Coprophagia, also known as the ever-so pleasant behavior of poop eating. Eating feces is certainly one of a dog’s less endearing habits but it is not abnormal. There are a variety of reasons for this behavior. It is important to consult your veterinarian first to rule out any potential medical problems. However, sometimes there is no reason for it other than your dog is just a dog.

In that case, here are a few simple techniques to help break this unpleasant behavior.

Feed your dog premium-quality food

  • Whole meat (not meal) should be the first two items on the ingredient list.
  • Your dog’s body can absorb these foods more easily than lesser-quality foods.

Go with your dog when you let him outside

  • Clean up any stool immediately
  • Try teaching an alternate behavior such as “Come” or “Leave it”.
    • These cues will soon become an automatic response. The stool becomes a cue to look or come to you.

Create a more stimulating environment

  • Fill the space with fun and interesting toys such as Nyla Bones and treat-filled Kong toys.
  • If your dog still gets bored, try teaching a new behavior every week

“Yuck-ify” your dog’s stool

  • We recommend adding these items to your dog’s food to make it less appetizing:
  • Rinsed crushed pineapple
  • For-bid
  • Be sure to check with your veterinarian before adding anything to your dog’s food.

If your dog is a “litterbox raider,” here are a few simple ways to make your litter box a cat-only zone:

  • Place on an elevated surface that your dog cannot reach
  • Baby gates work well to keep the dog out of the room
  • Clever Cat litter boxes’ top-entry design make a perfect “dog-free” zone

If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Society Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email help@anticruelty.org.

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