Coprophagia (the Practise of Eating Poo)

by | Nov 19 2017

COPROPHAGIA is the practise of eating poo (faeces).

Coprophagia is a behavioural condition whereby puppies and dogs consume their stool. It is a common habit in some dogs which can be distressing for the pet owner and unhygienic for the pet.


Coprophagia, however unpleasant, is not an abnormal behaviour for a dog. Bitches naturally consume their own pup’s faeces to keep the den clean and disease free and in the wild to stop unwanted attention from potential predators..

Also, many puppies go through an oral stage in which they taste and explore everything with their mouths, sometimes ingesting a variety of non-food items, including faeces. This could also be a case of monkey see monkey do – copying the mother.

As time goes by, the majority of pups eventually learn that food tastes better than faeces and they put an end to the poo-eating habit for the rest of their lives. Some older puppies may continue to eat faeces for a few months but most grow out of the habit after the first year. For those that don’t, it can be extremely distressing for the pet owner and unhygienic for the pet.

What can be done?

VetIQ Stool Repel tablets have been specially formulated to help deter this behaviour by making the dogs own stool unpalatable to eat. VetIQ Stool Repel contains Oleoresin Capsicum, a lachrymatory agent, which deters a puppy or dog from eating its own stool by causing a mild irritation to the eyes and a mild burning sensation if the stool is eaten.

It also contains the enzyme, Alpha-Amylase which breaks down starches, improving the animal’s digestive performance. When the active ingredients are ingested by your pet they become activated in the small intestine and will to produce a stool that is unpalatable to the offending dog

Other recommendations that could help break the habit are to feed your dog a high quality super premium diet as these diets product little waste which resembles a husk and is not particularly smelly. Clean up all waste thoroughly and regularly so your dog cannot physically get to any poo. Teach your dog to leave, training classes can help with this.

It is best to apply a whole programme of prevention for at least six months to nip the behaviour in the bud and completely break the habit. If during this time the dog gets access to stool and ingests it, some ground will be lost.

VetIQ Stool Repel functions within the intestine by making your dog’s stool less tasty, therefore, it will not deter dogs from eating other dogs stool.


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