Pica and Coprophagia in Dogs

Let's talk about pica and coprophagia in dogs. Every time you're making food in the kitchen your dog is waiting nearby for something to fall on the floor, every time you're eating your dog begs for some food. This is common. Most dogs just seem to be that way, but is there more to it. Well, many dogs also eat non-items including feces. This article will discuss these conditions in more detail.

These conditions are known as pica, the craving and ingesting of non-food items and coprophagia, eating feces. If your dogs eat these types of things don't think they have a condition and that they are sick. Unfortunately, these strange, dangerous, and disgusting eating habits are quite common on dogs. Most dog owners are probably aware of this, but simply don't know the medical terms by which these conditions are referred to.

It is possible that pica and coprophagia could be the result of a more serious health issue such as a disease, deficiency, or disorder. Some dogs with diabetes, anemia, parasites, and thyroid disease will eat objects that aren't food. However, this is actually rare. Most dogs that have pica or coprophagia are healthy.

That is, they are healthy until they eventually eat the wrong thing. Many dogs get lucky and eat something that passes through their body and comes out with their waste. However, if dogs continue to eat non-food items they are very likely to encounter an object that will not pass through and therefore cause multiple issues.

If your dog has eaten something inappropriate it may vomit, have diarrhea, appear in pain, or have trouble breathing. Don't just wait to see if the object will pass, take your dog to the veterinarian. A vet can examine or x-ray a dog to see what is in them and where it is in the dog's body. If you know that your dog ate something, but they don't appear sick, the item may naturally pass. If your dog was suffering from noticeable symptoms there is a good chance that they will require surgery. Surgery is expensive and you may have to make the tough decision on what to do.

To eliminate you having to make such an tough decision, you should prevent your dog from eating non-food items. Behavior modification is the best way to do this. Talk to a professional for more details on how to do this. 

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.