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Potatoes to discourage coprophagia??

This is the place to share your best homemade dog food and treat recipes with each other! Remember to use caution if your pet has allergies and to make any diet changes gradually so that your dog's stomach can adjust to the new foods you are introducing.

  
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Member Since
10/20/2012
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 23, '12 2:13pm PST 
Two out of three of my dogs are hard-boiled poop-eaters. Especially in winter when they ar nice and crunchy. Booo! Years ago an old farmer hanging around at the Co-op suggested adding cooked potatoes to their food to curtail the behavior. My question is, are potatoes a suitable starch to add to homemade food, and has anyone had success with this?
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 23, '12 5:54pm PST 
Well cooked potatoes are a fine starch to use in cooked dog food. Be very sure to get any green skin off of course.

Whether it helps with the poop eating or not, no idea but go for it.

One theory that goes around is undigested food in the poop attracts the dog so a food that is mostly digested would be best. A basic prey model raw diet of meat with a little bone and organ produces the least waste. Another theory is this is a deeply ingrained behavior of dogs that eat any organic matter left by humans which includes poop. I did eventually stop Sassy's cat poop eating by digging it out of her mouth every time she got some but she only got that on leash during walks as we didn't have a cat. She just moved to horse, cow, sheep, rabbit, goose, duck and any other poop she could find!
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Hamish

1272957
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 23, '12 6:54pm PST 
Thanks for the info and empathy! I am striving to improve the all over quality of their diet, but I fear the behavior is deeply ingrained. As long as their is no risk, the potatoes are worth a try. I'll keep you posted!
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 24, '12 11:39am PST 
I've had better success tackling this as a behavioral issue rather than through diet. THere are all kinds of additives and dietary suggestions, but if this is a behavioral habit they have limited success in my experience. (I've worked in kennels and handled many dogs. This can be a cause of health concern in groups so it's best to discourage it. That's not as much of a problem if you only have a couple dogs and know their health issues.) I started with management: clean up any waste in their own yards immediately after they go. Short leash on walks, interrupt any poo-snacking behavior and redirect. Reward heavily anytime the poo snack is dropped. This is trickier if they're offleash in areas where you can't control the amount of waste left around. Work on a solid 'leave it' cue. Takes time, but it can work.

Potatos don't help, that I've seen. That was the main starch in one of the greyhound kennel's diets (we prepared all of their food) and it never seemed to dissuade a determined coprophagic.
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Hamish

1272957
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 24, '12 4:18pm PST 
Thanks for the info vis a vis potatoes. Do you agree that they are at least not a bad choice as a carbohydrate in home prepared food? (cooked, obviously) What about percentages? Do you think 25% would be too much?
I appreciate that behaviour is the best place to reform, but with 6 people dealing with them it is very difficult (and frustrating!) to get everyone on exactly the same page. I will try harder....
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 24, '12 8:07pm PST 
If the dogs do well on them then they are just fine.

I am sold on very low carbs for dogs however. Max is far better off on his prey model raw diet than he was on chicken and rice I cooked or kibble. If I was forced to cook for him I hope I could feed something modeled on Lew Olson's Low Glycemic Recipe, mostly meat/egg/fish/organ/possibly dairy with about 25% low calorie veggies like broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, celery and the like - with calcium added of course.
http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/index.php/archive/low- glycemic/

I know not everybody is comfortable doing such a diet and that is fine. Dogs do very well on a wide variety of diets. If you hold the starch to about 25% [cooked weight] at the maximum and have a minimum of 50% meaty stuff then you are definitely providing a very nice diet. More to it for a completely balanced diet though, see Sedona's thread on balancing a home cooked diet for how tos.
http://www.dogster.com/forums/Home_Prepared_Food_Recipes/threa d/640881
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Taggert

Semper Vorax
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 24, '12 10:44pm PST 
My dogs get cooked potato and Taggert still chews poo if it's left on their potty mat. I've never heard of potatoes discouraging that behavior, although the bromelain in pineapple is well known to help.

Potatoes are an entirely acceptable starch. It's pretty devoid of much nutrition though. Sweet potatoes are much better.
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Esme

1272961
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 28, '12 8:47pm PST 
Thanks for all the info and advice on homemade foods. Growing up all my dogs were fed homemade food, and I'm not sure why I didn't continue, looking back. I'm doing lots of research to make sure that I do it the best way possible within my budget and lifestyle. There is so much info out there, that it takes a bit of work to sort through it all, and real world input is greatly appreciated. Can anyone fill me in on taurine? I have more reading to do, but I'd appreciate any info.
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Taggert

Semper Vorax
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 28, '12 9:05pm PST 
dogs make their own taurine. It's a non-essential amino acid for humans and dogs, but it's essential for cats. It's part of what makes cats obligate carnivores and dogs not so much.

Some people swear that dogs do better with a taurine suppliment. You're only going ot get a good amino acid profile, including taurine, if you feed your dog raw foods. Heat destroys amino acids. Some dogs need it more than others. You might consider a taurine suppliment if your dog is a large breed like danes or newfoundlands, or predisposed to retina problems and heart problems like cocker spaniels. A suppliment would simply support what is already being made. Taurine supplimentation is something to talk with your vet about.

Edited by author Sun Oct 28, '12 9:09pm PST

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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 28, '12 9:13pm PST 
Dogs are supposed to make their own taurine but they have to have two amino acids in good enough supply to be able to do so, methionine and cysteine.

Add some dogs with seizures to the list that may need taurine added to the diet. Max had seizures as a youngster and I did supplement him with taurine. Later the vet heard a gallop in his heart rhythm, another issue that may be helped with taurine added to the diet.
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