I was shocked and surprised to find that my perfect puppy, whom I showered with love, affection, toys, expensive food- and whom I allowed to snuggle on my pillow, was a poop eater!! I heard other dog parents had the same problem and decided to investigate what the heck this is all about!
The official term for this phenomena is called coprophagia (pronounced Kop-ruh-fey-jee-uh), but for the sake of time- I’ll just continue using the moniker “poop eater”.
Here are some much needed facts about poop eaters:
- Females or more likely to eat poop
- 92% of consumers prefer fresh loads
- 85% won't eat their own
- It's been said that dogs who steal food from the table tend to be poop eaters.
- Dogs who are the “only child” are more likely to do the deed
- Poop eaters are not harder to train
If your dog is eating poop, they may have a medical issue that would increase appetite. It could also be that their diet is nutrient deficient, they have malabsorption syndrome, or it's drug related (such as the use of steroids).
In many cases it's behavioral, because of environmental stress or emotional triggers . . .
(*Gasp! Emotional eating . . .!? I guess the Cheez-Its I eat when I'm stressed could be comparable! haha)
...and then we have attention-seeking- and oh yes, this is definitely my dog!
So how do you deal with your pooch’s bad behavior?
- Keep living area clean make sure poops are cleaned up from the yard
- Cat owners, keep litter box clean and Out Of Reach.
- (we’ll talk more in a future blog about our experience with “litter box adventures”).
- Supervise your dog on walks
- Teach your dog the command “leave it”
You can also give a treat after they poop so they learn to come to you for a treat instead of treating themselves. Give it a try! It worked for us!