Dogs will eat all sorts poo including dog, cat, bird and wallaby. Consumption of faeces is widespread among animals. In puppies it is a normal behaviour and thought to be the pups copying the mother who usually ‘cleans up’ after the puppies. Most dogs grow out of this habit, some dogs do not.
Causes for coprophagia can include hunger, cleanliness of the environment, stress and/or boredom and social learning (from other dogs). It is more common in younger female dogs and retrievers in particular. Extreme advanced thiamine deficiency and malabsorption syndrome can be related to coprophagia.
If your dog has this habit watch your dog and remove the poo. Keep the cat tray clean and if possible, place it in a spot that the dog cannot access. Clean up after your dog or other dogs in the household when they do a poo.
Do not make a fuss if your dog is eating poo. Distract your dog and remove the poo.
The ‘leave it’ cue is handy here. You can also train your dog to come to you as soon as it has done a poo by using treat rewards.
Some people swear by adding chunks of pineapple to the dog’s diet for 6 – 8 weeks.
Changing the consistency of the poo to a softer stool for a period may stop the practice.