The reasons dogs eat poop are a bit of a mystery. Coprophagia or the disgusting habit of a dog eating poop, often starts when a dog is young. And as quickly as it starts, it sometimes goes away as a dog matures.
But that doesn’t mean that you simply have to put up with this habit until your dog stops having interest. There are ways to curtail your dog’s eating poop!
Dogs with coprophagia eat their own feces, feces from wild animals, other dogs or cats and even human feces if they have access to it.
As hard to believe as it is, this is not uncommon.
Most people do not discuss their dog’s coprophagia with others. So the subject has probably not come up, in your conversations at work or when getting together with friends. It’s not exactly a topic that people discuss at dinner or a luncheon with friends.
But if your cute little Weimaraner puppy comes to give you a stinky kiss with putrid breath, you have a good reason to address this issue!
What are the Reasons Dog Eat Poop?
There are quite a few theories about why dogs eat poop or feces. Here are some of them:
If your puppy is sensitive and you have been stern during potty training, he may be cleaning up to hide the evidence.
This theory says that your dog is lacking vitamins, minerals or protein in her diet. Eating poop is a way to make up for the deficit.
Other animals like horses and pigs do this, and it is believed that they are seeking nutrients that are lacking in their diets.
As youngsters, puppies see their mothers clean up after the pups. Some trainers believe that a dog who eats poop is simply copying what he saw when he was still with Mom.
Some theorize that the poop eating is just a sign of boredom. With nothing else to do, why not?
If this is the reason, more exercise or stimulating dog toys could help. Your Weimaraner loves to go everywhere with you, so take him with you when you can.
In the Genes
Some vets believe that one of the reasons dogs eat poop is that it is simply genetic–they are born with the tendency to do it.
Taste is Great
I find this one really hard to stomach, but one theory is that the dog likes the taste of his or someone else’s poop. The jury is still out on this one. I doubt that we’ll ever really know if your dog likes the flavor!
Whatever the reason that your dog eats poop, this is a habit that must be stopped. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help your dog kick this habit!
How to Stop Dog Poop Eating
This is one habit that you just can’t tolerate. It has to stop, or your whole family will be miserable and turned off by being near your dog.
However, keep in mind that all is not lost, and this habit can be stopped.
Supplement for Coprophagia
There are some products designed to discourage your dog from eating his poop. Most don’t have a very good track record. Naturvet Coprophagia Stool Eating Deterrent seems to have a moderate level of success. If you decide to use this product, you can expect positive results in 2-4 weeks.
MSG or Monosodium Glutamate
Monosodium glutamate is a food supplement often used by restaurants. Sprinkling a little onto your dog’s feces or any that she finds appealing, is supposed to make it taste really bad to the dog. It can take up to 3 days for this to work, but it’s definitely worth a try.
Work on the “Drop It” or “Leave It” Command
Practice this command over and over with your dog. When she does it right, give her a really special treat.
Ask your Vet about a Change in Diet
This may be helpful but does not always address the issue at hand.
Make it Taste Bad
I have read in several sources that adding pineapple or zucchini to your dog’s food will make his feces unappealing. However, even if it does work, it won’t do anything for the poop of other animals.
Also, If you spray your dog’s stool with Bitter Lemon right after he defecates, it will have a nasty taste to him. This, of course, works for the poop of other animals, as well.
Clean Your Yard
This is the surest and simplest way to avoid a problem. Using a pooper scooper will make the job easy. Clean up after your dog right away to remove the temptation.
Change the Location
For a few weeks, take your dog for a walk to do his business. Don’t let him go in his own yard. For some dogs, just changing the environment is enough to break the habit.
Make it Hard for Your Dog to Eat Poop
So you need to set yourself up to win. Alter your dog’s environment so that it is harder to find poop to eat. If your dog uses your yard as his bathroom, clean up poop as quickly as you can.
When you go for a walk, make sure you take disposable poop bags along with you.
When your dog poops, clean up after her before she has a chance to eat her excrement. Keep your dog on a short leash and steer your dog away from the feces of other dogs and animals.
If you know that there is a lot of feces from other animals on a certain route, alter your route and take her a different way. Keep your dog away from temptation.
Lastly, if you have a cat, place your kitty litter box in a location where your dog can’t get to it.
When you take away the temptation, you may find that it only takes a week or two and your dog will have new habits. Those that don’t include poop eating!