Is Your Puppy Eating Poop?
One of the strangest experiences my wife (Alina) and I had with our french bulldog (Honey), was when she ate her own poop. We noticed that after she would poop, then she would turn around and eat it. At first we thought she was broken. After much research and a lot of attempts we were thrilled to see that she no longer eats her own poop. This is what we learned with our Frenchie.
There’s a scientific name for this poop-eating habit— coprophagia (kop-ruh-fey-jee-uh) and also there are both behavioral and physiological reasons why some dogs view poop as a delicacy. This is common with puppies, essentially french bulldogs.
Here are a few reasons why they do this:
They learned it from mom
Boredom or stress
Not getting enough food
Not getting enough nutrients
It's just a habit
A need for attention
There is hope. These are ways that you can help your puppy beat this poop eating problem. It might feel and seem like a hopeless endeavor. This will take time and a lot of patience. Believe me, I know. Trying to pick up the poop before your puppy eats it may seem impossible, but let's get to the root of the problem. This problem is not only nasty, it leads to digestive problems and exposes them to parasites and harmful bacteria.
Nutrition Is Key
The first thing we did and you can do this too, is to check the ingredients in your puppies' food. As your puppy grows, there are needed components in the food that help with this. If the food has many fillers then your puppy is looking for other ways of getting what their growing bodies need. Sadly they resort to eating their own poop.
Adult stool eaters may have a deficiency in hydrochloric acid. One possible solution is introducing apple cider vinegar to their food. You may add about one teaspoon of vinegar directly into food per 25 pounds of body weight. Another digestive aid is raw zucchini. Raw zucchini would be a good first choice.
Here are some products I would recommend.
Breaking The Habit
I noticed that puppies usually poop 10-15 minutes after they eat. It’s important to see and understand the behavior behind the eating of the poop. Being there while they are in the action will help stop the habit. By calling them, making a noise, or tapping your foot can distract them from their usual routine of turning around and eating their poop. This will cause them to change their action to doing something else. Over time you will see how they will not mind the poop so much but will find something else to do.
Here are some treats that can help refocus your Frenchie’s attention.
Taste Aversion Treatment
There is another way to approach this problem. Making the poop not as appetizing as the puppy currently finds it to be. Once the puppy puts the poop in its mouth and then finds it to be not what it was before can be a big turn off for them. JJ Diaz of Animal Crackers also has a tip up his sleeve to help the dog that eats stool. If everything else is in tip-top shape, “the way you break that habit is to feed him pineapple snacks. It messes up the flavor with acidity and your dog stops eating it 90% of time.”
Taste Aversion suggestions:
This is a common problem for Frenchies. Take it one step at a time. I am speaking from experience, there is hope with this poop eating problem.