Q: Why do some dogs eat their own crap??

April 24, 2008 | By Zappy | 4 answers | Expired: 2832 days ago

and im not talking about dogs with like mental issues im talking about like normal dogs

Readers' Answers (4)

Apr 24, 2008

From what I know, coprophagia (dog eating own feces) is not uncommon, but usually grow out of it. Some who are kenneled may do it out of stress or, maybe, seeing other dogs do it. But, the best way I know of to handle it is to make sure your dog's area is always kept clean of feces, and when walking them make sure to keep them away from other dogs feces. One dog that I had didn't eat his own or a cat litter box, but when another dog (adopted, full-grown) I had went into the litter box, he copied the other and started doing the same thing.

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Apr 25, 2008

Coprophragia is one of those things that have a lot of variable answers - some dogs would never touch their fecal matter after it leaves, while some won't leave it alone. Puppy mill dogs are known for doing this, as well as dogs on a very poor diet (stuff like Pedigree, Beneful, Purina, Kibbles n' Bits, stuff like that.) If you're not sure about how influential diet really is, check out my thoughts on these foods in the "Pet Products and Services" forum.

Anyways, try some behavior modification. Spend some time with your dog. Remove the feces right away or as soon as possible so your dog can't repeat the behavior.

If that's not an option, try to catch your dog in the act of doing it. Don't freak out or make a big scene and make sure you have something very, very tasty with you, a special "coprophragia" treat, as it were. Interrupt your dog, call him/her over to you, have it sit and give it the treat. Then remove the poop. If you're able to get the dog to understand that pooping and leaving it alone to receive a treat is FAR better than eating its own fecal matter, then you're golden.

Hope this helps you! Best of luck to you and your dog!

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Apr 25, 2008

I agree with Cricil. It can be a learned behavior. I know some dogs who only do it when the weather is cold and it is frozen. There are some theories that the higher quality dog food you feed the less undigested stuff there is in it and the less attractive it is to dogs, but I have not found that to be completely true. And it is important to keep the yard picked up. There are products on the market to curb this habit and some people swear by using unseasoned meat tenderizer on the food, but iin the end keep it picked up. I guess it is like their need to roll in the stinkiest things they can find - they do it because they are dogs.

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