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Coprophagia is the medical term for when a dog eats either its own faeces or that of another animal. Food or Medical:  Nutritional deficiency is commonly believed to be one of the main  reasons for poo eating, so it is important to rule this out first.
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. Poor quality food could also be an issue if you feed Kibble (dry food) make sure it is of a high quality and not full of additives preservatives, colourants, and ethoxyquins. It has also been suggested that eating faeces could be an aid in food digestion, in other words a probiotic which encourages healthy flora in the gut. Genetic: the dog dates back at least to the Mesolithic period some 15000 years ago and fed off our middens and latrines therefore faeces (poo) was a staple diet. Maternal behaviour: A bitch with puppies has to stimulate the pups to toilet in the first 3 or 4 weeks.
Some people put chilli sauce or mustard on the faeces in the hope that it will deter the dog.
Garlic extract – due to its odour or Capsicum Oleoresin – which is very hot to the taste, or give iron tablets. These all apparently make their faeces foul tasting.
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.
The fecal-oral route can also transmit some rather nasty canine viral diseases.  Hepatitis and canine parvovirus are just two of these serious diseases.
I would also strongly recommend keeping the dog away from cat faeces because of the risk of organisms such as Toxoplasma gondii which can cause serious and sometimes fatal consequences, including hepatitis, pneumonia, blindness, and severe neurological disorders .


I think the most likely reason is that some dogs do not completely digest their food and there is some nutritional value (especially in puppy foods when this is often learned) remaining in the waste product. When you are with your dog, it is relatively easy to pick up immediately after she has performed, although there is the danger of drawing attention to the behaviour if you make too much fuss. Competing with her for her faeces is not to be encouraged, so try to be discreet. This is a common question, and a rather unpleasant issue for most owners who find that their dogs eat their own poo or the faeces of other dogs. It was once thought that dogs displaying such behaviour had a dietary deficiency or a pancreatic enzyme deficiency but research has shown this not to be the case. Dogs are excellent scavengers and may eat their own or other animal’s faeces simply because it smells to the dog's strong nose like it contains some nutrients or goodness. Often the motivation for adult dogs that exhibit coprophagia remains a mystery, but it is no longer thought to be a worry where digestion is concerned, although if your dog is doing it constantly, i would still say a visit to the vet might be worthwhile. Some other nutrient may be missing from their food, especially if they are Autocoprophagic or Intraspecific. However, a dog fed on a good quality complete dog food should already be getting all the nutrients they require. Therefore it may be advisable to pick up the faeces especially in the home area such as the garden, out of sight of the dog. Or using food as a lure though in some cases the dog may combine the lure and praise as something it gets when eating faeces.
Unless you are successful in treating this level of compulsive coprophagia then it could be fatal. A cat has died in Germany from eating an infected bird; therefore this virus has shown it can cross the species.
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. You may freely distribute this article and any photographs or save to any electronic media as long as they are only used within the article and it is left intact.


Dogs may have different reasons for starting this and things that will work in one set of circumstances may not in others.
I think you either need to be outside with her or else use a Baskerville muzzle to try to break the habit. Dogs are know for urinating over the scent of other dog's urine or urine-marked spots around a territory.
It may be that the food, while perfectly satisfactory for most dogs, is not suiting her and it might be worth experimenting with one that produces a smaller, more easily held stool. Wolves defacate and urinate to mark the boundaries of their territory and other wolves will not cross these territory lines.
Obviously this would be for dogs that were eating their own faeces, or the faeces of another dog in the same household. If you wish to publish in a magazine or book any of my photographs or articles then you must contact me for copyright permission first.
She is fine through the day and I can stop her most times, but she cannot go through the night without toileting in the kitchen. The use of pineapple in the food is supposed to make the faeces taste horrible and may break the habit.
Therefore we think it may often be simply to remove a territorial mark left by another dog or animal.
Dogs confined to a smaller area, such as an indoor kennel, are less likely to foul the space near their beds, so this might be worth a try. This could perhaps be linked to the common behaviour of dogs whereby they will roll in or even eat Fox poo when they discover it.



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