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Let me go over this issue for you. This is called Coprophagia. Many dogs eat their own feces. Some eat any feces they find. Cat feces seem to be a favorite. No cause has been determined as to why dogs do this though some believe it may be a dietary deficiency while others believe it to be an obsessive compulsion disorder.
Not all expensive dog foods are quality dog foods. A high quality dog food really should have meat as the first ingredient, so check you dog food. If you are not feeding your dog a high quality dog food, you may wish to try switching foods. Your dog's food is probably fine, but it is best to check to be on the safe side.
Some believe that if a dog is experiencing mal absorption problems the stool will smell like food and thus the dog eats it thinking it is food. If your dog is eating it's own stool, then perhaps there is a malabsorption issue. Perhaps adding a probiotic to his food or a little yogurt will add some good bacteria to the stomach and help the digestive system.
Some dogs learn this behavior from their moms since they keep the den clean, but since you dog started it so late in life, I doubt it is a learned condition. As parasites are contracted frequently through feces, your dog should be tested for parasites. Parasites can also cause a dog to not get the nutrients they should from the food. Here are some sites on parasites and protozoan infections. Your vet can run a fecal test to check for this.
Blood tests can be run to rule out a medical cause. I'd probably have a fecal test done, deworm him first and possibly bloodwork done if he hasn't had it done recently. If all that is negative, the best thing to do is try and curb your dog's tendency to do it.
Number one thing to do is to get the temptation out of the picture by removing feces out of the yard as soon as possible and keep it cleaned up. You can also put hot sauce or other pepper product on them so the dog finds then terrible tasting. There are over the counter products such as FORBID that you can give your dog daily to prevent this condition. They work in some cases and if it works for you, then it’s an easy solution. You can buy them at most pet stores. :This only works if your dog eats its own fecal matter and does not work for every dog..
It will be harder to treat if your dog eats it’s own feces right after going. You will need to be with your dog when it is going and divert your dog away from it, praising your dog when it does not try and eat it. A firm “leave it” and correction should be said when he tries to eat it and comes in handy in the future for other items you do not want your dog eating.
You can read more about Coprophagia here.
Try to not pick up his fecal matter when he is watching. Some dogs seem to think you are picking it up, so you must want it for yourself and will quickly eat it before you can take it. I'd walk him, put him inside and go back out and pick up the fecal matter. Of course if he defecates on a walk, you have no choice but to pick it up immediately unless your neighbors are understanding about you coming back to pick it up.
I hope this helps you with this frustrating and all too common problem and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
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Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/