Stopping Your Dog From Eating Feces (Coprophagy)
A common question I receive from pet owners is, “What can I do about my dog who keeps eating their own feces?”
The correct term for this behavior is coprophagy, and the answer to this question would depend upon other signs of illness (i.e diarrhea or weight loss) and/or the age of the pet. Many young puppies with intestinal parasites will ingest their own feces, but in some cases puppies without parasites may ingest their own feces as well. Some puppies will outgrow this habit, or it will resolve if parasites are treated.
Sometimes poor quality diets can be involved with this behavior, so an all natural diet such as Nature’s Variety or Halo can be tried to see if the problem resolves. Adding enzymes to the meals like NaturVet Digestive Enzymes may help as well, and there is also For-Bid, which curbs this type of behavior. If an adult pet has chronic diarrhea and/or weight loss accompanying the feces eating, a full workup including testing for chronic digestive or absorptive disorders should be done by your veterinarian.
Coprophagy is not dangerous to a particular pet and in most cases is more of a gross nuisance to clients, rather than a serious medical problem that needs worry or attention. Many animal guardians will try various home remedies such as tomato juice added to food, however, these remedies are often only partially effective in my experience at best.