Original Question: Callie loves to eat poop - she will eat her own and our other dog’s. We have tried the powder in the food from our vet and it didn't work. What else can we do? We have read hot sauce or lemon juice may work but we don't want to hurt her. We are willing to try anything! - Angela
Thanks for your question.
The condition you’re dealing with is coprophagia. It’s common and thought to occur as an evolutionary dietary strategy of some animals. There are nutrients that can be produced by the bacteria present in the hindgut which if eaten, can be absorbed in the foregut. This doesn’t necessarily mean your dog has a nutritional deficiency, but she could be manifesting the behaviour for other reasons. You could consider adding a probiotic to her diet, a vitamin mixture, or discuss possible behavioural concerns with your veterinarian. Most cases don’t result in an answer but it can be treated non-specifically.
To eliminate coprophagia, most people use a product from their veterinarian (I cannot provide the name as my license does not allow me to support or endorse a product, service or treatment plan). It’s a powder you add to the food that is tasteless but when it gets digested, it comes out in the stool and makes the ‘poop’ taste awful. When your dog eats one of her own poops, it will taste horrible and a concept of ‘taste aversion’ will kick in. If you feed it to both your dogs then both their poops will be treated which is important here because Callie eats her own and your other dog’s poop. It should be enough to put her off of them for life as long she samples the poops while she is being given the product. Keep in mind, it won’t work if your dog is eating poop of another dog that is not receiving the product.
Dr. Clayton Greenway