Coprophagia: What exactly is coprophagia and how is it treated?


In simple terms, coprophagia is an odd condition that causes animals to eat their own feces. There are a number of reasons why coprophagia occurs. In puppies, it may just be the result of intense curiosity. In other cases the cause may be lack of attention from owners, lack of exercise, mimicking the behavior of other animals, constant exposure to an environment where feces is not removed on a regular basis, and simple hunger. There are three types of coprophagia including acute, intermediate, and chronic. Acute coprophagia is used to describe the condition in young dogs or puppies. In these cases, the dog has had the condition for roughly 1-3 weeks. Intermediate coprophagia occurs in animals 3-5 years of age and they have had the condition for 1-3 months. Dogs with chronic coprophagia are typically 5-6 years old and they have been eating feces for anywhere from 1-3 years. At this point, the coprophagia is more of a bad habit than a condition. Coprophagia is easily treated through professional training, simple dietary adjustments, and over-the-counter products that can be sprinkled onto the food to sensitize the pet to his feces. These types of products typically begin to work within a matter of days.