There’s no disputing that puppies can be a handful. Puppies require patience and a lot of puppy training for things like biting, urinating in the house, chewing furniture and excessive crying or barking. But puppies eating poop (the correct term is coprophagia), has to be the worst puppy behavioral issue of all, and definitely the most disgusting! In this article, we’ll discuss why puppies eat poop and how to stop a puppy from eating poop.
Why Do Puppies Eat Poop?
Puppies will eat their own poop, poop from other dogs, cat poop, and poop from various other animals. Eating their own poop is harmless but eating poop from other animals can cause health problems if the poop contains viruses, toxins or parasites. Fortunately, most puppies will stop this behavior by the time they’re a year old.
Let’s explore some common reasons why puppies eat poop:
1. They’re exploring the world around them. Puppies love to explore everything, and, like human babies, tend to put everything in their mouths as a way of exploring.
2. They’re hungry. Because food isn’t always totally digested by animals, poop can contain pieces of undigested food. If your puppy isn’t getting enough to eat, he’ll see poop as a source of food, and eat it.
3. Vitamin deficiencies. I once had a miniature dachshund who suddenly began eating rocks in the driveway. Her veterinarian suggested that she may have a vitamin deficiency and suggested I start giving her a daily multivitamin. It worked. The same can be the case with puppies or adult dogs eating poop. It’s important to make sure your puppy is receiving proper nutrition, and you might consider supplementing their diet with puppy multivitamin.
4. As a side effect of bad puppy training. Some people think the way to stop a puppy from urinating or pooping in the house is to rub their nose in it. This couldn’t be a more ineffective and cruel way to train a puppy. The only thing this accomplishes is teaching the puppy to eat poop and convinces the puppy that if he poops in the house, he has to get rid of it to avoid being punished.
For more information about why puppies eat poop, read my article, Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
How to Stop Puppies from Eating Poop
1. Clean it up. If your puppy is eating poop in your yard, the best way to stop it is to keep your yard clean. You can purchase an inexpensive pooper scooper to use whenever you take your puppy outside. Cleaning the poop up immediately, whether it’s your puppy’s or other dogs’ poop, will eliminate the possibility of the puppy eating it.
2. Have your vet check your puppy for parasites. You should make sure your puppy is in good health and definitely keep your vet in the loop if your puppy is eating poop. Your vet can decide what measures should be taken to make sure your puppy is healthy.
3. Make sure your puppy is well nourished and give him a multivitamin.
4. Try stool eating deterrents.
5. Distract your puppy. Whenever your puppy tries to eat poop, distract him from it and say things like, “leave it,” then reward the puppy with praise or a treat. Do this repeatedly so your puppy will learn not to eat poop.
6. Keep your home clean. If a pet has urinated or pooped on the carpet in your home, it’s important to clean it up with an enzymatic cleaner so the smell will be removed completely. If the smell remains, puppies may return to the area and urinate or poop again, making training your puppy to stop eating poop more difficult. I suggested using an inexpensive product called, Nature’s Miracle.
For tips on stopping your puppy from eating poop, read my article, How to Get a Dog To Stop Eating Poop – Why They Do it and How to Stop It.
Need More Help?
If you’ve tried all these tips and still need help, I can suggest a super effective and inexpensive dog training website called, TheOnlineDogTrainer. com. They have more than 300 step-by-step dog training videos where you get to watch Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan, train dogs on all sorts of behavior issues. Doggy Dan also has a step-by-step puppy training program called, The Puppy Coach.
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