|MY GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG EATS FECES AROUND THE YARD|
- Coprophagy, or eating feces, is an
unpleasant but common behavior of dogs.
Unfortunately, dogs can become infected with
intestinal parasites by ingesting excrement,
which may contain microscopic parasitic eggs.
Since your pet has been eating feces, it is very
important that your veterinarian evaluate a
stool sample to look for infection.
- There are several proposed causes for
coprophagy. Boredom is one of them; the behavior
is more prevalent in dogs that are crated for
long periods of time without stimulation. In
addition, dogs may eat their own waste as a way
of "hiding the evidence" if they receive
punishment for inappropriate defecation.
Uncommonly, there are also some underlying
medical conditions that are thought to be
associated with coprophagy, such as a poor diet
that is lacking in essential nutrients or
vitamins. The problem also may be caused by a
pancreatic enzyme deficiency.
- Some behavioral experts feel that
coprophagia may be related to a dog’s
instinctual nature to scavenge for food. It is
also possible that dogs eat their feces as a way
of playing, learning, and sampling their
- Treatment of this problem can be
challenging. The first step is to keep the area
where the dog voids meticulously clean. This
often means following the dog and immediately
cleaning up the stool.
- In addition, covering the stool with an
ingredient that the dog dislikes may be helpful.
Compounds such as red pepper sauce or
bitter-tasting substances, which are available
in pet stores, may discourage dogs from eating
feces. You can also try sprinkling dog food with
Accent meat tenderizer or MSG—monosodium
glutamate—since these products may help
discourage the eating of stool.
|FECES MAY CONTAIN PARASITES|
|Try to deter your dog from this behavior early
on, before it becomes a habit that is difficult to
|Please do not use our Health Matters website to attempt to diagnose or treat your pet.
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