Sunday, July 19, 2009

Labrador Retriever eating cat poop and his own poop

Subject: Labrador Retriever eating cat poop and his own poop.

From: Stewart (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: Bo Jingle

Reader's e-mail - Stewart Writes:

My Labrador Retriever, Bo Jingle has recently started eating our two cats poop as well as his own poop. This is so disgusting and we know that it is not good for him. They all share our back yard space together and would hate to have to section off a piece of the yard just for Bo Jingle.

Is there anything I can do to stop Bo Jingle from doing this?

Regards,

Stewart (USA)

All About Labradors blog Answer:

The information given here is to help you learn more about your Labrador Retriever and not to replace your veterinarian's advice. Disclaimer

Hello Stewart and thank you for visiting as well as writing.

A common issue for dogs and one that is particularly disturbing for us Labrador Retriever owners is stool-eating, technically known as Coprophagia. There are many different factors which can contribute to this behavior, which makes it difficult to pinpoint an exact cause for every case.

Here are a few reasons why your Labrador Retriever may be eating his feces:

* Inadequate nutrition / nutrient deficiency
* Hunger
* Digestive disorder
* Stress
* Bored or lonely
* Cleaning and maintaining their space
* Hiding evidence
* Parasites or worms
* To gain attention

There are some veterinarians that believe that dogs sensitive sense of smell lures them to some of the most unusual odors.

Here are a few different approaches you might try to help eliminate this behavior:

The first and most important thing to do is to keep your yard or whatever area it is that Bo Jingle and your cats eliminate, thoroughly clean. Try cleaning the yard daily if you don't do so already and if your outside with him when he does eliminate, clean it right away (sounds like a job for the children if you have them :))

You want to make sure that your Labrador Retriever is getting the proper vitamins and nutrients that he requires by feeding him a high quality food.

Be sure to adequately exercise and stimulate your dog - mentally and physically. Increase his access to chew toys or bones to keep him busy. We love the Kong line of toys, bones and treats as they provide physical as well as mental exercise (just make sure you get the right size for your Labrador Retriever and that you discard of them when pieces start to break off).

There are products available that when added to your Labrador Retriever's food, it creates a forbidden and unpalatable taste to the feces. Some products available include:

For-Bid - "Vegetable protein and sodium glutamate work in the digestive system to give stools a bad taste."

Deter Coprophagia Treatment - "8 in 1 Deter Coprophagia Treatment for Dogs discourages the habit-forming tendency to consume feces. Studies have shown that using this product is up to 98% effective in stopping this disturbing behavior!"

NaturVet Coprophagia Deterrent - "Helps deter dogs from consuming their own stools or other dog's stools."

Another alternative you could try is mixing a meat tenderizer like Adolf's into Bo Jingle's food with each meal, as it is supposed to have the same effect as For-Bid.

You may also try adding some hot sauce to the stool. Locate the stool in your yard, split it in half lengthwise, add some hot sauce such as Tabasco or Habanero sauce and put it back together so that the dog is not aware of the hot sauce until it eats the stool (I know this sounds disgusting but it might help). It will not harm your Labrador Retriever but will make it uncomfortable to eat. After a couples of bites, Bo Jingle may decide it isn't worth eating the poop anymore.

You may want to try to teach Bo Jingle the "Leave It" command to get him to avoid the stool.

Last but not least, if Bo Jingle hasn't had a recent checkup, make sure you schedule one with your veterinarian.

Please take care of yourself and Bo Jingle,
Fay

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