Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Stool Eating

The correct name for stool eating is Coprophagy, and while it is an unsightly habit it is rather natural for dogs. This practice is a hold over from prehistoric times, in preparation for the winter months, which is why this problem tends to be more of an issue in the fall months. People report that the frequency of the coprophagy increased during the winter months, and that the dogs most likely to eat stools, were also the ones that exhibit the most instinctual behaviors i.e. stalking, chasing, pointing, digging, nesting, tracking etc. It makes sense this behavior could also be a residual survival instinct which might explain why it was more prevalent in the winter; a time when food would have been scarce and double processing would insure getting the most nutrients from available food sources.

The fact is, dogs are scavengers - they are nature's trash cans. In spite of the fact that we treat them like children. They have lived off the leftovers and trash of human kind for hundreds of thousands of years. Which is why dogs and man came to depend on each other. The wild dogs would serve the purpose of cleaning up the campsite, so when humans pulled up camp and moved on, there was no evidence of them being there. The relationship between man and dog served a purpose for both, the humans provided food and the dogs covered the tracks of the humans, which lessens the chances of being attacked by other predators (human or animal).

Dogs are not only carnivores, they will eat anything that is not tied down....from roadkill, fresh killed prey, garbage, human food, processed food, fruits, nuts berries, rocks, twigs, bugs and feces - human, other critters feces such as deer or horses (predigested vegetation), and last but not least, their own feces. It is a very normal part of their social/dominance behavior (gag.)

Dogs tend to like to play with frozen stools, tossing around as if they were a ball, flaunting their "poopsicles", and frequently consuming them as if they were the tastiest treat on earth. Unfortunately, this is kind of behavior is rather normal. Also dogs tend to think cat "doodies" are a real treat too, but in this instance there is still usable protein in cat stool, so for them it is a functional treat.

Once in a while this problem of stool eating can be stopped by feeding a good diet along with digestive and dietary enzymes supplementation. On the other hand, some breeds are notorious for stool eating, and NO diet, be it raw or processed will stop them from thinking stool eating is just the neatest thing to do. I highly suggest a chance to the Blackwatch Feed Program. It may not stop the stool eating, but I guarantee your dogs will be healthier in the long run. Keep in mind, if your dog is consuming stool, they will need to be checked for parasites on a regular basis so consult your vet and avoid kisses if at all possible.

This is a great website for "appropriate" treats for your pet.

For great healthy dog treats -(not for the faint of heart)

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