed in the feces. When your dog eats…stool he or she may be trying [to reclaim the bacteria and enzymes missing in the diet]. Carbohydrates are more difficult to digest…This may also make stool more tempting to your dog.”
    – Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Dr. Lew Olson p. 26-27

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