Poopsicles – Winter Stool ‘Recycling’

The Merck veterinary manual lists stool eating as so common among dogs that it is considered normal behavior. Most owners find it pretty awful to live with though.

Stool eating may damage teeth and lead to dental disease as well as dental staining. It can increase chances for infection with intestinal parasites. Plus no one really wants a poopy kiss from their pet! Wintertime when the stools are frozen in ice or snow presents more opportunities for consumption of ‘fresh’ stool preserved in Natures Refrigerator.

There is a lot of speculation on why dogs eat their own or other’s stools. Perhaps it is something they learned watching their mother clean up after her pups. Perhaps it has to do with diet and caging in a commercial breeding facility if the pup started its life there. Maybe the dog has an intestinal parasite causing stool to move through the system so fast that not all the food is digested. Most likely, in an adult dog, it’s the fact they can detect nutrients still available in the stool and so to the dog it smells like food. In winter the cold temperatures can keep the nutrients ‘fresh’ enough to interest the dogs in their found ‘treat’. In the summer the heat and rapid drying of the stool makes it less appealing when found.

Some people find products such as FOR-BID Stool-eating preventative or Excel Deter Coprophagia Treatment or other similar products meant to make stool taste bad work well to keep their dogs from eating their stools. Some find digestive enzyme products work to make the stool less appetizing by leaving less undigested food in the stool.

You can read more about coprophragia (stool eating) hereIf a medical issue such as parasites isn’t found or the food additives do not work for your dog, only extensive training on your part will work to eliminate this behavior. Teaching the Leave It command can be useful for this. This video goes over teaching that command so you can use it while working with your dog on leaving stool alone.


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