Coprophagia is the consumption of feces by your dog. It may be due to medical or behavioral problems.
Merck’s Veterinary Manual says that is initially seen in puppies four to nine months old. Coprophagia lessens with many dogs after the age of one year.
Primary among them are pancreatic problems, gastro-intestinal problems, and over-feeding.
While coprophagia is a nauseating thought to dog parents, it surprisingly has not shown to cause any health problems for our dogs.
Here’s some causes and cures for Coprophagia, including perspective from your dog’s point of view J
6 Causes of Coprophagia Behavior
- Give Me Attention-Your dog may just want to get your attention. When he eats feces, you will most probably scold him or say “No”. Your dog may get the notion that if he eats feces, you will pay attention to him.
This would probably arise in a new adopted dog, or a dog that was rescued from a shelter. Dogs that have not been abandoned or abused are less likely to use this as an attention getter. Since you treat your dog with love and affection, scolding will not work
- I Learn By Watching– Your dog may see other dogs eating feces and simply copies the behavior.
- Mom Kept a Clean House– When a puppy is young, his mother may eat feces to keep the area clean for the pups.
- You’re the Boss– If your dog acknowledges the role of another dog as the pack leader he may eat feces as a submissive behavior.
- I Always Do This– Your dog may eat feces because he has eaten feces. Really. Feces eating may be simply a reinforced habit as odd as that seems. This behavior may have, are you ready for this…the taste which some dogs like as the initial cause. Eating more feces will provide more of the flavor to your dog, hence the behavior is reinforced.
- Feed Me Please ! – If you feed your dog at night and first thing in the morning he seeks out some feces to munch on he may be telling you that he likes to eat more than once a day.
5 Ways to Cure Coprophagia
- Add meat tenderizer to My Diet- This may add certain enzymes that will assure your dog of getting a more nutrient filled daily diet, eliminating the need for the nutrients found in feces.
- Spoon a little hot sauce on the feces. A lick or bite of two of this unpleasant taste may deter further interest in Coprophagia behavior.
- Clean up when feces is on the ground. Simply make it unavailable.
- Keep My Mug GENTLY Muzzled – A muzzle that is properly fitted can easily deter your pooch from snacking on feces when you go for a walk. Be certain not to leave the muzzle on for long periods as this will constrict his ability to drink water, will become uncomfortable and can produce other behavioral issues. Just for a little while when were’ strolling folks, that’s all
- Let Me Grow Out of It –Many dogs begin eating feces as puppies and grow out of it as they mature. Even an adult dog may pick up the habit and grow tired of it.
- Divert My Attention– When he makes a move for a “bowl of feces”, throw him a ball, command him to sit or come. He’ll lose interest in the feces in a few seconds.
By all means, never punish or strike your dog to get him to stop eating feces. This is cruel and unlawful as well as ineffective. Depending on the potential behavioral cause for Coprophagia you will be accomplishing nothing less than reinforcing the behavior, and hurting your relationship with your dog