Shanti is coming on fabulous, obedient, happy and very smart. But we cannot let him in the garden because of all the dirt and soil he is eating and worse he eats his pooh….. please help me with this as i cannot seem to find a cure and it makes me feel sick.
Some dogs do seem to have the urge to eat dirt, rocks and so on, and there are a fair number of pups who also eat their own poop (and that of other dogs, cats, horses etc.).
Apart from being nasty and ‘yukky’, these habits carry health risks as the dog can ingest parasites, chemicals and so on from the dirt and many dog diseases are transmitted through feces.
Unfortunately stopping a dog from eating soil/stones etc. is pretty difficult unless you’re supervising them constantly. The best remedy is prevention, and that may mean fencing off part of the yard for Shanti and keeping that area as free of rocks, sticks, plants etc. as possible. If you give him plenty of interesting chew toys, including a big real ‘knuckle bone’ or something similar, and only allow him short periods outside (bringing him in as soon as he starts eating dirt) then you may be able to break this habit.
Putting a stop to the coprophagia (poop eating) is a bit easier as there are certain products you can add to his diet that will help to make his feces a lot less appealing to him. Check out this page for more on this Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?.
Hope this helps. Best of luck with Shanti, keep up the good work :o)