Coprophagia. Yeah, that’s the word for a very unwelcome habit you want your dog to stop. Watching your furry friend munch on a pile of their own poop, or worse, could be those of another, isn’t really a happy sight and you might be wondering, why is she doing this? This is disgusting and doesn’t taste or look nice. Well, your dog doesn’t see what you’re seeing. You know what, the world doesn’t blame them for that either.
While eating poop is nauseating and repulsive to you, it isn’t that bad from your friend’s point of view, plus, it might not necessarily be detrimental to their health, except, of course, they feast on those of other animals contaminated with microbes like parasites and viruses and toxins.
Fortunately, there is good news. Helping your furry friend break off this unpleasant habit just got easy. There are a few ways you can handle this, or, you can employ some of the items listed in this article and see your dog distaste eating their poop ever again. Before we get into that, let’s discuss why your furry friend might see their poop enticing. It might interest you to know that it is not certain what drives your dog to eat its poop. However, there are several reasons why they do so. Let’s get into it.
Why Is My Dog Eating Poop?
- Nutritional Deficiencies
When your dog lacks certain nutrients in their meals, like minerals and vitamin deficiencies, they might crave things they normally won’t crave and that includes poop. Ew, how can one crave poop? I know right! But, you, on the other hand, are not satisfying your dog’s body with the nutrients it needs, making her seek help somewhere else. Sometimes, your dog might be on the best food ever, packed with a lot of freshies and goodies to provide them the right proportion of nutritional value but your dog still finds her way to poop. They might just have a powerful sense of smell or do this out of curiosity.
- It Could Be Natural
At one point or the other, every dog will ingest their poop or those of another animal. It is normal. Puppies may eat their feces out of curiosity. They just want to know what it is and it is usually temporary. Although, this might present a problem if the feces is contaminated with parasitic eggs and unhealthy microbes and if not controlled, could lead to nutritional deficiencies as these parasites will feast on the nutrients meant for your pup’s body.
Sometimes, lactating dogs eat their puppies’ poop too. They do this out of goodwill. They think leaving the environment littered with poop isn’t healthy as their little ones can eat anything because they are orally fixated. What way do you think these mother dogs can clean this up if not by eating them? This lasts only the first few weeks of lactation and after that, they are good to go.
Your dog might be so bored and want to get busy with anything at all including playing with their poop since you won’t give them any attention. Boredom is one of the major causes of problem behaviors in dogs. To help break this habit, it is necessary to get them a lot of toys and give them quality attention. Give them something to look forward to that will help keep them distracted from eating poop.
Pica is an illness that makes a dog or person eat non-food items like hair, drywall, dirt and stones, paper, poop, and more. A dog’s pica symptoms may be because they are suffering from a disease. If you notice this with your dog, we recommend giving your veterinarian a call.
- To Avoid Punishment
If you often get frustrated and maybe punish your furry friend when you see them poop all over the place, this can make them eat their feces when they poop. Punishing them isn’t right. When they poop, they get scared of any potential punishment making them eat their poop. This can also scare them away from you.
Now that you know some of the reasons that are responsible for your dog’s poop-eating habit, there are some ways and things you can add to their food to help them break it and have the healthy life you want for them.
How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop
There are different steps you can take and things that can be added to your dog’s food to help them stop craving its poop.
- Feed Your Dog A High-Quality Food
Feeding your dog foods made with premium ingredients is the first step to helping your dog quit poop-eating. When your dog is not treated with meals packed with nutrients that are essential to their health, they might try finding them in their poop. This is why feeding them nutrient-rich foods will help prevent them from snacking on their own waste.
You may ask, how do I decipher the right food for my dog? There are major ingredients that should be contained in your dog’s food depending on its age and stage of life. Protein, carbs, and fats are major ingredients. Good food should contain these in the right proportion fortified with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. Avoid extras like fillers, artificial flavors, and by-products because these ingredients can increase the tendency of your dog to love its poop.
Your vet can also come through by helping you figure out which diet best fits your dog’s health, stage, and sensitivities if they have any.
- Pick Up After Your Dog
Once your furry friend is done, clean up after them. If you do this often, you may unconsciously inculcate in them the habit of staying away from their poop, even if you were out. They become clean and prefer a clean environment.
What You Can Add To Their Food To Stop Poop-Eating
- Meat Tenderizers
Meat tenderizers are powders that contain enzymes that break down protein and the resulting substance tastes unpleasant. When they are added to your dog’s food, they can speed up the chemical reaction of breaking down the protein content of their food and in turn influence the taste of their poop.
Make sure to get one without artificial flavors or additives that can be toxic to your dog’s health. To use, sprinkle a bit of the powder on your dog’s food and watch the way they react to it.
- Dog Multivitamins
If you want to go down the supplement route, that will do. Giving your dog these supplements will balance the nutrients in their body and make them stable because if their body lacks vitamins, they may crave things to eat which could include their poop. Vitamin B supports your dog’s nervous system. Stress and anxiety can get your dog unnecessarily worked up and they might find themselves feasting on their poop. Vitamin B will help keep them calm and straight-headed. There are different vitamin supplements you can find on the market. You can also get ones formulated especially for dogs like yours that see their poop as sumptuous.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
This substance is acidic and has a strong smell which can repel your dog from their poop. It contains hydrochloric acid which can upset their stomach and make them dislike their stool. To use, add one tablespoon ACV per 25 pounds of body weight to your pet’s food or water and observe your dog closely.
If you think your dog has allergies, confirm with your vet if it is right to use this option.
- Digestive Supplements
If your dog’s microbiome is poor, its digestive function might be too. This means that when they eat, they don’t digest their food immediately. This can trigger the urge to find digestive enzymes from different sources. Digestive supplements can improve your dog’s digestion by promoting its microbiome to aid the absorption of nutrients.
The practice has shown that adding pineapples to your dog’s food can break their habit of eating poop. It contains an enzyme called bromelain which plays a role in the digestion of your dog’s food but leaves their poop tasting like poop this time. It gives it an unbearable taste that discourages your dog from getting close. It also contains acid and might behave in this sense as apple cider vinegar does.
Make sure to give your dog small quantities of the soft flesh to prevent them from choking because too much can have an adverse effect on them.
Pumpkin can help your dog stop eating poop because it contains fiber which regulates their digestive system. Remember when their digestive health is perfect, there is less chance they will be attracted to their poop. Adding a few spoonfuls of canned pumpkin to their meal daily will do the job.
Other things you can add to help your dog include:
- Green veggies
- Citrus fruit
- Cook grain
- Coconut oil
- OTC deterrent
- Dietary fats
We recommend that you consult your vet to confirm the health condition of your dog before you make a choice of what to use. This will help you know what method will have fewer side effects on your dog’s health and work perfectly to help them stop eating poop – theirs or others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Broccoli Stop Dogs From Eating Poop?
Yes, broccoli is an effective way of altering the taste of dog feces. Green veggies should be your go-to if you’re unsure what to put in dog food to stop eating poop.
How Many Pineapples Should My Dog Have to Stop Eating Poop?
A quarter cup of canned pineapple or a few slices of fresh should do the trick. Look for puree varieties or slices without added sugar to avoid making them sick.