(Discussion taken from my AARP Blog Pet Group)
Can anyone help? My adorable 2 year old, 11 lb Havamalt has a bad habit. She is pee-pee pad trained and if I am not around to pickup when she poops, she cleans up herself! I have tried everything from changing her food to using the special powder in her food, the pills sold for this problem and nothing works. I would appreciate any suggestions.
1. Hi – I have a 14+ year old border terrier, Maggie, who I adopted when she was 12. One of her bad habits was eating her poop. I learned to clean up after her like a shot – and eventually good nutrition virtually solved the problem, together with cleaning up after her.
Like some of you said, I loved her anyway. One solution I have read about is that pineapple makes the feces taste bad to a dog (fed to the dog). Anyone have experience with this or the pills available for this problem? The individual writing in has a particular problem since defecation is allowed inside the house (not something I have ever done).
2. Yes, a frustrating habit and you have the best advice from other posters. One thing that I heard on television with Victoria Stillwell. Feed pineapple with the dogs food. Then of course pick up ASAP. Her claim was the dogs hate the smell in the stool and will not eat it. Good luck, Judith and Maddie.
3. I appreciate your response. Since my dog is pee pee pad trained I cannot let her sleep at night anywhere but her crate because of this habit. I also pick-up immediately when she goes outside but sometimes I think she deliberately does not go so she can practice her bad habit in the house when I am not looking. She is fast and good at it. I love her anyway!!!
4. My 4-year-old Lab does the same thing, and I have tried the powder and everything else… The fact is this… Dogs can smell every ingredient in anything…. that is if you have a pot of soup on the stove they can distinguish each ingredient in the soup by smell….sometimes all of their food does not digest, and they smell it in their feces, and yes will eat it if .. my vet told me this, and some eat it out of boredom.. and it is a very bad habit.. it is up to you to pick it up ASAP to keep him from eating it… It does not harm the Dog , its just disgusting more than anything… as soon as my Dog is done going, I am out there with a shovel…not a good place to be in the winter time
5. Although none of our 4 dogs (Chihuahuas and Chiweenies) do it now, I was amazed when our Chihuahua had puppies at the efficiency and thoroughness with which she cleaned up after her birth mess, the puppies themselves and then after the puppies eliminations. It is obviously a natural instinct.
Even though we live in the city, we live in an area backed up to a large open wilderness area where there are lots of wild animals: bunnies, squirrels, raccoons, possums, birds of all types, an occasional snake, lizards and coyotes. I understand that before we lived here there was even a wolf citing. And if we are not diligent all four of our pups will try and to eat the bunny droppings; obviously an attraction there…
Stool Eating (Coprophagy)
What are the causes and cures of stool eating?
Coprophagy (pronounced kä – präf’ – je) comes from the Greek copro which means feces and phagy which means eat. And that is what it is – eating feces. A habit of dogs we all find disgusting, but as we say, dogs will be dogs. Some dogs especially like feces fromherbivores like rabbits, deer, and horses. Others love to raid the cat’s litter box. Still others only eat dog feces if it is frozen.
Why do dogs eat feces?
A lot of theories have been suggested as to why dogs eat feces. Are they missing something in their diet? Generally not.
Dogs who eat their feces usually do not have a dietary deficiency. Some medical problems, however, can contribute to coprophagy including severe disorders of the pancreas (pancreatic insufficiency) or intestine, severe malnutrition from massive parasiticinfestations, or starvation. These cases are rare.
Some dogs, especially those in kennel situations, may eat feces because they are anxious or stressed. One researcher suggests that dogs who have been punished by their owners for defecating inappropriately start to think any defecation is wrong, so they try to eliminate the evidence.
Another theory is that coprophagy is a trait passed down through the ages. Dogs’ cousins, the wolves and coyotes, may often eat feces if food is in short supply. Feces from herbivores (animals that eat plants for food) contain many of the B vitamins. Some researchers suggest that wolves (and some dogs) may eat feces to replenish their vitamin supply.
In some instances, coprophagy may be a behavior learned from watching other animals. It may also become a habit in the course of play and puppies having to try out the taste of everything.
There is a stage of life in which coprophagy is common and expected. Can you think of what it is? Bitches and queens normally eat the feces of their offspring. This is presumed to occur in an attempt to hide the presence of the litter from predators.
Finally, some dogs may eat feces just because it tastes good (to them).
How do we prevent coprophagia from occurring?
The best way to prevent the problem is to keep yards and kennels free of feces.
Some owners find it successful to use something to make the feces taste horrible. Products such as For-bid (for cats or dogs) and Drs. Foster and Smith Dis-Taste (for dogs) are added to the food of the animal whose feces are being eaten (it could be the food of the dog with coprophagy if he eats his own stool; or the food of the cat, if the dog with coprophagy eats the cat’s feces). The product is digested by the animal, and results in giving the feces a very bad taste. Some people try putting Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper (chili powder) on the feces (not the food!). Unfortunately, some dogs have acquired quite a taste for Tabasco. These methods work best if the behavior has just started. Once coprophagy has become a habit, it is very difficult to break.
Dogs should be on a leash when walking, so you have control over the dog in case a luscious pile of feces is found along the way. Sometimes, the only way to prevent coprophagy is to fit the dog with a wire muzzle. The dog will be able to sniff, pant, and do most things dogs do, but the dog will not be able to eat with the muzzle on. DO NOT LEAVE A MUZZLED DOG UNATTENDED.
Adding toys and other diversions to the environment may be helpful. We need to find something that is more fun for the dog than eating feces. A dog may find a Kong toy laced with peanut butter a better alternative. Also give the dog lots of exercise to help it ultimately relax.
In situations in which the behavior may be linked to stress, the cause of stress should be eliminated or at least reduced. In some instances of extreme anxiety, or if the behavior becomes obsessive-compulsive, medication may be necessary to try to break the cycle.
One researcher recommends checking the dog’s diet to make sure he is getting enough B vitamins and is not getting an excess of carbohydrates.
Some dogs will improve if they are fed more often, so you may want to increase the number of meals (but keep the total daily intake about the same).
There have been anecdotal reports that adding Prozyme to the diet may aid in eliminating this problem.
For dogs attracted to litter boxes, you may need to be quite creative. Using covered litter boxes and placing the opening towards a wall may help. Some people put the litter box up high. Others put the litter box in a closet and secure the closet door so that the opening is big enough for the cat but will not allow the dog to enter. Keep in mind that if we make the litter box too difficult to reach, the cat may not go to it either.
Above all, do not punish the dog for eating feces. This may reinforce the behavior. General work on obedience is sometimes helpful. If the dog knows what is expected of him and looks to you for cues, he may be less anxious and less likely to start or continue the behavior.
What are the health risks of coprophagy?
Many parasites can be transmitted through eating stool. Generally, herbivores have parasites specific to them; these parasites will not cause disease in carnivores. But dogs eating the feces of other dogs or cats can infect themselves repeatedly with parasites such as giardia, coccidia, and if the feces are around for 2-3 weeks or more, roundworms and whipworms. Such dogs should have regular fecal examinations and dewormings with the appropriate medications depending on the parasites found.
We are not sure why dogs eat their own feces or the feces of other animals. We do know that if a dog starts this behavior, the sooner we implement prevention measures, the better the chance of success.
Source: Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc, Veterinary Services Department
Posted: Just One More Pet
Selling puppies in a pet store, especially since Oprah’s notorious Puppy Mill episode aired last year, can easily alienate members of the dog community, incite protest and boycott and be bad business in today’s climate. The Orange Bone, Melrose Avenue’s newest pet store, is changing its business model and selling puppies from local rescues and shelters.
Orange Bone, working with Last Chance for Animals, is committed to saving dogs on death row. It all sounds too good to be true so I decided to check out it for myself. Not surprisingly for a store on Melrose Avenue, the place has a sleek, glossy modern look; it resembles a Pinkberry store more than a typical pet store you’d find in a mall. Los Angeles has its fill of nice looking pet boutique so I went straight to the dogs.
On a Tuesday afternoon the store was packed. I eavesdrop as Ray Maldonado, regularly referred to as the store’s dog guy by many patrons and coincidentally the vice president, talks to a couple considering a pit bull puppy. As I stand around and wait for my turn, I noticed the Orange Bone offers financing. Ray says potential buyers have the option to complete a credit application. He says for those who need it and qualify; it helps to get the dog placed a little easier. Wow. Rays reminds me, “It is all about the dogs.”
While Ray excuses himself to answer another customer’s questions, I take a second to review their sales contract. I was very pleased to see the following, “Adopter agrees if for any reason you cannot keep the puppy you will return it to Orange Bone so we may place it in a new home.” People are not guaranteed a refund, but may exchange the dog within specified timelines for another if they’re inclined. I think it says a great deal about the store that their first priority is to make sure puppies are placed in a stable and loving environment and will always accept a dog back.
Ray is still with another customer so I ask the Kennel Supervisor, Joseph Maldonado, Ray’s little brother, about the care of the puppies. He says he and Ray live nearby and are at the store nearly 20 plus hours each day. Joseph says, “I get here every morning at 8 a.m. to walk the dogs before we open at 11.” The dogs are also all supervised by monitors and short circuit camera feeds.
Ray says they only started working with shelters and rescues in December 2008 after getting some negative feedback. He was once an animal control officer for the city so he really wanted to reinvent the system to make it work for everyone. According to Ray’s records, they have placed about 150 dogs since December 2008 and it’s their goal to place a 1,000 dogs by the year’s end. Ray also happily boasts that about 25 percent, if not more, were on death row.
First impressions can say a lot and Ray and Orange Bone left an indelible impression on me and Rufus today. Ray and his team sincerely seem committed to the dogs with a real hands-on approach in their permanently placement. In the short hour that I lingered unannounced at the store I witnessed more than one person come in who had been working closely with Ray to find the perfect furry friend. It’s not hard to imagine since Ray is the kind of guy who immediately becomes everyone’s best friend.
Other notable features about the store include the Three Dog Bakery treats they offer, the wide assortment of doggie apparel, collars, leashes and stylist carriers. They also work with a trainer, Jessica Dragon, so new parents can get started on the right paw.
If you’re looking for a new dog, stop by and visit Ray. Tell him Rufus and Johnny from Examiner.com sent you.
by Johnny Ortez, L.A. Small Dog Examiner
7574 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
T. 323. 852. 1258
F. 323. 852. 1299
Mon – Sat 11am to 8pm
Sun 11am to 7pm
Posted: Just One More Pet
Believe it or not, your pet knows the secrets to achieving a successful relationship. Here are five love lessons that man’s best friend can share with you.
Though dogs have been labeled man’s best friend, when it comes down to it, Fido is probably more the type of buddy you’d seek out for a game of catch, not love advice. According to Harrison Forbes, professional dog trainer and author ofHeart of a Dog: What Challenging Dogs Have Taught Me About Love, Trust and Second Chances, however, you might want to reconsider the notion that your canine knows nothing about matters of the heart. “Dogs do the types of things we should do more often, and the things they don’t get involved in — well, we should really skip them, too, if we’re looking for love,” he asserts. Puzzled by the notion that you may actually be able to get some romance pointers from your Pointer? Read on for five love lessons you can learn from dogs.
1. The reassurance of forgiveness
In order to have a successful partnership, letting bygones be bygones is crucial. An inability to get over issues and move ahead is a key roadblock to happiness. Dogs, Forbes notes, are always in the moment and therefore don’t hold grudges or hang onto resentment. “Dogs wipe the slate clean many times a day,” he explains. “If you are grumpy and yell at your dog, but then wait a minute and act like you never did, he will forgive you — many times over. If humans could let the little things go as easily as dogs do, their relationships would be better for it.”
2. The security of unconditional love
Forbes says that as a rule, when a dog loves his owner, that bond is lasting and real. “It’s interesting to note that celebrities are over-the-top pet lovers,” he says. “This is because their dogs really love them for who they are, not their A-list status; a dog will always treat you the same. Dogs offer truly substantive relationships in a way most people don’t,” he notes. When it comes to romantic relationships, humans should strive to emulate a dog’s focus on what a person really offers in terms of love, kindness and warmth, he advises.
3. The comfort of consistency
In a romantic relationship, consistency can be quite comforting. What’s not to love about a partner who is never moody or capricious? “We as humans understand there are different types of behavior, yet we crave consistency,” Forbes says. “With dogs, regardless of your animal’s personality, you pretty much get the same behavior unless he’s ill. A lot of people take comfort in that aspect of pet ownership, so you can only imagine how much similar behavior could add to a romantic relationship.”
4. The need to be playful
Forbes notes that most dogs want to have a good time, keeping things light and not so serious all of the time. “The easiest way to burn out a working dog is to work him all the time — that pretty much goes for relationships as well,” he says. In police-dog training, Forbes explains, training is balanced with play and fun. “The harder you go at it in a training phase, the more you have to counterbalance it,” he says. “It’s the same with a relationship — you have to relieve the pressure through play and good times.”
5. The importance of effective communication
While communicating with your partner is important in a relationship, it’s not merely the act of communicating that will ensure your relationship’s success, but finding the way to do so that best matches your partner’s needs. This is a skill that you can easily learn from working with dogs, Forbes says. “The different ways in which I communicate with my three dogs are suited to what works best for them … and for me with them,” he explains. You have to be willing to experiment and find the best way to communicate with dogs, and the same goes for your romantic interests, he says: “Just as a hot-tempered dog won’t respond to yelling and lots of commands, neither will a hot-tempered person. At the same time, some more sensitive types may need a gentler approach. Essentially, no one person or dog communicates the same way — each individual has a unique style, and taking the time to learn about your partner’s needs is the key to a strong bond.”
By Chelsea Kaplan
Dear Dogs and Cats,
The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The
other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw
print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it
becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing
in the slightest.
The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.
Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help
because I fall faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry
about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to
ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when
they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other
stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that
sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other
end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by
some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut (!), it
is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get
your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit
through the same door I entered.
Also, I have been using the bathroom for years — canine or feline
attendance is not required.
The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat’s
butt. I cannot stress this enough!
To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on
our front door:
To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:
1. They live here. You don’t.
2. If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the
furniture. That’s why they call it ‘fur’niture.
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, it’s an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter
who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn’t speak clearly.
Remember: Dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
1. Eat less
2. Don’t ask for money all the time
3. Are easier to train
4. Normally come when called
5. Never ask to drive the car
6. Don’t hang out with drug-using friends
7. Don’t smoke or drink
8. Don’t have to buy the latest fashions
9. Don’t want to wear your clothes
10. Don’t need a gazillion dollars for college, and…and…and
11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.
12. Are loyal to a fault.
13. Always love you, no matter what, the best!
1-3/4 CUPS WHOLE-WHEAT FLOUR
2, 4.5-OUNCH JARS MEAT FLAVORED BABY FOOD
1/2 CUP BEEF/CHICKEN/VEG. BROTH OR SUFFICIENT FOR PROCESSING
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES. LIGHTLY OIL BOTTOM OF COOKIE SHEET.
IN LARGE BOWL, USING FORK, COMBINE FLOUR & BABY FOOD, MIXING WELL BLENDED & FORM INTO VERY SOFT DOUGH.
IF MIXTURE IS A LITTLE DRY, ADD BEEF BROTH 1/4 CUP AT A TIME UNTIL DOUGH PULLS AWAY FROM BOWL.
PINCH OFF SMALL PIECES OF DOUGH AND BETWEEN FLOURED HANDS, ROOL INTO SMALL BALLS.
PLACE BALLS ON OILED BAKING PAN 1/2 INCH APART & FLATTTEN WITH BACK OF FORK TO 1/4-INCH THICK.
BAKE @ 350 DEGREES IN CENTER OF OVEN FOR 18 TO 20 MINUTES (OR UNTIL TOPS ARE GOLDEN BROWN).
REMOVE COOKIE SHEET FROM OVEN & LET REST A FEW MINUTES. REMOVE COOKIES FROM PAN. ALLOW TO COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE. STORE IN NON-AIRTIGHT CONTAINER
Sure, you’d like Fifi to share in the joys of the holiday table, but resist the urge to be generous. Foods and drinks you digest easily, like the following, can cause trouble for your pooch:
Dinner rolls — Dough expands in the stomach, creating distressing gas.
Onions and garlic — These flavor enhancers contain a compound that could damage a dog’s red blood cells, causing anemia.
Rich sauces — Gravy upsets the stomach and may lead to pancreatitis.
Bones — Sharp pieces of bone can choke a dog or pierce or block her gastrointestinal tract.
Alcohol — Even slightly spiked eggnog can be toxic, so don’t leave any drinks unattended.
In addition to avoiding the “no-nos”… how much people food you share at the holidays should be gaged by whether you normally cook for your pets and their main diet is so-called people food, whether they eat only traditional dog food, whether they eat raw food, or whether they normally eat dog food with a little cooked or people food or get some scraps here and there. But sharing a little of your holiday food is certainly not a bad thing!!