COPROPRAGIA (EATING FAECES)
Coprophagia is a common phenomenon
which is seen in puppies and in adult dogs. Many explanations
have been offered as to why dogs do this. One suggestion is that
coprophagia is caused by boredom. The condition is certainly common
in kennelled dogs but they tend to be fed on very cheap, low-quality
Another suggestion is that very high
energy diets are responsible, the rationale being that the faeces
must contain some undigested nutrients which are attractive to
the dog. Some vets believe that coprophagia is normal and harmless
but it is certainly unpleasant and disgusting for the owner.
My view is that coprophagia is an
example of a depraved appetite and as such is a sign of non-specific
ill-health, most probably affecting the gastro-intestinal system.
It is not as is commonly thought, a sign that the dog is intuitively
seeking out something which is lacking in the diet.
Dietary intolerance is a likely contributory
Nutritional Management is by following
the Health Management programme
Additional management techniques
should be employed at the same time as the diet is corrected,
for example denying the dog access or opportunity to eat faeces.
This will help to break the habit.
Other common examples of depraved
appetite are: eating soil, wood.
Common pet health problems
John Burns Pet Health Management