Thanks for your question regarding your 7 year old boy Coco who you spotted eating his own faeces this morning! Don't panic - this isn't an all too uncommon issue with dogs. This condition is otherwise known as coprophagia, and is a very annoying habit, but with time and a little training, it is a habit that can be broken. Given this is the first time you have seen this happen and that there is another dog staying with you, it could definitely be due to stress! There are many other theories as to why a puppy or adult dog will eat feces (poop) including:
1.) Because of a vitamin deficiency, the poop offers something that they are not getting from their daily meals
2.) This behavior could be an instinct passed on from before dog domestication - mother dogs would eat their pup's feces to cover their trail from predators
3.) Or it could be that they just like the taste of it.
While this is a natural behavior in dogs, understandably humans find the behavior quite repulsive. Obviously the easiest way to stop a dog from eating his own feces is to remove the poop before he has chance to eat it as you have been. If your boy is an indoor dog, you can use that to your advantage. When he goes to the door to be let outside, quickly run outside to clean up any stools that might be in the yard, or follow him outside and if he poops, clean it up before he gets a chance to eat it!
When you are home you could try lacing some of your boy's stools with pepper or bitter apple or perhaps you could try Tabasco sauce, or lemon juice. However, some dogs will eat the poop regardless of the taste. There is a product on the market called Forbid that is added to a dog's diet to make feces distasteful, though this is not always effective - you could definitely give it a go with Coco! Some people have added pineapple or spinach to their dogs diet, while others use a meat tenderizer. This makes the poop less palatable. You could also try to teach your boy not to touch his feces by issuing a reprimand when he goes to eat it. Leave a stool in your yard, then when he begins to eat it, squirt him with cold water or make a loud noise (such as shaking a can of pebbles) and growl loudly at him. If you do this consistently, he will soon come to associate the two, which will hopefully put him off eating any more feces.
Best of luck with Coco and keep in touch with his progress. Don't forget to click an excited face :-D if this has been helpful. Please be sure to reply using the REPLY TO EXPERT
button if you need any further help or advice.
Bonuses & positive feedback (5 STARS OR AN EXCITED FACE :-D ) are always welcomed and very much appreciated
If you have any further questions in the future, I would be more than happy to help you again! Just bookmark my profile: Pet-Doc and ask a question via the question box.