The eating of stool is called coprophagy.
Gross to think that he might have kissed you after eating that, isn’t it?
“Pica” is defined in Dorland’s Medical Dictionary as “a craving for unnatural articles of food; a depraved appetite as seen in hysteria, pregnancy and malnourished children.”
Therefore, according to this medical definition, the old saw that goes, “He must be missing something in his diet” can sometimes be true.
However, today’s name-brand diets are so well-designed, that only inappropriate diets might be considered suspect. “Generic,” “store-brand,” and “deep discount” foods would qualify as suspect. As would homemade diets unless one is meticulous in supplying not only macronutrients, such as calcium and phosphorous, but also micronutrients such as magnesium and copper.
Remember, too, that with some micronutrients, too much can be even more dangerous than not enough.
Best to stick with top name brands. Remember, in pet foods you truly get what you pay for.
The coprophagy problem can be solved, in most cases, by sprinkling some Adolph’s meat tenderizer over every meal. You must be consistent, and do it with every meal. You may have to do this for years. Or forever.
I don’t know exactly how it works, but I believe it has something to do with improved digestion and protein breakdown. Breakdown of protein is the way meat tenderizer makes your inexpensive cut of beef easier to eat.
I just know it solves the coprophagy problem in nearly every case. Allow for a few days for it to start to work. And, be prepared to continue it for a lifetime.
There are two exceptions to the above rule. First, dogs will eat cat stool from a litterbox and this is not abnormal. Disgusting, yes. Abnormal, no. To them, it is simply processed cat food, and all dogs love cat food (even though it is bad for them!).
Second, if Dog A is eating the stool from Dog B, putting meat tenderizer on either dog’s stool may not help. This latter scenario is more likely to be a behavioral problem.
See you next week, Dr. Randolph.