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Coprophagia (eating feces)

Coprophagia (eating feces)

My god, what have you been eating? Your breath smells like . . . !

Coprophagia is the term used when dogs that eat their own feces. The reason for coprophagia is not completely known, however, it is a relatively common problem. Puppies seem to have a higher incidence of coprophagia. While it is not a high risk behavior, it’s riskier for those dogs that eat other animal’s waste as disease can be spread this way. Most owners want to stop this behavior for reasons of health and simply because it is disgusting. Although some dogs are difficult to break of coprophagia, there are some things that can be done to stop it.

One common solution is to use a product such as “Forbid” (we carry here at TCV) that is fed to a dog to make their feces taste bad (honestly, as if it didn’t taste bad enough already!) A similar method is to use a taste deterrent such as hot sauce directly on the waste to repel the dog.

Training is an alternative method. Either quick pick up, or keeping a dog restrained away from its waste can be an effective way to break this habit. Once this coprophagia is stopped for a period of time it appears that a dog is less likely to be interested in the future. Using more than one method can be helpful for pets that are hard to break of this habit. Fortunately, puppies often outgrow coprophagia particularly if aided by training and/or deterrents.


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