Q: I have a 4 month old Yorkie who eats his remains. We have tried putting powder the vet gave us on his food and that did not work. We bought a different food from the vet called Pediatric which is not working. What can we do to make him stop doing this?
A: This rather disgusting behaviour, which is very common in puppies, is termed coprophagia. In puppies the cause of the behaviour is almost always behavioural. However, a stool analysis may not be a bad idea to rule out intestinal parasites. If your puppy seems to be otherwise in good health and this is purely a behavioural issue, there are a few things that you could try to stop it.
The first is the powder that you have already tried that was not successful (and usually isn’t). The second, which you have also already tried, is to change the puppy’s diet was also unsuccessful. The third option is to lace the stool with something very unpleasant like chile powder. Fourthly, if you can, pick up his stool as soon as he has a bowel movement so he won’t even have the option of eating it or better yet have him come and sit for a treat as soon as he has a bowel movement to teach him a new behaviour.
If all this fails, do not despair, coprophagia usually disappears as puppies into adulthood.
You can also read what our Dog Blog trainer had to say on this issue!