One of our most… innneresting questions ever!
Perezcious reader Bethany asks Teddy's celeb vet Dr. Patrick Mahaney:
"My 5 year old Jack Russell Terrier named Lady has ate poop since she was a pup and I have done everything to stop her.
I have given her special food, taken her to the vets and dog trainers but nothing has worked. She is on a strict diet because she is slightly overweight. Is there fat in feces? What can I do to stop her? She eats my other 2 dog's feces more than her own. It's almost like she truly enjoys it. I have a fenced in backyard with a dog-door because I am away during the day, that is why she is able to eat so much. Thank you."
Dr. Mahaney's Answer:
Yuck! Coprophagia (eating feces) is never a good habit for a JRT (Jack Russell Terrier), or any dog, to partake.
Your JRT may crave feces due to a physiologic or behavior cause. A health problem should be ruled out before we merely explore the behavior side of the issue. If your JRT is on a strict diet, then perhaps she is missing nutrients and trying to replace them by eating your other dog's feces.
May low fat or low calorie dog foods don't provide enough non-processed (i.e. not as they are formed in nature) nutrients and lead to animals eating things in their environment they should not, which is called dietary indiscretion and can make a pet very sick. Have you given your JRT a probiotic supplement? Your veterinarian should be able to prescribe one appropriate for your JRT. How about adding steamed, pureed vegetables to your dog's food? Cauliflower, spinach, and broccoli all relatively low calorie and provide fiber, real nutrients, and moisture which can help deter a dog from dietary indiscretion.
If she is left alone and given the opportunity to eat bowel movements due to lack of supervision, then she is going to need a lifestyle change in attempt to change her behavior. If you or a family member cannot look after her, then arrange for her to go to a daycare when she can be supervised consistently.
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