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Any medical problem that leads to a decrease in absorption of nutrients, causes gastrointestinal upset or causes an increase in the appeal of the dog’s stool, could lead to coprophagia.
When adult dogs begin to eat stools, it may also be due to mal-absorption of nutrients or nutritional deficiencies. If a pet owner uses the incorrect training technique of “sticking the dog’s nose” in their stool when they have soiled the home, may be further encouraging coprophagia.
In adult dogs the innate behaviour of grooming and cleaning newborn puppies and eating their excrement, along with the well documented fact that dogs tend to be attracted to sniff and lick infection or discharge of their pack-mates, may explain some of the motivation for coprophagia. Coprophagia can best be corrected by preventing access to stools, by thorough cleaning of the pet’s property, and by constant supervision when the pet is outdoors. Although dogs and humans are classified as omnivores (both plant and meat eaters), there is no mammal on earth born with the enzymes to digest plant material.  The enzyme cellulase is found in gut bacteria that breaks down plant cell walls.
If you find your dog continues the coprophagic behaviour, please consult your trusted veterinarian. Coprophagia is the medical term for when a dog eats either its own faeces or that of another animal.
Sometimes the richer the food that has been eaten the more chance that the dog may find those faeces palatable. I have found that dogs on Burns dog food, rather than other brands appear to eat their own or other dogs faeces more than other dog foods. Medical issues especially in older dogs such as pancreatic or intestinal problems could stimulate Coprophagia. Even overfeeding especially food with a high fat content can sometimes spark this behaviour. NaturVet Coprophagia Deterrent Time Release Tablets These are slow release tablets given to a dog with its food.


This can work with some dogs will depend on how obsessive the dogs need is to eat the faeces. Though I have had to treat a number of dogs that are severely Intraspecific Coprophagic. These dogs eat very old faeces or faeces from dogs that are ill from intestinal problems or with very loose stools. Since coprophagia may attract a great deal of owner attention, the behaviour may be further reinforced.
It is not unusual for dogs to steal food items, raid garbage cans, and chew on, or eat non-food items that most humans would consider unusual or even disgusting.
At the first indication of stool sniffing or investigation the dog should be interrupted with a command, or a quick pull on the leash (this is particularly effective for dogs wearing head halters). An expert in behaviour modification of aggressive dogs in particular, Laura has successfully helped countless owners and their dogs across the world. Unless you are successful in treating this level of compulsive coprophagia then it could be fatal.
The intestinal phase of this nasty disease occurs only in cats (wild as well as domesticated) therefore transmission to dogs is by ingestion of oocysts (in cat faeces) or bradyzoites in some raw or undercooked meat that has not been pre-frozen.
In dogs, while coprophagia appears to be purely behavioural, there are indeed numerous medical problems that can cause or contribute to coprophagia.
Some dogs that have been placed on a highly restrictive or poorly balanced diet may also begin to eat their stools.
When dogs are close family members, the idea of cuddling up on the couch with your best friend who has just ingested their own faeces can really put a strain on the relationship!


Laura's philosophy is based on cooperation where dogs and their humans develop a relationship built on mutual trust and respect.
Some dogs may be improved by adding enzyme supplements to improve nutrient digestion or absorption.
Obviously this would be for dogs that were eating their own faeces, or the faeces of another dog in the same household.
Since coprophagia may attract a great deal of owner attention, the behavior may be further reinforced. In adult dogs the innate behavior of grooming and cleaning newborn puppies and eating their excrement, along with the well documented fact that dogs tend to be attracted to infections or discharges of their pack-mates, which they will sniff and lick, may explain some of the motivation for coprophagia. The owner that uses the outmoded, inhumane and useless training technique of "sticking the dog's nose" in its stool when it has soiled the home, may be further encouraging coprophagia. At the first indication of any stool sniffing or investigation the dog should be interrupted with a firm command, remote punishment device or a quick pull on the leash (this is particularly effective for dogs wearing head halters). Most dogs however, either develop a tolerance to the taste, or learn to avoid those stools that are pretreated.
Since most dogs seem to prefer a well-formed stool, adding sufficient quantities of stool softeners or bulk laxatives will usually deter most dogs.



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