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How to Stop Your Dog Eating Poo

Let's face it, dogs can be pretty disgusting. But, there is one particular behaviour that goes above and beyond the rest - the eating of feces.

For whatever reason, dogs will chow down on poo in all its many forms, especially as puppies.

This behaviour, called coprophagy, is thankfully relatively easy to change with the right nutritional supplements and modifications to behaviour before it becomes a compulsive disorders behaviour in dogs .

Why Dogs Eat Poo

To start with, you should understand why your furry friend is doing this in the first place. It's a good idea to take your dog to the vet if this is a common, persistent behaviour as it is often a sign of a deficiency in their diet.

There are actually quite a few deficiencies a dog might have that can lead to eating poo - a quick blood test or stool test can often identify if it is anything significant. Many times, supplementing whatever they're missing from their diet can help with this problem.

Getting Your Dog to Stop Poop Eating

Now that you've identified if there is a physical problem, you can work toward fixing it. If your dog has a deficiency, that should be your first target. However, if it is simply a behaviour they have learned somehow, you can use behaviour modification to remove the desire to eat poo at all.

* Reduce the Opportunity - Start by cutting out how many opportunities a dog actually has to eat the poop. You do this by collecting any poop and getting rid of it immediately. Especially if you let your dog out into the yard to poop, clean it up daily.

When you walk your dog, make sure you personally take him to wherever he normally defecates and keep him away from any other poop that may be on the walk.

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* Supervise Outings - You should personally oversee any walks by your dog. This includes going to the dog park, where the dog can often get away and get into messes. The more time you spend watching and correcting behaviour, the quicker he will learn.

* Negative Stimuli - To effectively reduce the behaviour, you'll need to connect unpleasantness with it. You can use a spray bottle or a noisemaker that will upset the dog when he tries to eat the poop.

The important thing here is to remember that immediate action is needed, not delayed or verbal actions. Dogs will only get confused in those cases.

* Deterrents - Specific deterrents include spraying various things like bitter apple or cayenne pepper on the poop. You can also feed your dog pumpkin with their food. The pumpkin makes the poop unpleasant to reingest, effectively deterring your dog.

There are some commercial deterrents as well, but beware of any chemicals or things with unknown ingredients. There are enough natural ways to deter your dog from eating poop that you don't need to use these types of products.

* Vitamin Supplements - If there is a vitamin deficiency, supplement it with a good multivitamin. Your vet can recommend a good one that contains all of the necessary missing nutrients. You can also feed your dog more fresh foods and less dry food as this helps a lot.

A dog that eats their poop can be easily trained to stop doing so. The important thing is to make sure your dog understands exactly what behaviour is being challenged. This requires consistency on your part, and that of your family if more than one person walks your dog.

If you can maintain control over how your dog is walked, what they do on that walk and what they eat, the poop eating behaviour should be eradicated with good dog behaviour training in a few short days.

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