Dear Carol: Do you have any advice to prevent my dog from eating poop outside? Thanks, Jennifer
Poop eating or coprophagia is a relatively common behavior, especially in younger dogs. Many dogs outgrow the problem. As disgusting as the behavior seems to us, it falls under the category of being self-reinforcing to dogs. There are many solutions that can be tried and the owner is encouraged to try more than one, as what works for one dog may not work for another.
Adding 2 – 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin or canned pineapple to the dog’s meals each day can be an effective cure for many dogs. Unfortunately, if the pumpkin or pineapple is stopped the dog will often go back to eating its own feces.
There are products on the market designed to be added to the dog’s food that can also be effective; these include Deter, Dis-Taste and For-Bid. Sometimes adding meat tenderizer or MSG to the dog’s diet will also produce the desired results. A veterinarian friend of mine said she’d had the most success having clients add a human natural food enzyme, found at any health food store to their dog’s food.
Another tactic that many have found successful is to switch their dogs current diet to a B.A.R.F. diet. B.A.R.F. is an acronym that stands for Bones And Raw Food. There are many books and on-line advice regarding “feeding raw” and those that support it often claim many other benefits to their dog’s health as well.
Hope this helps you get on the right track!
Director of Training
Canine Training Center
Carol Hein-Creger has been training dogs and their owners since 1979. She has trained thousands of people, including many local dog trainers. Carol is the lead trainer at AnnaBelle’s Pet Station in downtown Lansing. Check out her upcoming class schedule. Do you have a training or behavior question for Carol? Send an email to email@example.com with “Carol’s Corner” in the subject line or use the “Contact Us” form.