The joys of spring are upon us.
Lots of poop and scooping to be done!!! What we have to keep in mind is the importance of cleaning this up and cleaning it up well! A truly disgusting fact to add to this, is some dogs have a condition called ‘coprophagia’ which means that they eat ‘poop’!!!
Absolutely! But it is a fact. Now, some dogs do this because they truly have a need to. It may be caused by a lack of nutrients in their food to medical conditions that cause them to have difficulty absorbing certain nutrients. Also, some diseases, i.e. diabetes, Cushing’s, thyroid conditions, can actually cause an increase in appetite which leads to coprophagia. If you have an adult dog that is new to this behaviour, please contact our office, Snelgrove Vet Services in Brampton to schedule an appointment. If this is a young puppy it may be just a new adventure. Some puppies sniff poop, then play with poop and eventually taste poop and unfortunately, inadvertently, because they get lots of attention for doing this, we end up actually reinforcing this behaviour.
So, now the big question. How do we STOP this???
Well, the obvious first step is to stop access to it!!!
Then, if it’s an older dog that has never shown this behaviour before , take them to a vet. If it’s a new dog or you recently acquired a new dog and the previous dog is eating the vice versas, clean well after ever bowel movement and hopefully it will stop. If you have recently changed food brands considering going back to their previous food. If you have recently placed your dog on a diet or started exercising them more, consider increasing their food intake.
In puppies, don’t punish the behaviour itself, try to distract the puppy away from it before it gets a chance to eat it. Try calling him/her to you as soon as they have eliminated and upon coming to you, give them a treat. This rewards the dog for the behaviour of, after every bowel movement, YOU will give it a treat. Then clean it up promptly.
Amazingly many types of internal parasites (worms) can survive throughout the winter months. So the better we clean the less our chances of our pets acquiring these wiggly friends.
Don’t forget this also applies to trip to the park. Melting snow can reveal all sorts of hidden dangers. Everything from broken glass, to moldy, rotten food waste and worse, different dog poop! A new sort of treat. LOL