September 13, 2011
(I wrote this awhile back and don’t believe I ever posted here. – WKW)
I have two Boston Terriers – Max and Jack. For those of you that visit, Max is the surly, fat, smart one, while Jack is the happy, athletic idiot. Needless to say, we love them completely. Max and Jack have one driving passion in life, and of late, that passion has become a bit of a pain. You see, Max and Jack are poopy aficionados.
The Hunt for Poopy
Any venture outside is a grand hunt for poopy for Max and Jack. They just can’t seem to get enough. It doesn’t matter what variety of poopy they find, either. Dog, people, duck, porcupine, frog, parakeet, elephant, republican, democrat, you name it, they’ll wolf it down and comment on the ethereal ambiance of its tastes and flavors.
Now, while any poopy is fabulous poopy, cat poopy is the real victory. It’s comparable to chocolate for most humans I believe: while all poopy is fabulous, cat poopy is like the Godiva of poopy. It’s their purpose in life. Well, sleeping, chasing tennis balls and eating poopy are their purposes, in no specific order, but you get where I’m going.
Like most of us, however, dogs don’t get to eat out too often, so their own poopy is the target.
Drawing the Lines
Let me point out, that the quest for poopy often occurs outside, whilst my wife or I try to encourage them to create their own poopy. Still, the hunt for poopy, their own or the poopy of others can occur anywhere, at any time. Their talent for locating, and swallowing poopy before we can tell them not to would make the most advanced truffle-sniffing pig feel like, well, something that truffle-sniffing pigs look down upon.
So basically it is a test of wills – they doing everything in their itty-bitty little powers to procure and consume poopy, while we do everything we can to put an end to this poopy-lust forever. It is a war that will likely have no winners, and millions of poopies will probably be lost. Yet we strive forward, all four of us resolute in our goals.
Could Poopy Be Good?
One day I got to wondering if poopy-eating was all that bad for them. What if those sun-dried poopies that they eat like potato chips are actually giving them some nutrients that their adorable itty-bitty little bodies need? Could poopy be good for them? I was in a quandary, let me tell you. So, I brought out my old chemistry set, put it together on the kitchen table and stared stupidly at it for a while. Then, I called a veterinarian to see what someone with actual knowledge had to say about Max and Jack’s poopy prowess.
Of Course, Poopy is Bad
Dr. Debbie White of Lone Mountain Animal Hospital in Las Vegas, Nev., had the answers I was looking for, and then some. It turns out, poopy is not all that great for dogs, but not exactly like eating a dead, maggot-encased bird (Max ate one of those once.). Often animals do it to ingest more vitamins and nutrients. Some do it because they’re just gross.
“There are some other diseases that are shed in stool … Toxoplasmosis which is dangerous for pregnant woman, otherwise, just gastric upset,” White said.
Coprophagy, The Final Frontier
The act of eating non-food items for dogs is called pica. And, it turns out there is an actual word for poopy-eating — Coprophagy.
“This behavior comes from when the mother dog cleans the (poopy) from the litter of dogs birth to 4 weeks,” White said.
Many dogs will begin the practice of coprophagy during the time that their mother is cleaning their poop. The mother will usually continue this practice until the puppy is weaning. Often, the puppy will then begin to imitate its mother, and a new poopy-eater has been created.
Can This Coprophagic Behavior Be Stopped?
“They sell different products most include monosodium glutamate. 4-Bid, Deter, are two popular ones,” White said. “They are designed to make the stool taste bad. It sounds silly when you have to say it that way because you’d think poop would taste bad.
“Some will leave out a pile of poop and put jalapenos or Tabasco on it to act as a deterrent for that,” White added.
There are, of course, some other tricks to help cease this poopy addiction for your loving pooch. Should your dog be gripped by this brown menace, a good first step is to check your dog’s diet. Often coprophagy is the result of dogs not getting enough vitamins and minerals in its diet. Still, be careful not to overload your dog with vitamins, which poses its own problems.
Another reason behind coprophagy is often just plain boredom. Ever been so bored that you’ve eaten your own poop? Well, plenty of dogs have. If your dog spends most of its time in the house or small yard without much exercise, it will start looking for something, anything to keep itself entertained. A regiment of walks and play is always helpful for both owner and dog.
Other ways to help a dog lose interest in its own feces are to occasionally feed it a small amount of pineapple or other acidic fruit that will help change the flavors an ambiance of its poopy to something less desirable. When walking your dog in potentially poopy-populated areas, keep him on a leash and steer clear of temptation. Also, if you catch your dog in the act, call it away and reward it for saying no to poopy.
Finally, the simplest way to help the budding Coprophagics? Keep their area clean of temptation. Picking up poopy might be an arduous affair, but what better way to show your dog your love than to keep his area blissfully poopy-free?
What Not to Do
Remember, rebuking or physically punishingt your dog never has positive results, especially after the fact. Dogs just don’t remember things like that and it can lead to aggressive or fearful behavior.
Something to Look Into
So, it turns out I don’t have two dogs with disgusting eating habits. I have two coprophagists. So now all we have to do is find ourselves a pile of poopy, make it taste bad and Max and Jack’s party-pooping days may finally be over. It’s important to remember, however, that even the best canine experts out there still don’t have an exact theory on why dogs eat poopy. Results will vary from dog to dog, but eventually, with love and attention, you should be able to help your loving pet knock that poopy monkey right of its back.
Courtesy the Wayback Machine.
September 2, 2011
August 30, 2011
Don’t look now, but here it comes:
Only in Arizona.
August 27, 2011
Honey, where’s the remote?
Have I been digging? Why do you ask?
Just try and resist.
August 26, 2011
Sure, this photo is a hoax, but it’ll still freak out my wife, so I’ll post it anyway.
Here’s where the shark came from, BTW:
August 25, 2011
I could watch dogs welcoming home returning soldiers all day.
August 24, 2011
The dog of slain Marine Jon Tumilson refused to leave his side during the Navy SEAL’s funeral earlier this week in Rockford, Iowa. The heartbreaking photo taken by his cousin, Lisa Pembleton, shows Tumilson’s dog Hawkeye lying by the casket. (via The Daily Treat: Animal Planet)
June 18, 2011
Give the dog a bone.
Good news! Our little foster dog Ralphie has found a home! He’ll be living in the nearby city of Belo Horizonte with a good family that recently lost their family dog due to old age. We are confident in them and know Ralphie will now have the family he so deserves.
Thank you all for your help and support!
June 15, 2011
Lions know which of us is the most tender.
June 11, 2011
For those following the saga of our nameless puppy – now going by the name of Ralphie – here’s a little update. First off, the new owner for him fell through, so we are working to find the young dog (maybe 1-year-old) another.
As it turns out, his former canine companion that was killed by a car was his mother. He most definitely has a strong sense of sadness in him, and after two days here has yet to make any real effort to play. He does, however, get extremely happy around my wife and I, and has shown nothing but love for people. He is quite skittish around our other dogs, with the exception of Max – our 14-year-old Boston Terrier. The two now do some serious napping together.
We’ve made a Facebook page for Ralphie which can be found here. With five dogs already, it’s just not the best idea for us to keep him. He needs his own family. But he will stay with us as long as it takes until we find a proper and loving family for him.
June 9, 2011
Here’s a little dog we got from our neighbors who didn’t want him and mistreated him. They had previously owned him and a female dog, who was his faithful companion. The female dog was killed by a car recently, and we decided to try and make sure the same didn’t happen to him.
We already have a home for him – a family with three pre-teens who are thrilled to have a happy, friendly young dog. He’ll get the love he deserves. For tonight, however, he’s hanging out here.
January 17, 2011
A story of a dog’s dedication to its family, following their deaths last week in Brazil. Translated from Fohla.com:
The former street-dog Caramelo helped rescue the bodies of its owners, whose were killed during last week’s rains, then did not want to leave the makeshift grave of his owner.
It lived with its owner, Cristina Cesário Maria Santana, and three other people in a house of the Caleme quarter, one of the most devastated in Teresópolis. The house was destroyed and the family died. The dog escaped, but dug for them until finding them.
When the rescue teams arrived, Caramelo guided them to the bodies. Caramelo was rescued, but did not want to leave the grave of its owner and now he is very depressed and needy.
The deaths due to the rains are a true tragedy, but this is more or less an annual occurrence in Brazil, where millions live in sub-standard housing with scant building regulations. When the rains come every year at this time of year, people die as a result. This year, the count is at more than 600 lost lives.
With the strongest economy in its history, and two major international events (The 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics) coming to the nation, it’s time for Brazil to protect its citizens with the same passion and dedication as Caramelo. Because the rain will always come, but the deaths can be prevented.
Update: Caramelo has a new home.
November 26, 2010
No More Terror by Colors: No one could have anticipated the color-coded terror warning system was a joke.
Korean War Games: Someone should point out to someone that the North Koreans have a big-ass army and an unstable leader.
Democratic Abortions: No, no, no. Freedom of choice means an individuals choice, silly. It doesn’t mean letting people vote on whether you should have an abortion.
Wikileaking: More to come.
Die With Your Debt: Some Seniors are starting to figure out the credit game.
Drug Tunnels: Being they are already tunneling, how’s the fence going to help that problem?
Sponsored by four dachshunds in colorful hoodies.
Karoli: Reputation Management and the Art of Argument.
Mother Jones: We’re still at war.
Dan Froomkin: The Two Most Essential, Abhorrent, Intolerable Lies Of George W. Bush’s Memoir.
Shakesville: Your morning TSA Round-up.
It’s Friday. Things are looking up.
November 23, 2010
Behold his glory.
Haiti Water: Haiti has dirty water. Yes, the U.S. played a role in that.
Chandra Levy: Slain intern’s family sees justice.
Michelango Scandal: David cheated. Goliath named winner.
Heaven is real: A 4 year-old meets John the Baptist. Thus, heaven is real. Fox News reports. You have decided.
KI Media: 375 dead after stampede in Cambodia.
National Review: Korean War II?
Mediaite: Glenn Beck goes after Barbara Bush who goes after Sarah Palin who goes after everyone else.
Let us pray.
Crossposted at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles
October 26, 2010
Don’t be sad, Paul saw this coming.
Paul the Octopus: Famed psychic cephalopod is dead. Luckily, he’s also delicious.