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Loves Labs February 13th, 2007 03:40 PM

Dog eats feces - My dogs have just acquired a taste for the brown stuff...
Hi all,

I know I am not alone in this - but if anyone has any advice I would very much appreciate it.

Hayden is almost 15 months and has never been a "poo-eater", a "poo-roller" yes, but despite lots of exposure to different dogs mess, he has never eaten the stuff before.

Since we have got a second dog, a female yellow lab, I have noticed that the two of them are having a field day out in the backyard digging up frozen poo and eating it...sometimes tossing it around a bit, then eating it. :yuck:

I have heard that sometimes a submissive dog will eat the excrement of the dominant dog....but it seems to me that they are both doing it...and not discriminating between which dog made the mess.

I am wondering if this is just more of a game - as it seems they only pick the frozen, buried stuff.

I know, the obvious answer is to pick it all up - but until spring it is impossible to get to all the frozen stuff in the snow. It seems they still manage to find it no matter how much time we spend digging and picking it up.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to curb their new appetite? I have tried standing out there and scolding them everytime but they seem to find my "scolding voice" funny and it excites them even more than the poo. :frustrated:


jesse's mommy February 13th, 2007 04:28 PM

What kind of food are you feeding?

x.l.r.8 February 13th, 2007 05:16 PM

Riley did this last week. I was mortified, I opend his mouth and scraped what was left, I showed him what he had in his mouth with a firm NO, and a brisk march inside and everyone in the house had to ignore him for ten minutes, he looked so dejected but so far so good. He usually turns his nose up at any other dogs poo. I think because it was frozen he thought it was something new. I'm hoping I caught it in time before it becomes a self amusing game he decides to play while outside:fingerscr :fingerscr
There is a thought that with poorer foods they decide they need some of the minerals they couldn't digest the first time round, while I subscribe to that theory, Riley and Missy are Raw eaters and I think it was more amusement than trying to gain any nutrition. I would treat it like an object they are not allowed, like the remote control or the brand new digital camera lead that you just bought yesterday :offtopic: and they chewed to pieces, (I'm still fuming over that) and try and stop it while in the act. I'm just hoping I caught it in time as the thought of scraping that stuff out again makes me :sick:

luckypenny February 13th, 2007 05:33 PM

:laughing: They're helping you clean up the yard!! :laughing:

I'm laughing because I have the same problem with my female Lab. We call them "poopsicles". I try to pick up after my dogs as soon as they've done their business since I don't leave them in our yard unsupervised (we live right next door to a park and kids used to attempt teasing them).

I was told that it may be because they're not fully digesting their food (we feed MediCAl) and it still smells good to them once it comes out the other end :yuck: We've tried charcoal biscuits (it's supposed to smell bad once digested) but it doesn't deter Penny once it's frozen. Maybe they'll work for your dogs? Feed them 1/2 a biscuit 10 minutes or so after every meal. Hope this works for you.

Prin February 14th, 2007 01:46 AM

[QUOTE=luckypenny;372883]I was told that it may be because they're not fully digesting their food (we feed MediCAl) and it still smells good to them once it comes out the other end :yuck: [/QUOTE]
That's true. Corn, especially, is not very digestible, so it comes out very similar to the way it went in. The dog can smell the protein and since he didn't digest it the first time, he's lacking in protein so he tries to make up for it.

At the dog park there were a lot of poop eaters and none ever ate my doggies' doodies... :shrug: (but they're fed food that is among the top quality kibbles).

Lukka'sma February 14th, 2007 08:14 AM

Lukka does this too. We have to pick up her business as soon as she does it or else she would eat it. She never has acquired a taste for feces of other dogs (thank goodness), however rabbit raisins she finds irresistible.

Hunter's_owner February 14th, 2007 08:49 AM

Cassie does this in the winter every now and then.:shrug:

mummummum February 14th, 2007 09:17 AM

I was told that it may be because they're not fully digesting their food (we feed MediCAl) and it still smells good to them once it comes out the other end :yuck: [/QUOTE]
:sorry: I know I'm hijacking a little :offtopic: but you may want to rethink your food choice. I see that you're new ([COLOR="Magenta"][B]Welcome ![/B][/COLOR]) and wonder if you might want to check out our dog food forum about kibble. There is some really terrific information about different food quality and digestibility of ingredients and well, may also help your what I call "sh-nacking" .

mummummum February 14th, 2007 09:32 AM

Loves Labs ~ like jesse's mommy asks, what are you feeding? Some foods are deficient in a particular nutrient your dog needs. I would also ask whether you have changed the proportion of food or introduced a new kind of treat. Some foods can actually work against each other by preventing the absorption of vitamins and nutrients. And sometimes when dogs are "put on a diet" they look for ...well, let's just call it "filler":yuck:

Finally, is anything new in their environment? Sometimes a change of homes or changes in existing family structures/ dynamics can cause stress which manifest in blechy:yuck: behaviours.

tenderfoot February 14th, 2007 10:03 AM

While some foods do not have enough good ingredients, other issues like malabsorption can play a part too. This means that the quality of proteins do not allow for sufficient absorbtion of the protein OR the dog is missing something (enzymes) that does not permit him to absorb all that is available to him.

In addtion to improving the quality of the food you are serving I would add something like 'Prozyme' to his food. This will ensure that he is getting everything he can from the food you serve. It helps him to break down the food into usable form.

Loves Labs February 14th, 2007 10:44 AM

Thanks everyone for all your help.

First of all - Hayden (black lab, just over a year old) has been on the same food since the beginning and it is the Iams Smart Puppy (yellow bag).
Jada (yellow lab, almost 2 yrs) is on the Eukanuba Lamb & Rice (pink bag). I am fairly ignorant about any suggestions are welcome! I was thinking Hayden should get off the puppy food, but the bag does say for up to 24 months. What are the thoughts on this?

There has been no recent changes in their diets or treats or anything like that. The only big change recently is that we just got Jada about 3 weeks ago now...and I know its a big change! I thought maybe Jada has always done this and Hayden learned it from her. However, Hayden spends a lot of time at his grandparents, and their Chocolate lab loves the stuff and Hayden has never followed his lead & adopted this behaviour...until now.

I do notice that they don't seem to take any interest in the "fresh stuff", it seems to be only the frozen stuff that they can dig up from under the snow.

Loves Labs February 14th, 2007 10:47 AM

[QUOTE=luckypenny;372883]:laughing: They're helping you clean up the yard!! :laughing:

I'm laughing because I have the same problem with my female Lab. We call them "poopsicles". [/QUOTE]

Too funny - that's exactly what we were calling them too!
Hahah - thanks, it is good to know our pups aren't the only ones with this dirty little habit.

Prin February 14th, 2007 12:44 PM

Is there a reason your older dog is on Lamb and Rice? If not, I'd suggest an all life stages food like Canidae, or a good quality adult food like Innova.:)

Loves Labs February 14th, 2007 01:46 PM

Yikes! I just did a lot of reading on the dog food forum and I had no idea what a difference in foods there many choices! :o I didn't realize I was feeding my pups such "inferior" bad.

Thanks Prin, we have decided we will change Hayden's food to one of the ones you mentioned. There is a natural pet food store just down the street that carries the brands you mentioned - which gives us no reason not too.

Jada came to us recently after a good friend had to move overseas for 2 years. She has a history of GI problems and this the Lamb & Rice is what my friend has found worked for her...I am hesistant to change her food before consulting my friend - but I will ask her asap.

Prin February 14th, 2007 01:51 PM

Canidae has a lamb and rice version now too. It's pretty simple, no funky ingredients. :shrug:

Remember to switch gradually. Commercial foods, like Iams, have a lot of digestive aids and stool hardeners, so digesting on his own might take a bit of practice. :) You can also get digestive enzymes to help with the switch. Your dog food store should have some.:)

i_have_too_many February 18th, 2007 02:04 PM

Hey I just had to put in my thoughts, I have dog with the same problem, I think it is a discusting habit. A few years ago we bought an older dog, she came with this habit and unfortunately tought our then puppy. In the mean time she has passed, and now our puppy, who is 1 1/2 is teaching that habit to our new puppy, 6 months. None of our other dogs do or did this, untill we brought home that one dog, and then it is only the puppies who are influenced. The new older dog we bought a year ago does not do this, they are all on the same food, except the puppy, it is a high quality chicken and rice food. I can not tell who's poop the dogs are eating, since we are on 2 acres and they often go out of sight to do their "business". I think it is just a habit because they have also taken a liking to racoon "bisquits" and used to eat cow "patties" when we were on the farm. It is just another gross thing dogs do to amuse themselves.

I heard that there is something you can add to the food that will make the poop tast bad (like it doesnt already) and discourages them from eating it. I will be looking for it in the petstores near me.

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