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Q: How can I stop my dog from eating grass and her own feces?

Original Question: "My dog won’t stop eating its poop. We have put meat tenderizer in her food and even tried pineapple juice but neither one works. I started coating her stool in Tabasco sauce and this has seemed to stop her from eating the ones that are coated. I can’t clean up all of her poop as I work a lot and so does my wife. Now that we have started watching her more often she has gone to eating a lot of grass. Why does she eat so much poop and grass and how can I stop her?" - Nathan


Vet Certified Answer | Answered: April 1, 2018

Hi Nathan,

Thanks for your question.

The condition you're dealing with is coprophagia. It's common and thought to occur as an evolutionary dietary strategy of some animals. There are nutrients that can be produced by the bacteria present in the hindgut which if eaten, can be absorbed in the foregut. This doesn't necessarily mean your dog has a nutritional deficiency, but she could be manifesting the behaviour for other reasons. You could consider adding a probiotic to her diet, a vitamin mixture, or discuss possible behavioural concerns with your veterinarian. Most cases don't result in an answer but it can be treated non-specifically anyways.

To eliminate coprophagia, most people use a product called For-Bid. It’s a powder you add to the food that is tasteless but when it gets digested, it comes out in the stool and makes the 'poop' taste awful. When your dog eats one of her own poops, it will taste horrible and a concept of 'taste aversion' will kick in. It should be enough to put her off of them for life as long she samples the poops while she is being given the product. Keep in mind, it won't work if your dog is eating poop of another dog that is not receiving the product.

I'd like to point out that I don't support or endorse specific products or services so I always avoid mentioning specific products but I don't know of any products other than this one. I'm sure you'll find alternatives online and possibly in your veterinary office. This is the only one I have seen within a veterinary clinic and the one I'm familiar with.

Best of luck,

Dr. Clayton Greenway


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