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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20547
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Hi,i have got a 13&half yr old lab who keeps on eating pop,thought

Resolved Question:

Hi,i have got a 13&half yr old lab who keeps on eating pop,thought it might be her diet, so changed her good to senoir good,but has'nt stopped her.i had blood test s done on her about a month ago and they came back all clear, any ideas?.thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Now while we can see the act of eating feces related to deficiencies and health issues; it is often an unpleasant act that is rooted in behavior instead of a dog's health. Therefore, in these instances when diet change and no obvious health issue is found amiss, we do want to take steps to address and prevent the behavior.

To start, we do want to make sure that we are removing all feces from the yard before allowing her out. To facilitate this, it can help to train her to use one area that she is only allowed access to when it is time to toilet. If she is keen to eat feces just after passing, then we'd want to be on hand (even consider having her on the leash at this stage) to remove it without excitement (since yelling, rushing for the feces, and excitement can confuse dogs a dog into thinking it is a game and make them go for the feces even quicker). As well, if she is eating the feces of other dogs on walks, you may find use of a basket muzzle (example) can help reduce their ability to do so.

While working to reduce her access to feces, we also want to make the feces she is in contact with is not palatable. To do so, you can sprinkle unpleasant tasting items (ie black pepper, crushed hot pepper, Tabasco or Bitter Apple spray, etc). This will help establish a negative taste relationship for feces with her and deter the behavior. Further to this, here are also a range of OTC preparations at the pet store that can be mixed into food (or pineapple juice can be given) to lead to making the feces non-palatable and reduce her need to ingest any right after she has passed it.

While taking the above prevention and deterrent steps, it would also be beneficial to work with Saffron to recall (e.g., come) on command. That way you can always call her away when you see her heading towards feces and prevent the behavior. And once you have your recall command perfected, the basket muzzle could be removed during walks since you would be able to rely on her obedience to prevent her eating feces.

Overall, its great that Saffron's health is perfect. This tells us that her behavior is just that, a behavior. Therefore, we want to reduce her access to feces, use deterrents to prevent her wanting to eat feces, and using a basket muzzles on walk if need be until you have her trained to defer to your wishes before eating feces.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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