As a new pet parent, you are probably delighted at your puppy’s antics. They do a lot of simple, stupid, yet fun things to watch…except when they start eating poop. You’re probably wondering why your little pooch is doing it.
The consumption of ones’ own or other animal’s droppings is what you call coprophagia. This behavior is normal for mom-dogs since they clean up after their puppies. Then, some of their pups mimic this behavior. This can appear starting at the age of 4 to 9 months.
Other animals’ waste like cow and horse manure are sometimes appealing to our puppies too. This is because of the taste of the undigested food like corn and other ingredients.
Cat poop may also be appealing to them because cat food has more protein compared to dog food. Because of that, their waste may also taste good for your little pup.
Sometimes, he does it out of boredom too. Puppies that are left with nothing to do doesn’t have anything to spend their time with.
Waving your hand, shouting, or chasing your puppy around wouldn’t help if your puppy starts eating poop. He might actually find this entertaining and get more encouraged to play poopy-keep-away.
Some puppies outgrow this habit. Unfortunately, others don’t. Among the breeds that are prone to this behavior are Shih Tzu. So here are a few tips on how you can stop your puppy from eating poops:
- Since one of the reasons why your puppy is to get your attention, he may interpret your yelling as a reward. Instead, don’t speak or make an eye contact with him. Interrupt him by shaking a canister full of pennies or by clapping your hands.
- Increase his playtime to at least 20 minutes if you think he’s doing it out of boredom. Exercise him twice a day. Give him more toys when you’re not home so he’d have something to play with. Fill his treat-spiked toy with peanut butter for him to have tastier and healthier alternative.
- Walk your puppy on a leash. Lead him away after he does his business. If he’s not on leash, train him to “come” to you and sit. This way he’d have no access to his droppings. Then, give him reward once he leaves the stool alone.
- Because there are dogs that eat their stool that aren’t thoroughly processed, switch to more digestible food. The change on his diet must be gradual or he could suffer from tummy issues. Consult your vet for recommendation.
- Add a spoonful of spinach, canned pumpkin or pineapple, or even a dash of MSG for his stool to become unappealing.
- Do not leave the cat box uncleaned for a long time. There are automatic cat boxes that sweep the poop into a bin minutes after the cat defecates.
- Keep the cat’s litter box away from your puppy’s reach. Cover it if the cat doesn’t object. Just ensure that the cat still has access to it.
- Install a baby gate. This will keep your dog away from the cat’s domain.
- Add a spoonful of canned pumpkin or a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the food of your cat. This will change your cat’s stool’s taste or consistency, making it less appealing to your dog.
- Lastly, if you really can’t be there to oversee, muzzle your pup.