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(425) 557-0752

Beaver Lake Animal Hospital
26325 SE 39th Street
Issaquah, WA 98029
(425)557-0752


Beaver Lake Animal Hospital

26325 SE 39th Street
Issaquah, WA 98029

(425)557-0752

www.beaverlakeah.com

Copraphagy (eating feces)


Copraphagy

(Eating Feces)

 

Copraphagy is a complaint we hear from dog owners too commonly.  Although the reason for any particular dog may never be determined, we can all agree that it is a disagreeable action.  It is one that we want to stop as soon as possible.  It is possible that the pet’s diet and nutrition may have a component to the problem.  Most dog foods on the market will supply the basic nutrients that most dogs need, so is unlikely to be nutritionally driven for most dogs.  If there is any indication that your dog could benefit from a nutritional change we can help guide you in choosing diets and/or supplements. 

 

For dogs eating out of the litter box it is reasonable to prevent their access to the litter box.  This may be by creating a ‘doorway’ that the cat can get through and the dog can’t.  There are pet doors and collars that go with them that will only allow the door to open only if the pet with the collar on is near.  Invisible fence also has indoor units (a separate plug in unit) that will keep dogs wearing the collar out of the protected area. http://www.invisiblefence.com/product_solutions/indoor/index.asp

 

For dogs eating dog feces this may be a much more difficult to stop.  Your pet should be taught the ‘leave it’ command and if he/she starts to show interest in feces the leave it command should be used. In addition avoidance is possible in many situations.  As soon as fecal matter is deposited you should distract your dog and reward him/her for the proper behavior (ignoring the feces).  After the pet is removed from the area the stool should be removed as soon as possible – but make sure the dog does not see you do this.  Removing it will obviously stop the behavior from occurring and if completed diligently for several months may break the dog of copraphagy. 

 

There are products available. The product is fed to the animal whose feces is being consumed.  The product is made to make the stool less desirable to the copraphagic animal.  The tablet may need to be fed for several weeks or longer. In the hospital we carry a product called Forbid.   It is a powder form poured on or mixed in the food.  Another product available from our online store is CopraBan.  Many pet stores sell a product called Deter®, a tablet form.   I have also heard that feeding fresh pineapple or the original Aldoph’s Meat Tenderizer also has been effective for some owners.  In many instances it will require several months of uninterrupted effort to break the pet from this habit. 

7/25/13