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Stopping Dogs From Eating Poop

Quite literally a preference for poop in your dog’s diet can be crap (pardon the pun) for the whole family. Not only is it disturbing to view, it is also not the best source of vitamins and nutrients for your wonderful dog, and let us not dwell too long on the lovely kisses your pup wants to give you!

Don’t fret though, you are not alone. A preference for poop is also known as coprophagia and is best dealt with early on as it may be a symptom to a bigger problem like a nutritional or anxiety issue.

Why Dogs Eat Poop

The first question many owners ask is why?

Well there are a few reasons why dogs will develop a taste for their poop. The two most common are that the dog is either hungry or is trying to clean their area. Other reasons could include an anxious habit or an attempt to copy you when you clear the yard. Each of them can be solved, but it is important you do address them quickly, because more than the social concerns, which can cause you some distress, are the health issues associated with the habit.

Dogs that eat poop may have worms or other parasites and to resolve these you will need medication.

Addressing the Issue

First thing you should do, is treat the matter seriously. Make an appointment with your local vet to have them assess your dog to determine if he or she is 100 percent healthy. If your dog has recently acquired the habit, it is likely that there is a trigger, and one possible cause could be worms. Your vet will advise if this is the case and provide you with a worm treatment. To prevent your dog getting worms or parasites in the future ask your vet to recommend a good ongoing prevention treatment.

After you have the thumbs up from the vet, you will have successfully narrowed down the cause. It is therefore likely that your dog is eating poop because of either a bad diet, boredom, or in some cases both. Implementing improvements in both of these areas can be done at the same time and is recommended.

Dogs need a good balanced diet, so the first thing is to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrients they need. You can do this by feeding your dog a mix of both quality dry and wet foods. If you are unsure of what makes a good brand, ask your vet, the pet store or the breeder of your dog.

At the same time, ensure you keep their area clean and tidy, this is especially important in the immediate area surrounding their space. Try to remove any dog poop twice a day to reduce the chances of your dog snacking.

What Next?

If you have both gone to the vet and addressed the issues of diet and cleanliness and your dog is continuing to eat poop you will have to step up your intervention. Below are three other ways you can try to assist in distracting your dog from their habit:

1. Try a spoon full of pumpkin puree in their food. Dogs do not mind pumpkin, but when digested it will make their poop seem less appealing.

2. Take a water spray bottle to the park or on walks. If your dog starts to eat dog poop give the dog a good spray at the same time as saying “NO” in a loud clear voice.

3. Use basic commands with your dog. If your dog is well trained in other ways you can try getting your dog to sit and then spray the poop with either bitter apple or cayenne pepper. These will make the poop less attractive, but your dog will also start to learn that when he goes to eat poop, you are effectively giving him time out where he can’t run, walk or play.

As with all dog training, it will take time for them to learn to associate the action with the punishment, but it will work if you are consistent. The best advice though is to keep a clean yard. If the poop isn’t there, your dog will not be able to eat it.

Source by Lena Carlson

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