Best Treatment for Coprophagia in Dogs: From Yuck to Yay

Coprophagia, or the consumption of feces, is a common behavior in dogs that can be distressing for pet owners.

While it is a natural behavior for some animals, it can also be a sign of underlying health issues or behavioral problems.

Coprophagia can also pose a risk to the health of both the dog and its owner, as it can lead to the transmission of parasites and diseases.

There are several treatments available for coprophagia in dogs, ranging from dietary changes to behavioral modification techniques.

The most effective treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the behavior, which may include medical issues, nutritional deficiencies, or anxiety.

Coprophagia in Dogs

Coprophagia is a behavior in which dogs eat their own feces or that of other animals. It is a common problem among dogs and can be caused by various factors. The behavior can be distressing to dog owners and can also be a health risk to the dog.

Coprophagia in Dogs

There are several reasons why dogs engage in coprophagia. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies: Dogs that are not getting enough nutrients from their diet may resort to eating feces to supplement their diet.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as malabsorption, diabetes, and thyroid problems can cause dogs to eat feces.
  • Behavioral issues: Dogs may engage in coprophagia due to boredom, anxiety, or stress.
  • Instinctual behavior: Some dogs may have an instinctual urge to eat feces, which is believed to be a remnant of their wild ancestors.

It is important for dog owners to understand the underlying causes of coprophagia in their pets in order to determine the best course of treatment.

It is also important for dog owners to take steps to prevent coprophagia from occurring in the first place.

This includes keeping the dog’s living area clean and free of feces, providing plenty of toys and activities to keep the dog occupied, and ensuring that the dog is getting a balanced and nutritious diet.

Causes of Coprophagia

Coprophagia, or the consumption of feces, is a common behavior in dogs that can be caused by a variety of factors. The following are some of the most common causes of coprophagia in dogs:

Nutritional Deficiencies

Dogs that are not receiving enough nutrients in their diet may turn to eating feces as a way to supplement their diet.

This is especially true for dogs that are fed a low-quality diet or are not receiving enough food. Dogs that are not receiving enough protein, vitamins, and minerals may be more likely to engage in coprophagia.

Behavioral Issues

Coprophagia can also be a behavioral issue. Some dogs may develop the habit of eating feces as a result of boredom, stress, anxiety, or other psychological factors. Dogs that are left alone for long periods of time or are not receiving enough exercise may be more likely to engage in coprophagia.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can also cause coprophagia in dogs.

Dogs with malabsorption syndromes, pancreatic insufficiency, or other digestive disorders may be more likely to eat feces. Additionally, dogs that are taking certain medications may be more likely to engage in coprophagia.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also play a role in coprophagia. Dogs that are kept in dirty or overcrowded conditions may be more likely to eat feces.

Dogs that are exposed to other dogs that engage in coprophagia may be more likely to develop the behavior themselves.

Best Treatment for Coprophagia in Dogs

Deterrent Additives

Deterrent additives are products you can add to a dog’s food. When a dog eats this food, it makes their poop taste awful, even more so than you might think. It’s like if you had a favorite snack, but then someone made it taste horrible, you wouldn’t want to eat it anymore, right? This method is the same idea.

Most of these products are safe and can be easily added to your pet’s food. They often contain natural ingredients.

But like with anything new, it’s a good idea to check with your vet before using it. Also, be patient; sometimes it can take a bit of time before your dog stops this yucky habit.

Training and Supervision

Training and supervision sound simple, but they’re super effective. The idea is to keep an eye on your dog when they’re outside. If they start to eat poop, you say “no” in a firm voice. With time, your dog will get the hint.

Combine this with teaching your dog the “leave it” command. It’s a handy command that tells your dog to ignore something. Imagine it’s like telling a curious kid not to touch something at a store. But always reward your dog with treats and praise when they do the right thing. Positive vibes lead to positive behaviors.

Regular Cleanup

Regular cleanup is like keeping your house tidy. Dogs eat poop for many reasons, but if there’s no poop around, they can’t eat it, right? So, make sure to clean up after your dog as soon as they do their business.

It’s a simple step but makes a world of difference. Think of it this way: if you had candy lying around your house all the time, wouldn’t you be tempted to eat it? Removing the “temptation” helps in breaking the habit.

Home Remedies Home remedies for coprophagia in dogs

Pineapple in Food

Pineapple is one of the most popular home remedies for this issue. When your dog eats pineapple, it changes the taste of their poop. The new taste often discourages them from eating it. Just add a few chunks of fresh pineapple to their food. It’s not just a treat; it serves a purpose!

Many dogs love the taste of pineapple, and it’s generally safe. But it’s sweet, so just a bit is enough. And always keep an eye on them the first time you give it, just to make sure there’s no allergic reaction.

Meat Tenderizer

Meat tenderizer is another trick you might hear about. Some folks sprinkle a bit of it on their dog’s food. The idea is similar to the pineapple method: it changes the taste of the poop. But if you want to try this, make sure the tenderizer doesn’t have any added salt or harmful spices. And, as always, ask your vet if you’re unsure.

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree is not just for pies; it can help with coprophagia too. A spoonful of pumpkin in your dog’s food can do wonders. It’s packed with fiber and good stuff that’s healthy for your dog. Plus, just like the other remedies, it can make poop less appealing. Bonus: it’s great for their digestion too!

Increase Fiber Intake

Upping the fiber intake can help. More fiber can make the poop less tasty for dogs. Simple foods like bran flakes or even green beans can be added to their meals. But remember, changes in diet should be gradual. You wouldn’t want to upset your dog’s stomach.

Provide Plenty of Fresh Water

Make sure your dog always has access to clean water. Sometimes, thirst can lead to weird behaviors. It might not directly stop the habit, but it ensures your dog is hydrated and healthy.

In the End

fixing the poop-eating problem in dogs needs time, care, and trying different things. Some treatments work for some dogs, but not all. It’s good to watch your dog and see what helps them.

If you’re confused or worried, talking to a dog doctor can help. The goal is to make sure our dogs are happy and healthy. With patience and love, we can help our dogs stop this not-so-nice habit. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your dog!


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!

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