How do I stop my dog from eating poop?


“Coprophagia”, meaning the act of a dog eating poop, can be one of the more disgusting habits dogs acquire. Not only is this a gross habit but it can cause an upset stomach to your dog resulting in diarrhea or other bowel problems.

But this is not an uncommon occurrence. Many dogs eat their own or other dog’s droppings, but why?

Before dogs were domesticated, they were living in the wild fending for themselves. These pack animals had natural predators and to keep safe dogs would eat their fecal material. This consumption help keep predators from finding their dens. Now that dogs have had hundreds of years of domestication this instinct has greatly diminished. However, if you find that your dog has begun eating their poop this can be due to boredom or because they find it reinforcing.

But how do I stop it!?!?

To stop coprophagia, here are several helpful tips to rid your dog of this habit.

1) You can buy a chew tablet or pill from your vet that makes their fecal distasteful and unappealing. Dogs under 40 pounds usually only need 1/2 a pill to 1 full pill. So be observant to determine the dosage.

2) pick up poo in your yard or pee pads. Removing the poo helps to avoid and eliminate further problems .

3) place an aversive on the poop! Hot sauce has been a common product. This helps your dog to associate fecal with a negative feeling and thus will help to stop the problem .

In my opinion, if you have multiple dogs or indoor dogs that use pads the pills and chew tablets are a great help. Many clients have reported success with this product .

Remember that this a fairly common problem and it is not actually harmful to your dog but it is a dirty habit that can be treated.


Dog doesn’t eat their food or begs at the table

Initially it seems bizarre to hear that a dog doesn’t eat their food, but this is an all to common problem especially in smaller breeds.

If you find your dog falls into this category, here are some behavioral and some non traditional ways of correcting the issue.

The best way to get your dog to eat is with a routine. Your dog should be eating at a particular time everyday. This routine will let your dog know that they eat at a specific time which encourages consumption. However smaller dogs that don’t wolf down their food on one go are a little trickier.

Finicky small dogs might need more encouragement. You can add soft food or dog gravy onto their dry food to help encourage eating. Also smaller meals twice a day can be helpful for smaller dogs.

If you have fed your dog people food you can be in a bit of a deeper hole. This is where my non traditional yet very effective method comes in.

So your dog hates their food and now begs at your dinner table . First step is to slowly get your dog to stop begging and start eating. So when you sit down for dinner or breakfast, before your dog begs, pretend to put your people food into their dog bowls and place it on the floor ( while inside the bowl is their dog food)Your dog will eat the food because you have “tricked” them to thinking its people food. Everyday put the food down earlier and earlier, pretending to put people food in it. Eventually your dog will associate you giving them the bowl of food with you feeding them from the table and start eating.

This hits two birds with one stone. Stops begging and fixes the problem with eating.

Dogs can be finicky at times but they are also trusting and trainable, so choose methods of training that suit your specific needs.

Also if you are trying to stop begging use a kong toy during meals to occupy your dog or ignore the undesired behavior if it is minimal. Begging and dogs not eating are two very different problems. I will address begging next week.