Also known as: Puppy Dog eating feces, stool, poop, etc.
Do you and your dog share a secret shame? Poop eating is a nasty little habit many dog owners find themselves sharing! Here is one Midwest Chihuauas owners story over overcoming this problem.
This is Mary Smith's story. Mary owns a Midwest Chihuahuas puppy named Leroy as well as other Chihuahuas and Puggles.
Other than our Chihuahuas, my husband and I are owned by two big, boisterous Puggles named Maggie & Sadie. Sadie is 6 years old and Maggie is 4. We got them from the same breeder and we have had Maggie since she was 12 weeks old. When Maggie first came to live with us we noticed in the very beginning that she would eat her poop and other poop! I was so grosed out! We took her to the vet and everything about her was otherwise normal and good. It was then that we started what became years of trial and error to stop our beloved girl from her yucky and unhealthy habit.
My husband and I, over the years, tried EVERYTHING! We added dogs to our home and she would eat their stool as well! None of our other dogs shared her facination with this bad habit thankfully, but what were we to do? Nothing was working!
We read to make sure your dog had a healthy diet. We tried feeding Eukanuba and also Iams. We thought these were the top brands, heck they sponser their own dog shows! Neither even slightly slowed her interest. She was obsessed. Then we were even more disgusted to learn that Maggie learned to follow Sadie around waiting for her to poop! UGH! More tests and check-ups at the vet office but no avail. We tried home remedies, meat tenderizer, pineapple, pumpkin, no difference. We tried different forms of training such as the "off" or "leave it" methods, refocusing her, even tried rapid pickup. Nothing worked. We were at our witts end. We read about things that you can put on the poop on the ground, but why leave the poop on the ground at all then?
We resigned ourselves to the fact that we were likely to never break her of this habit.
About this time, Patricia and I were starting to work things out to bring me into the Midwest Chihuahuas family. We discussed things about our dogs and I learned she fed her dogs Canidae brand dog food. I had never thought to discuss Maggie's habit with her, plus, it's embarrasing to talk about honestly! We ended up changing all our dogs over to Canidae foods based on Patricia's recommendation and our dogs loved the food. Now I will be honest, we have a beautiful and large feced yard on our oversized corner lot. Most times we let the dogs out and let them in. We don't usually accompany them unless we are sitting outside relaxing. After 3 or 4 months I realized there was a lot more poop to clean up. Later, I was watching another of my dogs in the yard and it dawned on me that I hadn't seen Maggie eating the other dogs poop anymore (she for some reason only ever ate the poop of the 4 core dogs of our home). I started paying attention and asked my husband and realized the habit was gone! I was startled! We did not switch food because of the poop problem, we honestly hadn't given it a thought. We feed Canidae ALS which is a 4 protein food and we do give some Canidae moist too, different flavors that they offer. We also feed the grain free most of the time. Patricia feeds the Chicken Meal and the Salmon and none of her dogs eat poop, but they never have either.
The ONLY thing that changed was the Canidae food. Our veterinarian stated that the fat in my dogs stool was partly what made the food tasty. The body didn't digest as much so it still had "food-like" qualities. The little poop they do put out now is nothing appetizing apparently and Maggie is now cured of this habit. It has been a MUCH nicer summer, even if there is more to clean up in the yard!
I am not going to guarantee this will work for you. I am not a vet but I am a knowledgeable breeder and this is just our experience. Will it work for you? We can't promise that. I think it took a few months to work for us, had to clean out her system I guess. But it MIGHT work and if you have a dog with this habit, you know you will try almost anything to stop it! If you read this and try it and it works or doesn't, I would love to hear from you. Of course, nothing is more important than discussing this with your vet and having your pet thoroughly checked out to make sure there are not other issues involved as NOTHING is a substitute for excellent veterinary care.
My hope is that this article will give you hope that maybe you too can break your dogs feces facination!
Mary E. Smith-Buchert
*Please note that we get NOTHING from Canidae to have this article available, in fact we haven't even wrote them about it. This is just our actual experience and we felt it was important to have available to other pet owners who may be sharing this equally disturbing habit with their pets!*
© Working Dog Chihuahuas by Midwest, 2007