A really gross topic here but very common behavior problem is people have dogs to eat poop. nWith lots of things we can try to get our dog to stop this behavior, but first I want to go over why do dogs do this in the first place.
How to stop my Shih Tzu from eating poop. You can add natural products like Pineapple or Papaya juice or you can use pills from your veterinarian that will make your dog’s poop taste and smell bad. You can also train your dog to leave poop alone, we discuss all the methods and which is best for your dog.
Three Reasons Why Shih Tzu Eat Their Own Poop
There are a lot of theories as to why dogs eat their own poop there’s none that I’ve actually been scientifically proven, but a lot of the theories make a lot of sense, one of these theories is simply that your dog is hungry.
Hunger – Dogs in the wild that are malnourished don’t get enough food and have been observed many times eating other animals poop or eating their own poop because they’re hungry and they’re just looking for something to eat.
If your dog is underweight or is eating poop check to make sure that we’re feeding him the appropriate amount of food.
Nutrition – Another reason that dogs can eat your poop is the lack of nutrition, and when I say lack of nutrition I’m referring to not getting enough minerals and vitamins and iron in their diet.
So in a dog’s mind if they eat the poop again and they process it again maybe they will get that nutrition that they didn’t get the first time.
Boredom – A very common thing that has been proven and that your dog is bored. He doesn’t have anything else to do in the backyard, you left him alone, he poops, he runs around the yard a few times and now you look for something to do. Instead of digging holes he decides to eat the poop.
So we want to make sure if that is the case that we always leave our dogs with things to do. We wanted people to have a way to say to our dog, this is what I want you to do what I’m not home. Puzzle toys, bones are a great way to do that.
What To Put In Dog Food To Stop Eating Poop
OK so these are three of the large reasons why dogs tend to eat their own poop, so how do we stop our Shih Tzu from eating their own poop?
Luckily there are a lot and lots of things we can try, the first thing I want to talk about is things that we can do that don’t require you to be there.
The first thing we can do is add stuff to our dog’s food. When we feed them we can add a few things and these have been proven to be quite effective.
Does Pineapple Stop Dogs Eating Poop?
First you can try adding pineapple juice to your dog’s food. You put pineapple juice right in the dog food, when it goes through their digestive system and they poop it out for whatever reason it just makes the poop taste bad.
They eat the poop that has been processed through their body with the pineapple juice and they spit it right out. I don’t know if it’s the taste of it or it makes it smell differently and it can smell unappealing.
I tried it with a few dogs and it has stopped them eating it both ways. Some of them just smell it and leave it alone, I have seen others that pick it up in their mouths and spit it right out because the pineapple juice made it taste bad.
You can also add papaya juice which helps digestion by breaking down the protein in your dog’s food.
Another thing to try is MSG, it sounds crazy but it’s actually quite effective. I find it’s more effective than the pineapple juice.
Same thing, when you go to feed your dog you just sprinkle it on top, give them the bowl the next day same thing happens. They smell their poop and the smell has changed so that’s the deterrent. Sometimes they actually have to eat it and the taste has changed and that’s the deterrent.
Another idea is adding an ingredient to your dogs food so it helps him or her to properly and completely digest their food or make the poop smell offensive to the dog.
So you can add: Broccoli, Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts, help digestion and contain a high sulphur content when digested smell very offensive to dogs.
Meat tenderizers contain natural vegetable enzymes which break down protein fibres, using meat tenderizers comes with some negative feedback as it contains MSG And off course there is the “Coprophagia” supplements they are products which produce the same effect as natural products I just mentioned.
If you ask me what would I use out of these options I would definitely stick with the natural option like the broccoli and cabbage or the papaya and pineapple juice because they are natural choices with no side effects.
I might even try the meat tenderizers & be sure they don’t contain MSG but I will definitely
keep the supplements as my last choice.
Both of these things are food additives you can try but how much do I add to my dogs food?
I don’t know the kind of food you feed your dog, I don’t know how much your dog weighs so I can’t give you any dosages for every single weight of dog and every single food.
If you are unsure I would always advise you to speak to your veterinarian and they would be able to tell you what the right amount is for your dog.
These are things we can add to your dogs food but there are pills that you can buy and these aren’t anything you need to get from your veterinarian. You can just get these from a local local pet store or online from Amazon.
These and similar to the pineapple juice or the MSG, you just give it to your dog at meal times, it goes with your body and next day it makes it smell different or taste different.
So these are three items you can just add to the food so when he goes poop when you are not there and he goes to eat his poop these bad smells and tats will put him off from eating his own poop.
These are a few things you can try, you can try them and see what works for you, just because it works for one dog doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for another.
Now let me mention these are what you can do at times when you’re not there. It’s going to be a lot easier the times you are there with your dog when he goes to the bathroom.
One thing that you can try when you are there is hot sauce, regular old hot sauces like Tabasco. So just carry it out with you when you take your dog out to go to the bathroom and when your dog poops just cover the poop with the hot sauce before they can eat it.
They will go to smell it and usually the smell is enough to put them off. The Tabasco sauce has such a strong smell and dogs noses are so sensitive that just the smell alone will usually be a deterrent.
My dog has now learned that just the sight of a bottle of hot sauce he goes running because he knows what that smells like, and if they go to eat it odds are they’re not going to eat it again because it’s such a bad taste.
Additionally you need to work on teaching a dog to leave it. That’s very important especially if you have a dog who eats other dogs poop, because all of these things aren’t really going to work if you’re out for a walk and your dogs off leash and he eats some other dogs poop.
One more thing you can do is to keep the yard clean. OK mother dogs will have puppies and it’s not uncommon for them to eat their puppies poop because they’re trying to keep the area clean.
If you are in the habit of letting your dogs poop pile up make sure we are doing our best to keep it clean because if we’re not, it’s almost a dog doing the cleanup for you.
I’m guilty of that myself sometimes. I send my dog out into the yard for a poop and my dog goes to the bathroom in just one section of the yard. I have a gravel area that’s about 6 foot by 5 foot and that’s the only area he goes to poop.
If I’m not good about cleaning it up, then it starts to pile up very very quickly because that’s the only area if he goes. So make sure that you focus on cleaning up the poop so he doesn’t have to leave it up to your dog to do it.
There are lots of things you can try like adding things to your dogs food because it’s a little bit less work on your part. It’s nice if you can just add them to the food and then that does the job for you.
If not, work on some training with your dog. Teach him to leave it, cleaning up and the hot sauce trick that works really well.
You can try the bitter sprays too but I think the hot sauce is more effective. You have to do it one time and then you’re done as opposed to the bitter spray. It works sometimes, yeah it’s unpleasant but it’s not so unpleasant that your dog may pick it up a few more times.
There are lots of stuff you can try and remember to give your veterinarian a call if you are not sure about how much pineapple juice or MSG etc to put in your dog food otherwise try the pills. All or just one of these suggestions can hopefully get your dog’s poop eating habit under control.
Coprophagia is a fancy word for a very disgusting habit that many dogs have eating their stool. As disgusting as it may seem Coprophagia seldom does any harm to your dog’s, but what causes it, there are three main reasons for Coprophagia dogs.
Number one is medical, number two is behavioral and number three is nutritional. Let’s take a moment and examine the medical issues that may arise that caused coprophagia in animals.
The first reason is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, the second one is pancreatitis, the third one is intestinal infections, the fourth one is malabsorption syndromes and the last one is over feeding, especially foods that are high in fat content.
Now because of these medical issues, the very first thing you should do when you first notice that your dog starts eating its waste or the waste of another animal is to talk with your veterinarian.
I am NOT a doctor so I cannot go into great detail about these issues but I’m sure that your vet can go into much greater detail than I regarding these medical reasons.
Let’s move on to the behavioral reasons.
There are many behavioral reasons that are hypothesized by experts in the field as to why dogs will engage in coprophagia.
The first behavioral reason is attention seeking behavior. Some dogs when they don’t feel like they’re getting the attention that they need will start eating their dog waste, and as a result owners will often correct them and this negative attention is still attention to the animal.
Some people would suggest that you should simply ignore the problem in hopes it’ll go away but we will talk about some other solutions later on in this article.
The second behavioral reason is mimicry, this is a learned behavior. For some dogs that spend time in a shelter situation may observe another dog in the shelter eating its waste or the waste of another animal. As it notices this it picks it up and adopts this behavior as its own at home.
If you’re a good pet owner and you clean up after your dog every time it goes there’s a good chance your dog will begin to associate this idea that when the waste comes out it gets cleaned up. And so by understanding this your dog will begin to help keep the yard clean and the only way it knows how which is eating the waste.
Why Do Female Dogs Eat Their Poop?
The third behavioral reason is maternal. Now this is an instinctive behavior of mother dogs, they will intuitively clean off the bottoms of their pups and keep their nesting area clean.
Mother dogs will actually often eat their puppies’ poop, and some scientists believe this could be a behavioral adaptation to avoid parasites in the wild. You see, most dogs, and other carnivores will poop away from their dens, so they don’t come into contact with larval parasites in their feces, accidentally reinfecting themselves and increasing their parasite load.
But puppies can’t leave the den, so mothers will often eat their puppies’ fresh feces before the parasite eggs inside the poop become infectious. Puppies will often mimic this behavior, but most will grow out of it by adulthood.
That said, according to the American Kennel Club, about 16 percent of dogs are “serious stool eaters.” So, you should definitely see your vet to determine if the cause of your dog’s coprophagia could be related to his or her health.
The fourth behavioral reason is dominance behavior. Some dogs are trying to assert themselves as the alpha dog, and so what they’ll do is they’ll adopt the attitude of “I’m top dog so I’m gonna eat your waste” and that’s how they will assert their dominance over non dominant dogs.
The last behavioral reason that dogs engage in coprophagia is reinforcement behavior, basically what this means is that the dogs begin to develop a taste for the waste.
Dogs will begin to eat their waste, they’ll develop a palate for the waste and once they realize that the dog waste is actually pleasing to them they will continue to do it. They do this because it lights up the positive reinforcement centers of their brain and they continue to do this behavior somewhat compulsively.
Alternatively, the coprophagia could be due to anxiety or environmental stress. For example, according to the American Kennel Club, if a dog is severely punished when it poops in the wrong place.
It might get the wrong idea and assume it was punished because it was pooping. So in the future, it may eat its feces to hide the evidence.
The final reason that dogs will engage in coprophagia is nutritional. What this means is that you may be feeding a low-quality food or it has inadequate nutrition for them or it’s simply an unbalanced diet altogether.
What you can do is upgrade your food to make sure that your dog is getting all of the nutritional requirements that it needs and that it has a balanced diet.
So what can be done to stop Coprophagia?
There’s no one reason that anyone seems to agree on but one that absolutely works every single time is to clean up after the dog. Why does this work? First of all if there’s no waste in the yard there’s nothing to tempt your dog to eat it, so it’s very important that if you want to stop Coprophagia that you clean up after your dogs every time.
When I used to work in a clinic many years ago we would get the question all the time about “what can I do to stop my dog from eating its waste?” Vet clinics do have some products that they can give you to help make the waste unpalatable but what is often cited as a means to make waste unpalatable.
There is one thing that all pet owners need to be worried about and that’s parasites. Now if you take your dog for a walk along your neighborhood or you take them down to the dog park and your dog engages in Coprophagia by eating the waste of another animal your dog could come in contact with parasites such as roundworm or hookworm.
And in the case that your dog is eating your cat’s waste right out of the litter box, there’s a chance that your dog could become infected with a parasite known as toxoplasma gondii which causes the disease toxoplasmosis in your dog and can be very dangerous to pregnant women.
In light of this it’s often suggested that you train your dog to avoid the waste altogether. If you notice that your dog is going towards waste they need to know the leave it command, you can teach them leave it but it’s going to require a great deal of persistence on your part and consistency over time to teach them this command.
So that they do not go near the waste when they listen to you and they do not go near the waste you need to reward them as positively as you can, it would not hurt to also add a recall command into the mix.
My Dog Ate Poop How Do I Clean His Mouth?
Your dog has eaten some poop so how should you clean their mouth? To get your dogs mouth clean we brush their teeth with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
The tools that you’ll need are a toothbrush, hydrogen peroxide, cup of water baking soda and a bowl to mix everything in.
This segment is about brushing your dog’s teeth with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, the reason why you would use hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is because the hydrogen peroxide is about killing bacteria in the poop and then the baking soda is about freshening the breath.
The item first that you need is a toothbrush. Most people are always going to use a child’s toothbrush because it’s small, it’s not as bulky and it’s easier to maneuver inside of a dog’s mouth, especially a little dog like a Shih Tzu.
But if you have a larger dog and you need to cover more ground feel free to use an adult toothbrush.
Some dogs aren’t a big fan of putting foreign objects into their mouths so if your dog is one of those people, feel free to use your finger mouth just like you use a toothbrush. Nice and simple and as long as you get it on their teeth you should be just fine.
What you want to do is take your bowl and mix some hydrogen peroxide, not a lot, I would say maybe a bottle top full. Add in some water to dilute and then add in your baking soda and stir it together.
You want it to get to a nice thick consistency as you mix it together, once you have it you’re going to scoop it up onto your toothbrush.
How to get your dog to sit still
This is kind of tricky because a lot of dogs aren’t always a fan of getting their teeth brushed so the more that you play with your dog’s mouth the easier and or fun experience this is gonna be for them. All you want to do is make sure you have some treats and practice.
Take your finger or toothbrush and go all in the mouth, lift the lips behind and make sure that she understands that putting her hand or something in her mouth is not a scary thing. The more you do this the happier you will be and the easier it’ll be on your dog.
How To Get Her To Open Their Mouth
Take your hand put it on the bottom of their chin, thumb on one side forefinger on the other and then just take your forefinger on the back of the lip and go all the way back. She opens her mouth or at least will give you a nice pretty smile for you to do what you need to do.
Again if you have a big dog who’s not gonna sit as still ask a friend to help and then always have treats so that this process can go smoothly.
You really want to make sure you get all the way in the back of the teeth, that’s the most important since that’s where all the poop gets embedded so lift up all the way in the back and then do the same on the other side.
You don’t have to worry about hydrogen peroxide being dangerous, you can drink it as a human as long and we’re using such small amounts that it will not bother your dog but it would be different if they drink an entire bottle
If your dog is not a big fan of the baking soda paste and doesn’t really enjoy the taste go to your local pet supply stores where they will have toothpaste for dogs as well as scope and breath fresheners if that’s something that you’re really looking for to help freshen your dog’s breath.
The beautiful thing about getting the toothpaste from a pet store is that as long as you get it on the teeth then you’re good to go, it will do all the scrubbing and bubbles and making your dog’s breath clean for you.
It also comes in all different kind of flavors, chicken and beef flavors, your dog is sure to love.
So that’s how you brush your dog’s teeth with peroxide and baking soda after they have eaten poop.