Why do dogs eat poop and how to stop it? Those are questions I ponder every single day. Why? Because I have not one, not two, but three poop eating dogs. It’s awful and very frustrating. I dream of the day I could open the door and let my dogs out to do their business without having to go out with them. Sigh.
It’s crazy too. Zephyr will eat his own poop but not Luke’s or Milo’s. Milo will only eat Zephyr’s poop. Luke will eat Zephyr’s, Milo’s, and his own. So Zephyr must have the best poop?
To make matters worse, Luke gets loose stools or diarrhea after he eats poop. One important reason I really want to find a way to stop him from eating it.
I’ve looked for information about dogs eating poop. This is what I’ve found:
Coprophagia in dogs is not unusual. A lot of people have a dog that eats feces. It is more common in multi-dog homes. About 33% of dogs in homes with 3 dogs are poop eaters. Unfortunately, my percentage is 100%.
Coprophagia seems to be even more common with whippets. It’s a topic frequently brought up in whippet groups and forums. Most responses to inquiries are “mine does it too”. There are suggestions for remedies but many say they can’t stop it.
85% of dogs that eat poop will not eat their own. That’s not correct for my dogs. 2 out of 3 will eat their own which brings the percentage down to 33%.
I’ve discussed the dog poop eating situation with my vet. She said it is common and her dogs do it. Her dogs eat horse poop too. No magic cures from the vet.
First, I’ll delve into the reasons why dogs eat poop and if any apply to mine. You may find one or more apply to your dog.
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Reasons why a dog eats poop:
- Parasites. I’ve had my dogs checked and they do not have parasites.
- Food lacking in nutrients. Not likely because I feed my dogs Blue Buffalo which is high-quality dog food.
- Poor digestion or malabsorption. There’s a slim chance this could be happening with Luke. He’s had digestive issues but currently doing fine (unless he eats poop).
- Boredom. Not possible. My dogs let me know when they want to run and play. Otherwise, they are typical couch potato whippets.
- Attention. All my dogs have to do to get attention is just about anything. They have me wrapped around their little toes.
- Stress and anxiety. Possible with Milo because is a fearful dog. However, he is on anxiety medication and CBD oil for dogs.
- Hunger. Possible because all three are bottomless pits. I can’t free-feed or they would never stop eating. I’d have obese dogs and that’s not good. I measure their food to keep them at a healthy weight.
- Because they like it. This has to be it. Must be.
So now there’s the next big question. I’ve included my experience in case it helps you figure out what to do for your dog.
How to stop a dog from eating poop?
- Feed your dog quality food. I already do this. My dogs have been on high-quality food from start. So that’s not the answer.
- Give your dog plenty of exercise, playtime, and attention. Oh geez. Really? My dogs get lots of daily exercise running and playing with toys. They seriously could not get more attention. So that’s not the answer.
- Clean up poop. I do this, well, as quickly as possible. I need to find a way to separate myself into 3 so I can be right behind each one of my 3 hounds. I’ll be picking up poop from one and another starts pooping on the other side of the yard. The two not pooping run to get it. There is no way I can get to it before them. But, like an idiot, I try to. My neighbors think I’m crazy running across the yard carrying a pooper scooper screaming “NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOO!”. So, anyway, that’s not the answer.
- Spray poop with hot sauce or sprinkle with ground hot pepper. Yea right. I’d have to get to it first. Not happening. Obviously, that’s not the answer.
- Add food or products to their dog food that makes their poop less appealing.
- Meat tenderizer that contains papain or bromelain (enzymes derived from papaya or pineapple). Tried it and it didn’t work.
- For-Bid for dogs. For-bid is just a packet of wheat gluten and monosodium glutamate (msg). Tried it and it didn’t work.
- Pineapple. I tried using fresh pineapple because I read the canned won’t work due to the processing. It didn’t work.
- Pumpkin. I tried using both canned and fresh. It didn’t work.
- Discourage and reward for leaving it. I really, truly cannot discourage them more. If they would ever leave it, they would be greatly rewarded.
- Leave it training. Uh-huh. Yea. Tried it. Leave it does not work with my dogs. It’s like a grand prize or the yummiest treat on earth. I swear they would pass up a steak for poop.
- Digestive enzymes. Giving it a try. I ordered Zesty Paws Probiotic for dogs with natural digestive enzymes on Amazon. I’ll come back and update after seeing the results.
There you have it. My daily frustration. I want it to end. And I’m sure you feel the same if your dog is a poop eater.
All I can do is put the next question out there…
Have you stopped your dog from eating poop?
Please comment and share your success. I want to know the secret. And I’m sure a bunch of other people want to know it too.
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