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I'm trying to deter my dog from eating his own feces. I've heard that adding spinach or pineapple or pumpkin to his diet can help contain the problem, preventing this act by making the poop unappealing.

  1. Is this true, and is there scientific evidence to back it up, or is it only anecdotal?

  2. If this is true, how much of any should be used? I'm assuming the amount varies based on dog weight, but I want a guideline.

  3. Does canned or fresh work better? I assume canned for pumpkin, but I don't know about pineapple.

  4. For pineapple, should I just add juice, chunks, or both?

  5. For spinach (suggested from the comments below), should I use fresh spinach or frozen (obviously not creamed)? Should I cook it first?

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    In my long line of experience with poop eating dogs, what I can tell you is that adding it might work for your dog. This month. Or not. Hard to predict. There is no cure all. – Carey Gregory Aug 27 '14 at 6:46
  • I agree with @Carey Gregory also. Have you already tried spinach already and are moving to pumpkin/pineapple? – Deirdra Strangio Aug 27 '14 at 19:59
  • Pineapple was suggested first and I found pumpkin through research. Did not know spinach was a deterrent. – JoshDM Aug 27 '14 at 20:17
  • I bought a 4-pack of small pineapple chunk containers, added 2 chunks and some juice to each dog meal today and will update with results. @DeirdraStrangio - let me know if spinach is the more appropriate supplement to add, and why, and I'll consider that instead. – JoshDM Aug 28 '14 at 16:17
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    @JoshDM - Spinach was what my parents used with their dogs as a deterrent and it worked. – Deirdra Strangio Jan 22 '15 at 3:56
2

Dogs eat poop for a number of reasons.

  1. Nutrient deficiency (cheap/bad food)
  2. To get attention (negative attention still counts as attention)
  3. Parental instincts (see below)
  4. Digestive enzymes deficiency
  5. GI parasites
  6. Anxiety/stress

When mother dogs and cats have litters, they deliberately consume the feces of their puppies or kittens to hide their scent while the litter is vulnerable and sheltered in the den.

Don't just discourage eating poop: it's most likely the symptom of a bigger problem. Solve the problem and the symptom (eating poop) will go away.

Suggestions: make sure your dog is eating a high quality food, get him checked for parasites, give him plenty of exercise/attention, stick to a schedule, and give him toys/training to prevent boredom.

If all else fails, then make poop less accessible (clean up poop right away and if you have a cat, keep the litter box out of each).

Source: Why Do Dogs (and Cats) Eat Poop?

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