Copraphagia is unpleasant for dog owners and not good for the dog either! No-one wants to think that they’re being licked by their puppy five minutes after it has eaten its own poo. So what causes copraphagia and how can we stop it?
When a dog is a puppy many will eat their own poo because they are copying the bitch who would clean up after them. They think it’s natural to do it. Years ago when people tried to house train their pup, they were told to tell it off and then rub the puppy’s nose in it. Unfortunately, this is a really bad idea - puppies do have poo accidents and because they do not want to get told off, they try to eat their poo before the owner spots it.
The best thing to do when clearing up an accident is to gently remove the puppy from the scene and clear it up out of their vision. If you rush to get to it, then the puppy can see it as a game and you really don’t want that!
Another fallacy is that when older dogs exhibit copraphagia, people think it’s because they’re not getting the minerals they need – it’s actually nothing to do with that, it’s simply that they can smell undigested food in the poo – either their own if they are being fed too much volume, or in that of other dogs who are being incorrectly fed.
If you feed your dog Healthy Paws food you can be confident that it contains 100% natural ingredients that have been developed into an ideal recipe to supply the nutrients your pet requires. Take a look at the chart on the back of the pack to see what volume of food to give your pet per day and start at the lowest quantity according to its weight. You can always increase the volume until you find the right level. Take a look at our Dog Digestion blog post which explains more.
Whilst we’re on the subject of unpalatable things, beware of clearing up puppy wee or poo then cleaning the area with something like Dettol. Dettol contains ammonia, so not only is that an invitation for the puppy to wee again, but the label has clear instructions not to use the product on surfaces that the pet has access to. Whatever cleaning products you use, remember to read the label first for guidance.