I know this is kind of a sensitive issue or at least a bit of a gross topic but let’s face it, sometimes dogs eat poop. Lately, I’ve found my older dog eating poop. I have two dogs so I don’t know if she’s eating her own poop or the poop of her younger sister. I hate to even be talking about this, but right now it’s an issue for us in our household, and perhaps it’s an issue in yours.
I consulted with our veterinarian earlier this week about the issue. I speculated that Tana was eating her sisters’ poop because recently I have switched Tana to senior food (she’s 10 years old and the vet recommended the change) which she obviously didn’t like too much because she would barely eat it. My thoughts were that she wasn’t getting something in her new food that she had been getting in her old food which the younger one was still eating. The vet concurred that it was surely a possible explanation. His thoughts on the subject: “go back to feeding her regular food, I’d rather have her eating regular food and not eating poop than eating senior food and eating poop.” So there you have it, sound advice from an expert.
The official name given this disgusting habit is Coprophagia and it is quite common, especially in puppies. The most common causes are the lack of nutrients in food, hunger or boredom. Changing the diet, exercise and discouraging the bad behavior and praising good behavior are good solutions. Another recommended solution is to sprinkle a product called Forbid on the food. Said to cause some kind of chemical reaction in the intestines and make the resulting feces unpleasant to eat. I have opted not to go that route as I shy away from adding kind of chemical to my dogs’ food however harmless it is said to be. The vet suggested Taste of The Wild Grain-Free Premium High Protein Dry Dog, as it’s what she feeds her dogs.
This is what my vet had to say:
Senior dogs NEED higher protein diets, plain and simple. In fact, younger dogs need protein too, but senior dogs even more so. Any dog-food company that hasn’t kept up on the “latest” (now years old) research and is still offering reduced-protein “senior” diets is one you should be wary about. I would suggest you switch because the food you are currently feeding, at only 22% protein, isn’t adequate for a dog of any age. Look for something with more than 28% protein, preferably higher. If your dog is prone to getting fat, switching to something with 40% or higher protein will help improve the dog’s health and body condition. There is NO downside to feeding dogs high-protein diets: it doesn’t damage kidneys or any other organs, it doesn’t do anything toxic to them. It’s good for them. It’s what they evolved to eat.
Have you had a similar experience with your dog? If so leave a comment and tell us about it.