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Ask Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP Your Own...
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP, Small Animal Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience:  DABVP, Specialist in Canine and Feline Medicine, Veterinarian since 2000
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Hello, Our 13 1/2 week old golden retriever puppy has just

Customer Question

Our 13 1/2 week old golden retriever puppy has just been sick. He brought his tea back up. We think it's because he went in the garden just after he had his tea and before we could get to him he'd eaten his own poo! He's on what I thought was a good brand of puppy food (Hills Science Plan, Puppy food for larger breed dogs) and I weigh it out accordingly to how much he weighs (he's on four meals a day). Do you think that eating the poo caused him to be sick? He's otherwise absolutely fine in himself, still running round (with his sister, our other puppy) and being a typical puppy and into everything. He seems to be looking for more food, I guess he may be hungry as he didn't keep any of his tea down. Should I feed him anything more tonight, I do have some chicken and rice if you think that would be advisable? Also, is there anything I can do (apart from watch him more carefully) to stop him eating his poo. I've heard you can add things to their food to make the poo taste bad, would you recommend this and if so, what would be best please?
Many thanks,
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 5 years ago.
I am Dr. Devlin and I am a Board Certified Specialist in Canine and Feline Practice.

Hi Tracy, and thank you for your post. Your little guy sounds adorable!

With just 1 episode of vomiting, as long as he is bright and alert and still playful, like you've described, I would take a conservative approach.

It's possible that fecal ingestion caused the vomiting - bacteria in the colon that contaminates stool can cause vomiting.

I would watch him for 2-4 hours after the vomiting, and then slowly start him back on water, 1 TB every 15 minutes for an hour. If he holds that down, slowly increase. In 4-6 hours, if still no vomiting and he is acting hungry, you could give him a small meal tonight - about 1/2 of his normal meal. Chicken and rice tonight is a fine idea.

If no more vomiting, by tomorrow he should be ready to go back to his regular food. If more vomiting occurs, we will need to rethink our plan.

As far as ingesting stool - you can correct him with an immediate "No" or tug on the leash, followed with giving him something he is allowed to eat or play with (negative correction with an immediate positive). You can also practice with putting out stool and leading him to it with a command to Leave IT, then backing up - praising him and rewarding him when he leaves it.

There are a number of other potential ways to intervene, but consistency is the key. Forbid (a powder he would eat, that makes the stool taste undesirable) is one product - also lacing the stool with pepper, etc - however, if the approach is intermittent, he won't learn. Best to pick up all stool, and when he is out, supervise him so that you can correct when he does attempt to eat, and then practice when he is on a leash.

I hope this helps and that he has no further stomach upset!

Please give him several hugs for me, and let me know how else I can help.
Laura Bacon
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


I thought I would wait until today to reply to let you know how he was doing. He seems back to normal again now :) he had a little bit of chicken and rice last night and then back to his normal food again today and he's been for a lovely walk on the beach and is now asleep at my feet, very content. Many thanks for your reply last night, it put my mind at rest.

Thanks again,



Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 5 years ago.

Thank you so much for the update! I'm glad he is back to normal, and I have to admit I'm a bit jealous about the walk on the beach and the nap!! It IS a dog's life! Well, I guess i'm not so jealous about eating the stool, but then again, I guess I've never tried it...

Please give him lots of kisses and hugs from me!
You're welcome and take care,

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