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Why Do Puppies Eat Poop?

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Techniques for Treating Coprophagy

 

Always feed your puppy a good quality puppy food so that you can be sure that he is getting all of the protein, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients he needs for normal growth. Observe your puppy for signs that he may be suffering from poor digestion, such as watery stool or stool with large particles of undigested food. If you see any of these signs, consult your veterinarian. This can become a serious issue if not resolved.

 

Be diligent in cleaning up after your puppy eliminates. Do not give him the chance to play with or eat his stool. Try placing the puppy on a leash when you take him outside to relieve himself, and do not allow him to inspect his stool after he has defecated. Distract him from the stool by calling him to you, and when he responds appropriately, reward him with a training treat and verbal encouragement and then take him inside, away from the stool, before you go back to pick it up.

 

Some experts have found that adding meat tenderizer, digestive enzymes, or natural additives to the puppy’s food makes a big difference, since these additives cause the stool to have a particularly unappealing smell that will discourage him from eating it. If you cannot immediately clean up the stool, or if there are some old stool piles in your yard, you can spray it with hot pepper sauce or mouth wash. However, it is still more effective to just clean up after the puppy each time he eliminates.

 

Always keep your puppy on a leash whenever you take him out for a walk. This will prevent him from smelling and eating the stool of the other dogs that are left lying around in the streets. Note that some parasites and illnesses can be transmitted through stool, so you don’t want your puppy to come into contact with stool under any circumstances (of course, this is not always possible). If the puppy begins to sniff at a stool pile, gently pull on his leash and lead him in another direction. Use immediate distraction techniques as soon as he begins to show curiosity for his or other dog’s stool, and reward him with verbal praise and a training treat when he responds appropriately.

 

If he is consistently discouraged and appropriately reprimanded each time he plays with or eats his stool, he will learn to let go of this habit in a short period of time. Soon enough, you will be able to allow your dog to walk around freely and not have to worry about him eating stool when you are not looking.

 

Image via Shutterstock

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