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Adry, Dog expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 229
Experience:  Former AAHA approved animal hospital assistant, author of various pet health related articles
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beagle basset mix: 1 1/2 years old is eating his own poop..behavioral

Customer Question

My beagle basset mix puppy about 1 1/2 years old is eating his own poop? Is it a behavioral issue or natural?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Adry replied 8 years ago.
The main concern I can think of is that by eating its own stool your puppy may get continuos re-infestation with parasites if the dog 's stools test positive for parasites/worms. This behavior is pretty common even though the name for this habit sounds complicated, it is called coprophagia. The causes may be various so let's review some of the most common to shed some light on this distasteful habit . From a health related point of view eating feces may be the result of some malabsorption issue. The feces contain some undigested food resulting somewhat appetible to the dog. In other cases the dog may be lacking nutrients that may be found in feces or the dog may simply be hungry. A common cause is a dog eating too fast and therefore the food is undigested thus tastier. You can slow puppy down if he eats fast by adding large pebbles in the food bowl-careful though if he tends to eat rocks- Psychologically, a dog may decide to eat feces because of boredom or stress. Boredom can be relieved by giving more toys or keeping the dog occupied in other activities. Some dogs have also been seen eating their feces when they have been punished for inappropriate elimination, so the pet perceives that feces are bad if the owner sees them around and therefore decides to eat them to make them disappear.In any case eating feces is bad because the puppy may ingest parasites continously infecting and reinfesting itself. The behaviour must be stopped. Make sure the pet's diet is complete and that he is fed properly.Slow him down if he eats too fast. There are special products available to put on the feces to make them taste awful. If you catch your dog in action say NO loud and get his attention to something else. Pick up feces the best you can so there are less chances of enforcing the behavior. Prevent boredom by providing plenty of stimulation. As stated beforethere are some special products you may find in pet stores which can make stools taste awful to stop the habit-a good one is called DETER or FORBIDyou can find these in your local pet store or buy it online or you can try to give your dog some canned pineapple as this will make his feces very distasteful or you can put some chili pepper directly on the poop so he will hopefully become discouraged. I hope all this info has helped you. My best wishes and Good luck!

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