Eating other dog's poo

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Eating other dog's poo

Post by TaylorMamas » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:32 pm

In the last week, our year old labrador has just started eating dog poo when he's out in the park. He was sick a couple of weeks ago and our dog walker said it was worms so we had him wormed and he's now fine but it seems to be since then that he has started doing this.

Has anyone had any similar experiences with their dog? I've read about dogs eating their own but not normally eating others that they find while they're walking (obviously if everyone picked up we wouldn't have this problem....)

I want to understand why he's doing it - is it nutrient deficiency or illness related - and then work out how we can get him to stop.

All thoughts welcome. Thx

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Post by emmabeth » Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:48 pm

Unless he had an extremely high worm burden, (have you not wormed regularly, or has he had fleas? tape worms use fleas as part of their life cycle)..... then him being sick probably wasnt worms.

(i have only ever known pups sick up worms, or dogs straight out of dog pounds, unwormed for years - dogs like most mammals are actually quite healthy WITH a low worm burden, its only when that worm burden gets dangerously high that it causes them problems - like all parasites, worms do not 'want' to cause the host to become ill- if it does then they lose their host)

If he has had a short illness, followed by a wormer which is quite a strong medication (it causes the worms to dissolve - given a dogs stomach acid cannot do this, wormers have to be very strong), this may have unbalanced the healthy gut flora.

This could be the cause of the coprophagia...... or maybe its not......or maybe it was originally......

Coprophagia is, when it involves consuming herbivores faeces, quite normal in dogs, the faeces contains elements of the diet not gained from the food they eat (notably, raw fed dogs fed blended green veg tend not to eat horse or cow poo....., where commerical tinned or dry fed dogs make a beeline for it!)...

Perhaps your dog mistakenly thought this would help him feel better - perhaps he was right and it still does - to check this, feed him a good quality pro biotic. If he carries on eating faeces then the gut flora reason is no longer applicable.

Perhaps this did make him feel better, then he discovered that other dog faeces tastes nice.... since most dogs are fed on foods that are extremely high in sugar and fats, most dog poo still has a high food value!

Or, perhaps he noted that eating other dog faeces got him instant attention, and this is why he continues to do it.

Personally - id take him to the vets for an MOT. Keep an eye on his own faeces - if its very soft, runny, an odd colour, smells vile..... theres probably something amiss there (although again depending onw hat you are feeding, that may be 'normal' for him even if its not normal in the grand scheme of things (dog poo shouldnt smell vile! it should be firm, dark, and should dry up very quickly).

Try a suitable pro-biotic - live yoghurt is fine, and cheap. It wont do him any harm even if this isnt the issue.

If its an attention seeking behaviour, you need to retrain him, and thats a bit harder! Train him that NOT eating dog poo gets him a much tastier reward from the handler.

Hope this helps


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Post by Bea » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:16 pm

I have found over the years working with dogs of unknown backgrounds there can be various reasons for poop-eating in dogs.

Some momma-dogs become obsessed with keeping their environment clean and don't even stop cleaning their pups and eating their poos (which is what momma-dogs do) and even take it to lenghts of other dogs' poos.

Some dogs may have been starving and feeding on cattle dung due to a lack of other food sources.

Some pups may start playing with poo (horse droppings are a great favourite), incidentially take a bite off and find it interesting.

In your dog I would like to ask: Did you change his diet when he was sick?
A lot of - previously "normal/healthy" - dogs start eating poop because they're lacking stuff in their diet, like minerals. You can get food supplements from your vet and squirt it over your dog's food or spoon it into a cottage cheese or yoghurt and feed that.
I always find it helps to feed the dog controlled "stinky stuff" like very mature or mouldy cheese types, fish like sardines, buttermilk or kefir. Seems there's something in the "stink" that helps cure the problem.

Anyhow, to be on the safe side I would train the dog to DROP IT anything I don't want the dog to pick up ... could be poisened bait!

Good luck!
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
- Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar/Mark Twain

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Re: Eating other dog's poo

Post by teenager » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:15 pm

One of the dog's nature that is discovered based on their behavior and a kind of body reaction when they are hungry is that they eat other dogs poo. Dog might be eating poop because of parasites or worms. They can suck nutrients out of your dog, driving him to eat poop. It might also leave him extra hungry because of the lack of proper fuel.Dogs would possibly would not eat other dogs poo if there is an abundance supply of food.

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