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D2009-07

Dear Daisy Dog

My dog eats her poop. How can I stop this disgusting behavior?

Daisy Responds

I used to indulge too, because, until I was adopted by my present family, I lived alone in a kennel and produced puppies.

It’s normal for females with puppies to eat their pups’ feces to keep their den clean. Kennel dogs sometimes eat their own poop for the same reason or out of boredom.

But some dogs simply enjoy the flavor of feces, whether warm or frozen into “poopsicles.”

Products added to food or applied to feces to stop this habit are ineffective in most dogs.

Medical causes are rare, but you can have your veterinarian check your dog’s fecal sample for parasites and her blood for indications that she isn’t fully digesting her food.

Increasing your dog’s exercise and feeding a higher quality diet at least twice daily might help.

Even so, the most successful strategy is to dispose of your dog’s feces as soon as she defecates.

In addition, do what my mom did: teach the “leave it” command. When your dog defecates, tell her “leave it.” The moment she looks away from her feces, reward her with praise and a treat that’s yummier than her poop.

Be persistent and you’ll overcome this challenging behavior problem.

 

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