Coprophagy (Eating Feces) –– Many dogs develop the unpleasant habit of eating feces. In some animals, it becomes almost compulsive behavior. These pets eat not only their own feces but also those of any other animal. Several theories have attempted to explain this behavior. Among the causes are boredom, too much confinement, and old habits carried over from the wolf and developed in areas where pups are present in an attempt to protect the pups from other “predators”. Pups will sometimes also imitate their mother and adopt the behavior.
Coprophagy usually does little harm except transmission of intestinal parasites and fecal bacteria, which may cause intestinal upset.
In some pets, nothing seems to stop this behavior. However, here are some suggestions that may help:
- Remove feces from the premise daily. Prevent access to cat litter boxes.
- Do not confine your dog to an area where it has bowel movements if at all possible.
- Exercise your dog daily.
- Have a fecal performed by your veterinarian to rule out hidden causes.
- Sprinkle Adolf’s meat tenderizer to your pets food (it undergoes a chemical change and makes the stools taste bad).
- If Adolf’s does not work — try Forbid (available at most veterinary hospitals).
- Other treatments have included, garlic, paprika, and even fresh pineapple.
The habit may not be so revolting as first thought if it is further analyzed…Rabbit use the method of eating their own feces as a way to further digest cellulose for food. And, many free ranging animals will eat feces from herbivores (cows, horses, rabbits, etc) as a way of obtaining extra Vitamin B.
My opinion: Extra Vitamin B or not…..Gross!!!