What Can Be Done?

December 1, 2006

Sunny Branson

Since dogs have to live with their people, and most people are turned off by poo breath, coprophagia may become an issue. Here are some suggestions:

•    Take your animal to a vet to rule out any health problems.
•    Keep dog waste picked up.
•    Feed puppies suffering from pica high-quality puppy food to ensure they are getting the proper nutrients, and then gently discourage them from the behavior until they grow out of it. Many sources say a month or so is long enough to break the habit.
•    Give positive reinforcement. When walking your dog, use a leash and distract it from turning and eating its stool. Run a short distance after the dog has a bowel movement or take a couple of rapid steps, then tell the dog to “sit” and give him a treat.
•    Investigate the various coprophagic treatments on the market. Forbid and Deter are two popular products. I do not endorse these products, but add them as possible alternatives to discuss with your vet.

Since dogs have to live with their people, and most people are turned off by poo breath, coprophagia may become an issue. Here are some suggestions:

•    Take your animal to a vet to rule out any health problems.
•    Keep dog waste picked up.
•    Feed puppies suffering from pica high-quality puppy food to ensure they are getting the proper nutrients, and then gently discourage them from the behavior until they grow out of it. Many sources say a month or so is long enough to break the habit.
•    Give positive reinforcement. When walking your dog, use a leash and distract it from turning and eating its stool. Run a short distance after the dog has a bowel movement or take a couple of rapid steps, then tell the dog to “sit” and give him a treat.
•    Investigate the various coprophagic treatments on the market. Forbid and Deter are two popular products. I do not endorse these products, but add them as possible alternatives to discuss with your vet.