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Corophagia

Dog Cleaning PoopMost dogs love a tasty snack now and then, but there’s one tidbit that they really should not be eating.  Feces!  Why some dogs insist on tasting these “droppings” remains a mystery.  The medical term (yes, there is an actual medical term) for eating feces, whether it be their own or someone else’s, is corophagia.  Corophagia is the habit of eating stool.  And it’s really gross!  Believe it or not though, it’s not an abnormal behavior.  A mama dog will eat her pup’s feces to keep the nest clean and puppies like to investigate everything with their mouths, sometimes consuming the little nuggets, but most will grow out of the habit after their first year.  Corophagia has been described as a compulsive obsession in some dogs and may also be due to inadequate amounts of food or an under-stimulating environment.  Some dogs will eat their own stool, another dog’s stool, or the cat’s stool.  Some will only eat it in the winter when it’s frozen solid (poopsicles).  It’s a very strange habit (at least from a human perspective) and one that dog owners would like to stop completely.  For most cases, coprophagy can be positively treated with a combination of changes such as diet, with the addition of digestive enzymes and probiotics, and exercise.  Also teaching your dog the “leave it” command comes in very handy when he’s trying to acquire a little goody from the cat’s litter box.  Yuck!

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