Meat tenderizer is often used as a solution to stop dogs from eating poop (or medically known as coprophagia). Some dog owners found success with it while others did not. Regardless of other people’s experiences, if your dog is having a coprophagia problem, putting meat tenderizer in his food is worth trying. It’s easy to do and doesn’t give any side effects to your dog.
So, how much meat tenderizer do you need to put in your dog’s food? Just a sprinkle is enough.
The catch here is you need to make sure you are buying a meat tenderizer with MSG in it. The MSG makes a dog’s poop taste so bad so that your poop eater won’t want to eat it.
If this solution doesn’t work for your dog, there are other ways you can deter him from eating his own waste. Let’s talk about what causes this seemingly strange behavior and how to fix it.
Why Your Dog Eats His Own Poop
Here are some of the top reasons for coprophagia in dogs:
1. Imitating Their Mother
It’s normal for mother dogs to eat the puppies’ stool to keep their nest clean and to instinctively protect their puppies from predators that might be attracted by the scents of the poop. They usually do this until their litters are weaned and have started leaving the nest to defecate, sometimes between 4-5 weeks.
Unfortunately, this behavior can be picked up pretty soon by the puppies. Since they don’t know any better, they can continue to exist eating their poops even after they are adults. Don’t let this continue, do behavioral training as soon as you catch your dog doing this.
2. Dietary Deficiency
Aside from following their mom’s lead, another common reason why dogs start eating their own feces is food-related causes such as diets deficient in nutrients and calories. Because of the lack of nutrients and calories in their dog foods, the dogs may try to eat their own poop to re-digest it.
This is why you should always ensure that you feed your dog a food that is appropriately formulated for his breed and life stage.
Other things to be cautious of are parasites and worms. They may consume your dog’s food and leave him hungry right after meals, which compel your dog to re-ingest his own stool to satisfy the hunger.
3. Poor Digestion
The appearance of certain ingredients such as corn, soy, and wheat can cause some dogs to have difficulty digesting the foods, even if they are high in protein. Consequently, your dog’s food may pass through his digestive system unchanged.
As a result, your dog may mistakenly make a connection between his poop and the food that he ate a few hours ago and will be unable to tell the difference.
4. Boredom and Loneliness
Dogs who spend a whole day alone or confined in a small space are more likely to eat poop than those dogs who live close to their humans for whatever reason, whether it is out of boredom or because there is no one to feed them.
5. Stress and Anxiety
These two mental conditions are strong contributors to a dog eating poop. There are myriads of reasons as to why your dog might get stressed, such as a new home, new baby, new puppy, and changes in schedules or routines.
Dogs can also get anxious from getting the wrong house-training method, for example, when you punish your dog too much. In an attempt to get away from punishment, he may eat his own poop to hide it from you the next time he has a poop accident.
6. Attention Seeking
The more lonely dogs feel, the more attention they crave. They will do anything to the extent of eating their own poop just to get their owners’ attention. If you see your dog doing this, just stay calm and don’t give in to provocations.
The byproduct of consuming high-protein dog food is tasty poop (at least to your dog). So, as hilarious as it sounds, some dogs eat their stools simply because they like the taste. (1)
How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop
Here are some proven tips that I have used successfully to stop dogs from this bad behavior.
- Provide your dog with high-quality dog food that meets his nutritional needs. The food should not only be high in protein but age and breed appropriate as well. My best dog food buying guide is sure to help you make informed decisions when it is time to restock your dog’s food supply.
- Add a multivitamin to your dog’s diet. Although today’s dog food is packed with enough vitamins and minerals, some dogs may still need extra vitamins and minerals to make up for what is missing.
- Add a meat tenderizer to the dog’s meal. Natural or off-the-shelf poop-eating deterrent works well to make the poop unappetizing. Other natural poop-eating deterrents include pumpkin and pineapple. If you prefer to get off-the-shelf deterrents, I recommend Coprovent, NaturVet, and For-Bid.
- Clean your fido’s living area regularly, including the yard, crate, and playpen, so there will be no poop for him to pick up.
- Train your dog to leave something alone using commands such as “leave it” and “come.”
- Do positive dog training to reform your dog’s bad behavior forever. Reward your dog each time he follows your command to leave his poop alone, and don’t overreact when he lapses.
- Take your dog for regular checkups with his vet. The vet will rule out any clinical issues such as parasites or worms that could cause this behavior.
- Keep your dog on a leash when outside to keep him away from any poop he may find.
- Pick up after your dog immediately when you go on walks, don’t give him a chance to play with his poop.
- Don’t leave him alone for long periods of time. If you have to leave him home alone for a whole day, it is crucial that you hire dog sitters or ask a friend, a family member, or a neighbor to stop by to check and play with your dog.
Can a dog get sick from eating poop? In most cases, coprophagia usually doesn’t lead to any health issues. However, in certain circumstances, it is possible for something within the poop to spread infectious diseases and parasites.
Why is my old dog eating poop all of a sudden? If you have a senior dog that has started eating poop all of a sudden, the cause is most likely medical. Your dog could have pancreatic issues or a parasite. Check out with your vet to rule out the possible issue.
Will meat tenderizer hurt my dog? In small amounts, meat tenderizer won’t likely be a problem but too much of it may lead to stomach upset.