Q. My 9 month old Maltese-Shih eats his own feces. Is there anything i can give him to get him to stop?
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Coprophagia (or eating stool) is very common in young dogs. Luckily, most dogs will outgrow this behavior as they age. There are several theories as to why dogs do this which range from mimicking the mother dog's behavior of cleaning the den, nutrient deficiency, boredom or just plain enjoyment of it.
If your dog is eating his own, removing the feces as soon as he deposits them is best in preventing them from being eaten. Keeping your dog on a leash while he potties can also help to catch any stool before he finds it. If he is eating other stool as well, sweeping the area prior to letting him out to go potty can help you identify and remove any left-behind stool.
There is also a product called For-bid that is available to make stool distasteful to pets. This product is sprinkled over every meal for a period of a week. When your dog attempts to eat the stool formed from this product, it becomes distasteful and discourages him from doing so. Most dogs will stop after a week of use, but some may need a few reminders from time to time to completely stop the behavior.