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OK, this is a gross one...

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by PDogSniper, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. PDogSniper

    PDogSniper

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    I did a search so if this has been covered I apologize.

    This is gross....I've got a new pup, he's about 6 months old now. Aside from him wanting to chew up everything in sight he's taken to eating feces droppings in the yard...

    I try to clean the droppings up but I can't find them all but he sure seems to be able too...

    Is this normal...? Sure doesn't want me to be too receptive to him licking my face any more....:upeyes:
     
  2. michaelj1978

    michaelj1978

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    I've heard that quite a few dogs do this. I don't have any first hand experience, but I would maybe get some OC spray, or paprika and spray/pour it on his poop then walk him on a leash up to it and let him get a good sniff. If you do if often enough he'll learn to stay away from his and other dogs piles.
     

  3. PDogSniper

    PDogSniper

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    Never thought of that. Might not be a bad idea... Thanks...
     
  4. DEUCE-DOBE

    DEUCE-DOBE Landshark&Sis'

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    Although nasty, its pretty common.

    Why? Well... (this is from the College of Veterinary Medicine)

    In the past it was believed that feces eating, also known as coprophagia, was caused by
    either poor diet or poor health. However, this theory is not supported by current research.
    "Behavioral research has discounted the idea that it is a dietary deficiency or a pancreatic
    enzyme deficiency," says Dr. Jo Ann Eurell, a veterinarian and animal behavior specialist at
    the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. "Dogs are historically scavengers,
    and this is believed to be a scavenger behavior.

    "It is important for dog owners to know that this behavior is normal for a mother dog with
    pups," adds Dr. Eurell. Newborn pups must learn to urinate and defecate. The mother
    teaches the pups by licking their bottoms. The pups respond to this "tickle" by urinating and
    defecating. The mother then consumes the pups' excrement, which serves two protective
    purposes: it keeps the den area clean and it removes smells that could attract a predator.
    Some pups learn this behavior from their mothers and will stimulate themselves and
    consume their own feces. Most pups stop by the time they are weaned.

    It is more difficult to understand why adult dogs eat feces. Some dogs will learn this
    behavior from other dogs. In some cases, eating feces may be an attention-seeking
    behavior. For some dogs it is possibly due to anxiety or boredom. Most often the
    motivation for eating feces is just not known.

    Owners find this habit in their pet disgusting -- particularly when the consumed feces are
    thrown up all over the new carpet. In addition to being socially unacceptable, eating feces
    exposes the dog to parasites and diseases. So, what is a dog owner to do?

    "Eating feces is a problem that is easier to prevent than to cure," says Dr. Eurell. "Don't
    allow the opportunity to arise. Keep the dog's yard clean by disposing of feces promptly.
    Move the cat box out of the dog's reach. If cleaning the outdoor area is not feasible, then
    keep the dog on a leash or use a muzzle when outside."

    There are some "cures" that have been used with limited success. Punishment generally only
    works in the early stages, before the behavior becomes habitual. Feeding the dog MSG,
    garlic, or pumpkin is believed to give feces a bad taste, making it less attractive to the dog.
    Other products can be applied to the feces directly; however, dogs are very perceptive and
    can probably distinguish between tainted and untainted feces.

    The best solution is to supervise the dog and not let it develop the habit. If you would like
    further information about this behavior, contact your local veterinarian.