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Eats poopNovember 23, 2019, 4:10 PM
- Q: My puppy (9 week old Maltapoo) constantly tries to eat her own feces. We have to fight with her and race to make sure we get there before she does once she finishes using the bathroom or she will gulp it down. Is this normal behavior? Should we allow her to or should we continue to try to stop her? How can we discourage this behavior?
- A: Coprophagy is the term for eating poop, it is a frustrating habit for owners but it is not harmful to the puppy. If the puppy had intestinal parasites you can make a point that he reinfects himself but your veterinarian will be sure that he is free of intestinal parasites and suggest products to prevent that from happening. There are products available to help discourage your puppy from consuming poop, they are available in powder, tablet and soft chew forms. The principle behind these products is to use enzyme action to chemically alter the feces in hopes that it creates a change in the smell and attractiveness of the poop. I wouldn't consider one of these products to be superior to the others in fact I have found that a product that works very nicely for one puppy has no effect on other puppies. Pick a place to start and be aware that the product has to be used at least a couple times daily and may need to be used for 2-3 weeks. If your first choice fails move on to another. Before all the products for puppies were available a sprinkling of unseasoned meat tenderizer (source of enzymes) often work. Even if your choices don't completely solve the problem right away most puppies will eventually stop this frustrating habit.