To you, eating deer droppings most likely sounds unappetizing. But to your dog, deer feces might be a delicious snack. Eating feces from another species, also known as interspecific coprophagia, can trigger conditions such as intestinal parasites, stomach problems and tooth decay. It’s you job to find out why your dog is resorting to eating deer feces so you can effectively put a stop to it.
Visit the Vet
Before treating your dog's feces-eating habit, take him to a veterinarian to rule out medical conditions,such as intestinal infections, pancreatitis and malabsorbtive syndromes that might be triggering his behavior. A veterinarian can make a diagnosis and recommend proper treatment of the underlying cause, which can then put an end to your pet companion's poop-eating behavior.
Change of Diet
Your dog’s diet might be to blame for his poop-eating fetish. Maybe your furry pal doesn’t get enough food and is hungry, or maybe the food you’re feeding him lacks nutrients. Feeding him more food or feeding him more frequently throughout the day might stop him from eating deer droppings. Changing the type of food you feed him to a quality, veterinarian-recommended food might also stop him from supplementing his diet with deer feces.
Exercise and Attention
Your dog might eat deer droppings, because he knows he'll get a reaction out of you. Even though your reaction is most likely negative, it's better than not getting any attention at all. A lack of exercise, boredom and stress from excessive confinement can also trigger the behavior. Minimizing the duration that you confine your pet companion, providing toys for him to play with, spending time with him and increasing the amount of exercise he gets can eliminate his poop-eating behavior.
Walking your dog on a leash gives you more control over him. When you catch him going toward deer droppings, firmly give the "Leave it" command, and when he follows you, praise him and give him a treat to reinforce the good behavior. If your dog eats excrement from deer who frequent your garden, sprinkle ground black pepper or hot sauce on the droppings. When your dog goes near the feces, the taste aversive will make him think twice about eating it.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.