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Old May 3rd, 2001, 06:49 PM
petdr's Avatar
petdr petdr is offline
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Arrow Dog eats feces - Answered by Dr. Slome


Dear pets.ca,

My dog is one of those dogs that occasionally eats the poop of other dogs when I take him out for walks or let him run around in the dog parks. He also licks the urine where other dogs have urinated. Obviously I make him stop when I catch him...but I don't always catch him.

So here goes..... why does he do this?
Is it dangerous for him to eat poop or lick urine?
Is it common? How can I get him to stop?

Please Help G.L.


Hi GL,

The reason he does this is usually due to behaviour habits. I would almost guarantee that he has not yet been neutered or was neutered as an adult dog rather than a puppy. He is being territorial and relishing in strange dogs' poop/urine or may be trying to remove any evidence of another dog's scent marking territory where he is being walked.
  • It is not usually dangerous but is a disgusting habit and the thought of him then 'kissing' or licking you is not quite as appealing.... for obvious reasons. The danger that may be posed occasionally is that he is susceptible to picking up parasites or bacteria that may cause illness carried by the other dogs.
  • I have seen it or heard of this condition from some of my clients -- usually unneutered males or as indicated before, neutered later in life when territorial habits have already set in.
  • The cure? Start by neutering if you already haven't done so. Secondly you will need some professional help of an obedience trainer who can show properly how to negatively reinforce this behaviour and positively reinforce leaving this alone. Thirdly you would need to discuss this carefully with your Veterinarian whether this is a behaviour issue that may benefit from some behaviour medications available for dogs.

The term of eating poop is called coprophagia but is most commonly reported when dogs eat their own poop. In this case a product called Forbid can be added to the food, but as indicated, you will need to gain some professional advice on the best course for your dog.

Good Luck,

Martin Slome DVM
Centre Street Animal Hospital
Thornhill, Ontario, L4J 7Y3
Tel: (905) 771-9855
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Old March 29th, 2003, 07:00 PM
Hallelujah Hallelujah is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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My local pet store has pills for Coprohagia treatment. It stopped my dog from eating his own poop in our yard, but when he goes into the neighbor's yard for a playdate, he comes back with little appetite, and he eats grass since it obviously gives him a tummyache. I wonder why? Maybe I'll give the rest of our pills to the neighbor. Good luck.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 09:47 PM
Judie Judie is offline
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My male dog was neutered at 6 months. He has been eating feces ever since then. It is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen, and I have to be honest - it makes me not want to keep him. We have a female (also fixed) that we purchased at the same time - they have been raised together as "brother & sister." He eats her feces, he eats his feces. Fresh, dry, coming out of her bum, it doesn't matter. It is as if he has a mineral definiency and is somehow seeking out the nutrients in the feces - but thing of it is that there is no decifiency. He is a healthy dog. Any other suggestions?

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Old November 27th, 2003, 04:29 AM
Flying Colors Flying Colors is offline
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Originally posted by Judie
It is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen, and I have to be honest - it makes me not want to keep him.

The first time I caught my silly little puppy with feces hanging out of his mouth I must admit it threw me for a loop. It took a lot of immediate positive self-talk to realize he doesn't know he's doing anything wrong, and more importantly he's not trying to do anything on purpose to upset me.

Dogs do lots of things that are "distgusting" in the human world, but you've got to remember they live in a dog world. The rules in their little puppy brains are different from our rules.

As gross as my experience was, I could never get mad at my little pocket beagle for his "bizarre" habit (which isn't all that rare). Whenever it happens it is my fault for letting it happen! My silly pup doesn't know any better, and it's up to me as the person who committed to helping the little guy grow up to guide him through right and wrong.

Don't be angry with your baby! Just help him learn not to do it.
Be nice to your pets. They're only human.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 04:05 PM
dawglover dawglover is offline
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Location: Alberta, Canada
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Using meat tenderizer sprinkled on the food will also do the trick for some dogs. It works the same way as the expensive medications that you will find in pet stores without the high cost.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 07:22 PM
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topaz_n29 topaz_n29 is offline
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Hi newbie here...I am going thru the same w/my Shih Tzu baby..He's 7 weeks. Now when i brought him home he was completely trained on his paper. No accidents. But then i caught him eating his poo. Well i kept telling him No!! no!! and pulling him back by the scruff on his neck(not hard).Well he then went a couple of times after that ...buttt not on his paper...i screwed that up..as i now thinks the No!! was for not to go there..now i have him confused..my fault. So now i am keeping an eye on him..and will just keep piking it up..and disposing..hoping it will eventually stop.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 11:33 AM
MALO MALO is offline
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Location: alberta
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Hi All,
I'm new and I have been told by my vet that I should pick up a book and read up on the possible habits of Yorkies. Then I should find out what he is lacking in his diet and add it to his diet. His feed is specifically mixed for Yorkies. I've tried the "Forbid" and it hasn't worked at all! Does anyone here know of possible nutrients that this breed may lack. We're located in southern Alberta so I do know about the dry skin conditions that occur with our climate. He is a huge boy weighing in at 16 lbs. but he is not fat. His mom was 6 lbs and his sire was 4 lbs. Do you think it might be the extra nutrients in the poopies?? Heehee
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Old October 6th, 2008, 07:28 PM
brokenwing brokenwing is offline
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Thumbs up dogs eating feces

When I had a young dog she ate feces also. If found an article that said to put molasses over her dog food and stir until coated. After the dog eats this then it makes the poo undesireable. I tried it and it worked fantasticly!
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