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Thread: Advice Needed - Dog Eating Faeces

  1. #1

    Red face Advice Needed - Dog Eating Faeces

    Hello all -

    I am hoping someone could help me. I have a beautiful dog (red heeler cross whippet) that we rescued from the RSPCA a year ago. He had been abused and has always been timid. We have had him in dog training and he has been loving it. Really seems to be a lot more confident.

    Over the last 2-3 months he has taken to eating other animal faeces in the park where we walk him. he will dig up cat faeces in the yard and eat duck / bird faeces in the park. I have been told this is normal but it has become an obsession. He will now pull away from us to go toward the bushes where there are a lot to eat. He used to play with us and chase a ball but now he wont even look at us when we call him and only sniffs the ground.

    We dont know what to do. We worry about his health from eating them and he seems even more timid than ever now. It is so sad to watch him change so much when he was coping really well.

    Does anyone have any advice / ideas... please?

    Thank you so much

  2. #2
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    It is normal, believe it or not. Disgusting, but normal.

    I am yet to meet a dog that doesn't consider cat feaces a delicacy. Eeerrgggh! I have to immediately clean the kitty litter tray at home when my cat goes to the toilet to ensure the dogs do not eat it.

    I also have a Pug that sits under the other dogs butts (like they are a Mr Whippy machine) and catches it as it comes out. *GROSSS!!!*

    If he is too timid to reprimand, perhaps a muzzle would work when you are out?? I reprimand when I can but my dogs are not timid.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  3. #3
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    I should add, this is called caprophagia. It is sometimes linked to a lack of nutrients, illness and other things but in my personal experience, it is just a behaviour that is picked up for variousa reasons.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    I should add, this is called caprophagia. It is sometimes linked to a lack of nutrients, illness and other things but in my personal experience, it is just a behaviour that is picked up for variousa reasons.
    Thankfully I have only ever had one dog in my lifetime who did this! Anne, the image I'm getting is hilarious, I'm sorry.

    Yes it has been linked for a long time, but did anybody ever come up with actual proof that nutrient and digestion deficiency is the culprit?

  5. #5
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    Also I can't see Op that the fact that your dog seems even more timid now could possibly have anything to do with his habit.

    Does the dog eat their own faeces in your own yard, other than cat/duck etc?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devil's Advocate View Post
    Yes it has been linked for a long time, but did anybody ever come up with actual proof that nutrient and digestion deficiency is the culprit?
    Not that I know of. Personally, I think it happens for many reasons. They watch mum do it when they are pups, they watch another dog do it, they think it smells nice and try it and realsie they like it, they want to 'cover their tracks'..... all different things.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  7. #7
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    I agree, I think there are a myraid of reasons for it occurring. Perhaps if it DOES have something to do with nutrition etc (and I am dubious) that is only one of the many reasons.

  8. #8

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    Thank you both - he only eats the stuff he finds in the park. never his own or our other dogs in the backyard...

    He is so timid so we dont want to correct him as he cowers if we even raise our voice in fun... so we feel a bit stuck.

    He also seems anxious / stressed so I was worried he was doing it cause something else was wrong. I am glad it isnt too unusual.

    :-)

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