Yikes! My dog is eating her own pooh!

To be certain I am not a vet; however, this problem is a head-scratcher for most vets. I know they suggest your never letting the dog out of your sight, but how convenient is that? I am never as concerned with the animal that eats poop, as I am with the animal that pooped it. Dogs don't eat poop. They eat food. If stool still has food value, and has not been properly digested, it will still smell like food (it is documented that dogs have at least a thousand times more acute sense of smell than humans). So any dog would eat "food."


I know your dog is eating her own stools so what can you do? There are two very important factors in digestion: (1) enzymes and (2) probiotics. If your dog does not have enough enzymes or friendly intestinal bacteria, she cannot fully digest her food. A dog can be on a really expensive food and still be starving if she doesn't have what it takes to get the value from the food. I've seen numerous behavior problems disappear when my clients provide these additions to the diet. Jumping on counters, crankiness, hyperness and corprophagy (eating stool) can all be from this basic cause.


For enzymes you can give raw carrot or apple slices for treats. Of course, you can buy digestive enzyme supplements too. Solid Gold makes D-Zyme. It's good but pricey.


For friendly bacteria get some 4 or 5 species bacteria (probiotics) from the health food store. I prefer powdered, in capsules, freeze-dried and keep it in your freezer. Since the friendly bacteria are killed by stomach acid, do not give probiotics at a time when the dog is expecting food. Otherwise, all the little friendly bugs don't make it to the bowels where absorption of nutrients takes place.


Open a capsule in your palm and push your palm onto your dog's wet nose. She will lick it off. Once she tastes it she will like it. I live in Mexico 3 days a week and my dogs run into the ocean. I shudder to think about the awful things in Tijuana ocean water. After the beach, all the dogs line up at the fridge for a capsule of probiotics. They have yet to get sick after 10 years of going in that water.


And for those who think yogurt is the answer: Yogurt is with food so the bacteria never survives the stomach. Additionally, bulgaricus is not the bacteria you need for the bowels anyway. Get the probiotics at a health food store. I use Jarrodophilus + Fos but it is pricey. Just try to find something similar.


And one last reminder: If your dog has ever been on antibiotics for anything, you must restore the friendly bacteria. This applies to all dogs; not just the ones who eat their own feces.


©  Shannon Schaefer