How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Eating Poop?

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Eating Poop?Zoey has always had an infatuation with her own poop… and I can’t for the life of me imagine why. What we humans would consider a form of torture, our dogs seem to think is a tasty treat! Why do they do this? Should we be worried? And how can we get them to stop?

Coprophagia is the technical term for eating and ingesting feces. I was relieved to find out that Zoey’s poop fetish is completely normal. Many animal species enjoy the occasional poo-poo platter. 

A Visit To The Vet Is Necessary

In most cases, coprophagia is NOT a sign that your dog has a disease that you should be worried about, but in other cases it can be a sign of an underlying issue. Step 1 if your dog is eating poop is to take her to the vet for tests to make sure she is healthy. Medical conditions that could be causing your dog to eat poop include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Vitamin deficiency 
  • Increased appetite
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Parasites
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Anemia
  • Neurological disease

Jeez… is that all? That’s a lot of medical issues to worry about all because of one disgusting habit that many of us probably assumed was just “a dog being a dog.” But don’t freak out just yet! Most of the time dogs eat poop for non life-threatening reasons.

Your veterinarian will run medical tests to determine if your dog is suffering from any of the diseases or medical conditions that cause some dogs to eat poop. You will also want to discuss your dog’s diet, appetite, nutrition, and environment with your vet. 

Lack Of Nutrients Causing It?

Some dogs have an interest in eating their poop because they aren’t getting enough nutrients in their diet. Sometimes there are food particles in the poop that didn’t get digested. Dogs smell this and think of it as fresh, uneaten food. They may be unable to digest the nutrients the first go-around and eat the partially-digested particles in the poop to meet their nutritional needs. This is the most common reason that dogs eat poop. It tastes good! Even though we can’t possibly begin to understand how… If you believe your dog is eating her poop because she needs better nutrition, consult with your vet or a pet nutritionalist about what diet is best for your dog. 

The ASPCA suggests making sure you’re feeding your dog quality food. They state that you really can’t find high-quality dog food in supermarkets and sometimes can be mislead by the brands at the big box pet stores. The ASPCA suggests finding a quality pet supply store and looks for premium brands with human-grade ingredients. Always read the labels on the dog food you consider purchasing. Choose a brand that has one or more whole meat sources and no meat-by-products. 

Dogs That Eat Other Animals’ Poop

Some dogs don’t just love to eat their own poop, but they will eat other dogs’ poop as well. Our dog Jem will follow Zoey or other dogs around the yard waiting for them to go potty so she can get her stinky snack at it’s freshest. This is also very common in many dogs, but sometimes more risky than a dog eating his own poop. 

It’s important to make sure your dog never ingests the feces of dogs that are strangers. You don’t know if these other dogs are receiving the vaccinations and preventative care that is required to prevent the spread of diseases. If your dog is exposed to other dogs’ poop that is carrying diseases that puts your dog at risk. 

A Mom’s Natural Instinct 

Moms will also eat the feces of their puppies, so puppies may copy this behavior and keep doing it out of habit and curiosity. Once it has become a habit for your dog, it can be difficult to break. But it is definitely possible with the correct training. 

A Technique To Get Attention

Some dogs will eat poop to get attention if they feel punished or neglected. For dogs, any attention is better than no attention at all. A lot of them prefer to be scolded rather than being ignored altogether. Try spending more time with your dog, go for more walks together, and take car rides to show your dog that she is loved and important. 

Your Dog Is A Neat Freak

Other dogs who like a neat and tidy environment will eat their poop to clean their area. Some dogs think they’re doing a great job of cleaning the back yard when they eat their poop. Pups that have an accident inside may also eat their poop in an effort to clean the space.

How Do I Stop This Behavior?

The surest way to avoid your dog eating poop is the watch your dog when she is outside and clean up after her every time she goes #2. This isn’t always realistic for everyone to find the time and means to clean up after your dog every time. Many people don’t pick up their dog’s poop because they don’t want to dispose of it in the trash can and deal with the nasty smell and contamination. You can get a Doggy Dooley for your yard to make clean up sterile and convenient. The Doggy Dooley gets buried in your yard and chemically breaks down poo so you never have to deal with the smell in your trash can when you scoop the poop from the yard. 

Natural Food Additives To Stop Poo-Eating

Many experts believe that the products on the market that claim to discourage your dog from eating poop don’t actually work. There are liquids and powders to add to your dog’s food that claim to make the poop taste bad to the dog and keep him from eating it. Popular opinion is that these are not healthy to use long-term and don’t actually work. Some people have successfully discouraged their dog from eating poop by adding certain human foods to the dog’s food. Pineapple or foods with sulfur such as brussels sprouts or cabbage will discourage the dog from eating his poop. I’m going to try this in Zoey’s food and see if it works!

Correct The Behavior With A Training Collar

You can also use the aid of a training collar to associate the bad behavior with a correction. Consistency is key with this type of training. You’ll have to give your dog a correction every time he tries to eat the poop consistently for a few weeks until he avoids the poop completely. Your dog may regress and go back to his old ways, so you’ll have to reinforce the training later on down the road if/when this happens. 

What Not To Do:

Most importantly, you should always remember what not to do. We want to correct our dogs’ bad behavior, never punish them in a nonconstructive way. Punishment for an act like eating poop will only make your dog more likely to eat the poop next time as a way of “covering up the evidence” to avoid getting punished again. 

There’s been a belief by many people for years that you should rub your dog’s face in urine and feces when you’re potty training. This should never be used as a form of training, according to the ASPCA. If your dog is eating poop, never resort to rubbing her face in it to get her to stop. It won’t work to put an end to the behavior and can only lead to more problems.

Most importantly, never physically hit or harm your dog as a form of punishment for eating poop or any other behavior that you don’t approve of. Dogs are very loyal being by nature, and they want to please their “masters” if they are given the chance. Communicate with your dog in a way that she will understand the cause and effect of her behavior. Physical punishment is not understood by your dog and will only lead to aggression, fear, and acting out.

Do you have any techniques that worked to get your dog to stop eating his/her poop? 

Disturbing Lab Results Prove Top Dog and Cat Food Brands Are Unsafe

Our family is extremely concerned with the quality and safety of our food as well as our dogs’ food. We recently started making our own organic treats at home and posting our recipes to the blog for you to enjoy. The next step in our plan is to make our own homemade dog food, and after reading these lab results we aren’t going to wait any longer to get started! 

I can always count on TheILoveTheDogsSite.com for great content about pets, and this morning I was so happy to come across their article about unsafe pet foods. Pet food consumers just like you and I donated funds to The Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF) to test pet foods sold in North America. This test and it’s results are monumental because this is the first and only time a test of this size has been funded and controlled by concerned consumers themselves instead of a regulatory agency that is in charge of governing and selling pet food. Consumers of these pet food brands are left to wonder if these agencies that have conducted tests in the past were too close to the product and the profit to release accurate and honest results. 

Susan Thixton, Pet Food Safety Advocate at ATPF and author of “Buyer Beware” and co-author of “Dinner PAWSible”, was in charge of leading the test along with industry experts such as Dr. Tsengeg Purejav of INTI Service Corporation who lab tested the foods.

Susan explained that “this is history making. No one has ever taken such an up-close and thorough examination of pet food like this before – and most importantly, this was done by pet food consumers!” Thixton said the pet food testing results are “shocking and little did we know we’d find serious risks to ourselves and our human families too.”

The six top dog food brands tested include:

The six top cat food brands tested include:

 

Did you see any brands you’ve fed your dog before? Because I see two that I’ve fed to Zoey and one that I’ve fed to Jem before! Zoey has been eating Hill’s C/D Urinary Tract Health canned dog food for about a year after she had three consecutive UTI’s. Her veterinarian at Banfield at PetSmart recommended Hill’s brand and explained to me that it is one of the top two brands she would recommend because “they’re the only ones that actually lab test their dog food for health standards.” That feels like a very misleading and untrue statement now that these test results have come out and I see that it’s one of the most UNSAFE brands of food! I can’t believe I’ve been feeding her this food for so long. Jem was eating Blue for the first year of her life until we switched her because of her very stinky farts. Now I’m glad we switched her when we did! 

 

Test Results:

The tests conducted on the most popular dog food brands mentioned before indicate that many of these foods contain high levels of dangerous mycotoxins, nutrient concerns, bacterial contamination, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria that the FDA calls “Qualifying Pathogens.” None of these dog foods have ingredients from China, but they do have ingredients from other countries outside of North America. 

The Hill’s Prescription C/D Urinary Tract health canned dog food that my vet suggested was the safest, laboratory tested dog food option for Zoey tested to contain 7.72% calcium which is almost three times the legal limit of calcium allowed in adult dog food (AAFCO maximum is 2.5%). The Mycotoxin Risk Equivalent Rating was 16 (20 being High Risk), and it contained several bacteria including two bacteria that the FDA calls “Qualifying Pathogens” that pose a “serious threat to public health.” 

Now What Do We Do?

Thixton believes that consumers’ trust in pet food and the regulatory agencies responsible for “testing” these foods is rapidly declining and I believe she is right. I know my trust in them is completely gone after seeing these results. She explains that “it is truly sad that consumers found the many risks in pet food they did. Now we can hope – with this scientific evidence – that authorities will finally listen to the many complaints of consumers and make pet food safe. Not only for the pets, but for the pet people too.”

1. Find A Food That Is Lab Tested and Proven Safe:

Thixton created a list of the safe pet foods from her studies and lab tests that can be purchased for a small donation. What’s crazy and surprising about this list is that there are only 20 dog foods that make the “healthy” list, and NONE of them can be purchased in big box pet stores. They are only available at independent pet food stores, online pet food stores, or purchased directly from the manufacturer. That really makes you think about the integrity of the big box stores and makes me wonder why they are only making unsafe dog foods available for us to purchase and none of the healthy options are on the shelves!

We love to support small businesses any chance that we can since we are a small business ourselves, and this was the third strike for the big box pet stores like PetSmart where I have been buying Zoey’s C/D Urinary Tract food. I will definitely not be buying any more food or other items from big box pet stores after learning that they don’t sell any healthy of the healthy pet food brands. I’m happy to support the small businesses who are morally selling nutritious food.  

2. Feed Your Pet A Homemade Diet Using Balanced Recipes:

The other thing included in Thixton’s list that really excites me is the two homemade dog and cat food recipes! I’m so thrilled to use these recipes and rest assured that I’m providing Zoey and Jem a healthy, organic, homemade diet.

3. Speak Up To Make A Change:

Thixton also encourages us to make a change by sending letters to our representatives in Washington D.C. She only asks that we don’t send petitions – only letters: “No petitions (please) – representatives in government need to receive hundreds of thousands of personal messages directly from pet food consumers demanding change,” she explains. You can simply go to your state government website for the information on how to contact your representatives. She even created a sample letter for you to send without having to do any of the work! 

Sample Letter to Send to Representatives:

Consumers recently raised the funds to test 12 of the most widely-purchased brands of pet foods sold in the U.S. and Canada. What was found in this consumer funded testing were violations of pet food regulations (nutrient imbalances), dangerously high levels of mold (mycotoxins), and very concerning bacterial contamination (bacteria determined by the FDA and CDC to be antibiotic-resistant).

Consumers pay an estimated $1 billion dollars a year to states in sales tax revenue (for pet food purchases alone). Please explain to me what consumers are getting in return for that revenue?

Pet food consumers have been complaining about the condition of pet food since the 2007 pet food recall, complaints have fallen on deaf ears. For more than seven years consumers have waited on FDA to find the lethal contaminant of Chinese jerky treats – FDA has provided us nothing. In 2007 Congress told FDA to establish pet food ingredient standards and definitions, processing standards of pet food and provide updated standards for the labeling of pet food. This work was required – by Congress – to be completed by September 2009. More than five years after the deadline – consumers still wait for the FDA. I ask you, how much longer should consumers wait for safe pet food?

Testing of pet food that should have been performed by tax dollar supported regulatory authorities was done by consumers. Now, consumers – myself – are asking you Why? How? could pet food pose such a serious risk to the pets that consume it and the humans that handle it?

Please read every page of our Pet Food Test Report – you can do that here: http://associationfortruthinpetfood.com/the-pet-food-test-results/

I await your response on this very concerning issue.

Sincerely,

[your name]

 

Thank You For Listening

I hope this post helped open your eyes to how misleading dog food companies and big box retailers are when they claim their food is wholesome and healthy for our pets. We really can’t trust their marketing terms like “natural, no preservatives, non GMO, etc.” because they negate the tried and true results from the tests in the lab. Food is what fuels our bodies and our pets’ little bodies, and it’s so important that we are knowledgeable about what we are feeding them because they depend on us whole heartedly. For the full report and findings from these lab tests click here.

 

5% Off Your RadioFence.com Purchase PLUS We’ll Donate 5% to Pets for Patriots!

 

RadioFence.com Proudly Sponsors Pets for Patriots

We’re SO excited to announce that RadioFence.com is a proud sponsor of Pets for Patriots!

This non-profit organization saves the lives of shelter pets by helping military members and veterans adopt “last chance” shelter dogs and cats that are most at risk of death or permanent homelessness.

Pets for Patriots is so near and dear to our hearts, especially on Veteran’s Day. We’re so thrilled to be able to help our veterans, the men and women currently serving in our military, and the dogs and cats in shelters that are in desperate need of homes.

Vietnam Veteran and Adopted Dog Save Each Other’s Lives

The most recent success story on the Pets for Patriots blog features Timothy, a vietnam veteran and purple heart recipient that describes the dogs and cats that he has rescued as “the only friends I had.” Timothy has found companionship in Melanie, a loyal and caring Pyrenees adopted through the Humane Society in Michigan thanks to Pets for Patriots. Timothy explains his need for a dog very simply: “I just like having company,” says Timothy. “They love you the way you are.” His life has improved tremendously since the adoption. He explains: “She gets me up walking and stuff where I wouldn’t,” he says. “I just don’t like to be around a lot of people. So if I take the dog with me, I stay away from people and have a friend.”

He is still unable to sleep at night, but Timothy passes the night hours by lying down beside Melanie who seems to truly enjoy his presence. When he falls down as a result of his neuromuscular difficulties, Melanie always lies next to him until he’s able to stand again. “That’s a friend,” he says proudly.

When Pets for Patriots asked him if he would encourage other veterans to adopt companion cats or dogs, Timothy’s response is immediate and positive: “Get one,” he urges. “Especially these young guys, you know? You’ve fought through a lot of it by the time you’re my age, but I still have problems.”

Timothy explains that a companion pet offers a different kind of friendship than another person can and may help a troubled veteran see him/herself more clearly. Something as simple as an adopted dog or cat can change everything.

“A dog will help you, because people don’t know. You can sit there and tell the dog your problems when nobody else will listen or they don’t understand. They listen, but they don’t understand,” he says, noting the magic of pets: “They make you forget.”

There are many more amazing stories like Timothy and Melanie’s on the Pets for Patriot’s Blog that show how much this amazing organization has touched and changed the lives of veterans and shelter pets.

You Can Help Without Donating A Penny Of Your Own Money

We know it can be hard to find the extra money to donate to charity, especially during the holidays. But we believe you should still have the chance to help and make a difference even if you can’t afford to donate their own money.

That’s why we are giving you 5% off your entire purchase PLUS we’re donating 5% of your order to Pets for Patriots at no extra charge to you!

You can feel great about making a difference in veterans and shelter animal’s lives. RadioFence.com is happy to donate on your behalf. All you have to do is use the code RFP4P at check out! Thank you in advance for using our special code on your purchase and playing a critical role in donating to Pets for Patriots.

 

99% of all Puppies Sold Online and in Pet Stores are from Puppy Mills


Many of us want to experience the amazing companionship that comes with having a dog of our very own. But millions of people have been naturally conditioned to think “I want to go to the pet store and buy a puppy!” or “let’s look online for breeders!” rather than their instinct being to visit their local animal shelter.

The assumption that so many of us have been accustomed to believing is that we have to find a breeder to get a purebred dog. That is so far from true! The ASPCA says, “purebred dogs end up in shelters just like mixed breeds. Breed rescue groups exist for just about every breed possible. If you have your heart set on a purebred, please be sure to visit your local shelter or find a breed rescue group before searching for a breeder. If you can’t find what you want through a shelter or breed rescue group, please learn how to recognize a responsible breeder.

The harsh reality that most people aren’t aware of is that 99% of all dogs sold in pet stores and online are from a PUPPY MILL, and almost 100% of these puppies are infested with parasites when you purchase them. The ASPCA defines a puppy mill as “a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs—who are often severely neglected—and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices. Unlike responsible breeders, who place the utmost importance on producing the healthiest puppies possible, breeding at puppy mills is performed without consideration of genetic quality. This results in generations of dogs with unchecked hereditary defects. Some puppy mill puppies are sold to pet shops—usually through a broker, or middleman—and marketed as young as eight weeks of age. The lineage records of puppy mill dogs are often falsified. Other puppy mill puppies are sold directly to the public, including over the Internet, through newspaper ads, and at swap meets and flea markets.”

Dogs used for breeding are usually kept in cages with wire floors which injure their paws and legs. Cages are sometimes stacked on top of each other and lined up in columns, so waste falls on the dogs in the cages below them. Poor health, matting, sores, mange, severe dental disease and abscesses are usually widespread with puppy mill dogs. Many sick puppies manage to end up at pet stores and the new puppy owner unknowingly purchases the sick dog.

According to the ASPCA “No Pet Store Puppies” Website:

There are roughly 10,000 puppy mills in the US with Missouri and Oklahoma producing HALF of all the puppies sold in pet stores alone. Some puppy mills can have up to 1,000 adult dogs breeding at once and up to 400 puppies born every year – more than one born per day. Every year there are approximately 4 MILLION puppies born in puppy mills but only about 2,000,000 are sold online and in pet stores because many are born with or develop physical problems that make them unwanted and either end up abandoned or left to die.

Madonna of the Mills, a courageous woman who dedicates her life to saving dogs trapped and tortured in puppy mills, explains that “almost every puppy sold in a pet store has a mother who will spend her entire life in a tiny cage, never being petted, never being walked, never being treated like a dog.” Breeding dogs usually spend their entire lives outdoors and the females usually have little or no recovery time between litters. When the females can no longer reproduce after a few years, the dogs are usually abandoned, shot, or starved until they eventually die.

If you still think that your breeder or pet store is telling the truth about their ethical breeding practices because they are “USDA licensed,” here’s what ASPCA has to say about that:

Below is the trailer for Dog by Dog, a documentary “that aims to wake up the American public to the horrible realities of puppy mills by following the money trail across the United States and confronting those that have maintained this corrupt and irresponsible system.”

There was also a special episode on the Oprah show dedicated to exposing puppy mills after she saw a billboard just off the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago that said “Oprah: Do a show on puppy mills. The dogs need you” created by Bill Smith, the founder of Main Line Animal Rescue.

There are people out there like the ones you see in the videos that have the resources  and the means to expose the torturous conditions the dogs are living in. But without your help to spread their messages and get the word out to the masses, these dogs will continue to suffer.

Just to give you an idea of how little attention this horrible epidemic receives: The Madonna of the Mills trailer was posted on YouTube 3 years ago has only been viewed 2,007 times as of today. The Oprah episode is the only copy of the show on YouTube and has been viewed 464 times. The dog by dog documentary trailer was posted nearly a year ago and has only received 5,834 views.

People are constantly sharing “viral videos” on social media and talking about them with their friends, so why aren’t videos and documentaries as important as these being shared or viewed just as much if not more?

You are probably feeling just as as troubled, devastated, sick, hurt, and helpless as I am after learning about puppy mills. But you CAN do something to help! It is as easy as SHARING the knowledge and taking a stand against purchasing puppies from pet stores and online! The more people that learn what is going on, take a stand against puppy mills, and stop buying from pet stores that sell puppies, the less puppy mills there will be until they become extinct all together. If no one is buying the puppies, the money-hungry puppy mill owners will have no choice but to stop the cruelty.

There are so many shocking facts and lessons to be learned about puppy mills that cannot possibly be explained in one blog post, so please do more research for yourself and read the ASPCA FAQ’s about puppy mills. 

 

 

Vet Shocked to Find 43.5 Socks Inside a Dog’s Stomach

Vet Shocked to Find 43.5 Socks Inside Dog's Stomach - blog.radiofence.com

A three-year-old Great Dane in Portland, Oregon was rushed to the DoveLewis emergency animal hospital after his owners realized he was vomiting and suffering from extreme pain. An x-ray revealed “a stomach full of a large quantity of foreign material.” He was rushed into surgery, and two hours later Dr. Ashlee Magee was shocked by what she discovered: 43.5 socks inside the dog’s stomach! The dog made a full recovery, however the socks did not.

Vet Shocked to Find 43.5 Socks Inside Dog's Stomach - blog.radiofence.com

The animal hospital’s spokeswoman, Shawna Harch, told news reporters that “it’s perhaps the strangest case in the hospital’s history and certainly the record set for the most socks eaten.” She said the owners were unavailable for comment, and she couldn’t release their names.

Now that I think about it… would you notice if 22 pairs of your socks were missing? Do you even own 22 pairs of socks? I certainly don’t!

The vet hospital heard of a contest hosted by Veterinary Practice News which is a magazine for vets. The contest has been going on for nearly 10 years and is called “They Ate WHAT?” To enter, vets had to submit an x-ray and case details. DoveLewis vet hospital came in third place and won $500! They are using the money for a fund to help low-income families pay for vet bills.

I would love to hear from you! Have your pets eaten anything they shouldn’t have or have they needed surgery? Comment below :)