My sweet Simona was said to be about 5½ years old, back in October 2014. Adopting adult dogs can certainly lead to our discovering major issues with improper training, of that I have learned the hard way. Having not been trained properly as a puppy to not eat her poo, Simona has made this training task quit a chore … indeed!
When I agreed to adopt Simona, from her second owner (who had adopted her for about 6 months prior) told me to be sure to walk her EVERY day, and this was stated so emphatically that yes it did make me a tad suspicious at that time. I was also informed that Simona has been trained to “go outside”. Not wanting to leave her behind, as it was very clear that she was no longer wanted where she was (and, my little Chloe seemed to adore her), I scooped her up, paid them their requested fee to adopt her, and was off to return to my home.
My Chloe has missed her buddy Nugget who passed away, causing Chloe to pine for a playmate, which is what got me looking for another companion for her in the first place. Adopting a female adult dog, I thought might be the better way, as raising a puppy is not an easy task. Now, I’m not so sure any more … <LOL!> … you see, I would have had a puppy fully trained by now.
Once back home with Simona, I soon realized why the insistence of my “making sure to walk her EVERY day” … it was because she eats her poop!
Even though I let her out in the backyard to do her business, she would STILL eat it before I could stop her. I tried scolding her … not a good idea … I tried standing by her … and then I finally put her on a leash until her business was completed. I would have a poop-scoop in one hand, her leash in the other; the scoop, I would quickly place under her once she started doing her pooping. This seemed to be the ONLY method that worked … and still does to this day.
All winter long from December 2014 to March 2015, I would shovel the snow off my back deck and stairs, clear a pathway through the snow on my patio, and then clear a large circle of grass of snow, large enough for her to do her business and then some. Before the frost set in, I used one of those cork screw looking gizmos that you can literally screw into the ground and use to hook the end of your dog’s leash to it. If I didn’t do that she would refuse to go … and that’s how I had to let her do her business alllllll winter long that year.
Come spring and summer of 2015, I had quite a job trying to get that circle of grass to grow back. Leaving it uncovered like I did all during the winter was obviously not a smart thing to do … never mind that I was risking my neck taking those stairs down off the deck each and every time she needed to be relieved.
Thankfully, my Chloe is trained to use a potty-pan similar to what Nugget used to use. You know … a deep-set boot tray lined with newspaper.
Once the winter of 2015 to 2016 started, I informed Simona that she’d have to start using potty papers to do her business on, and I set out two, one slightly overlapping onto the other, next to Chloe’s potty-pan. Simona seemed disgusted with the potty-pan right from the start, thus potty papers would have to do.
Simona started eating her poop once again. Man o’ man, will she NEVER stop?
Now it became a matter of my paying real close attention for when she would visit the potty paper and to scoop it once she was finished. It had to be “perfect timing” because if I came to the room too soon, she’d stop and trot away … and if I came too late … well, she’d be in the midst of snacking on what she seemed to perceive as a treat.
By April 2016, I could take it no longer … so, off the internet again I went, and this time I literally typed in “help, my dog eats poop” (without the quotation marks, of course) Google’s search textbox and that’s when I discovered Eliminate Potty Mouth by Melissa Carroll, in which I paid $36.28 ($27 US funds) to receive a copy. Once I downloaded my copy of this book, I couldn’t read through it soon enough. The author, Ms. Carroll stated a number of issues that we might each seriously consider before panicking. Yup, I get it.
Get to the Vet as this might be a health issue. You can bet I had Simona Vet checked from top-to-bottom within days of her arriving back home with us … and, I was given her Vet history to refer to if necessary, by the previous owner. This I already knew was NOT the issue.
Adjust my own behaviour by cleaning up Simona’s stools as soon as she had relieved herself and … well … you already know that I was already doing this, to no avail. Ms. Carroll’s third suggestion was what got me to sit up and take notice. She suggested this may be a gut fix method that the dog is doing (unconsciously) to restore the gut to its proper microbiome balance. She went on to explain the importance of probiotics and what a single dose should contain (2 billion DRU and at least 10 species of bacteria). Okay, she definitely had my attention.
However, when I did an internet search on the brand of Ms. Carroll said that she buys; I was shocked to see how poorly a rating her suggested brand received every where that I found reviews posted. Then I came to find Dr. Mercola’s brand which received mainly rave reviews along with a money back guarantee, and so I purchased 1 bottle of his “Complete Probiotics for Pets”” immediately, and anxiously awaited delivery.
Once received, I put Simona on this stuff immediately. Now, whether it was the fact that she was able to go do her business outdoors once again (leashed with scoop in my hand, of course) or whether this stuff really worked, I did not know, but all summer long, I had no more snacking issues with Simona … until this winter started (2016 to 2017) of course. That is when Simona actually started eating Chloe’s poop too! Good golly, you would have thought she perceived Chloe’s poop to be Tootsie Rolls the way she’d rush to where Chloe made her deposits. I was awhile figuring out what was going on … and when I did, I have to admit … I was horrified, and nearly ready to give up.
So … back to the internet I went … AGAIN!
This time, I hunted down more dog behaviour specialist, and I got REALLY lucky. I found Tara from Bark Busters. Tara actually telephoned me back and chatted with me for about 20 minutes. I could give Tara one very BIG HUG for introducing me to For-Bid (purchasing 1 box, followed by 3 more)! Tara suggested I keep Simona AND Chloe (BOTH!) on this stuff for at least 3 months, and she said that she has never found it to NOT work.
One box of For-Bid comes with 12 packets which each contain 0.28 ounces or 8g.
Whenever Simona eats her poo now, I just clean up the remains and provide NO reaction. However, I am NOT allowing her to lick anyone nor anything I don’t want contaminated. Oooh how I’m praying this works. Three months, huh? God please grant me the patience … LOL.
My Chloe is a VERY picky eater, but once coaxed into trying a spoon full of her favourite soft food, mixed with the proper proportion of For-Bid, she will eat it. Tara from Bark Busters assured me there is NO taste to the powder, and it seems she is correct, as Chloe loved her food once she tasted it, and she has finished it off completely every time … even though she is STILL suspicious.
Chloe is one very clever “puppy”; she has noticed that I’m now doing something different with their meals now, as Chloe watches me prepare their two meals a day (tablespoon of soft food) where I push ½ teaspoon of For-Bid powder into each bowl (over the soft food) and then I mix the powder in thoroughly. Can’t fool that girl, no siree! A little bit of coaxing though, and she’s eating like there’s no tomorrow.
Simona and Chloe have now been on the For-Bid for eight days … and, Simona is now totally ignoring Chloe’s poop, thankfully. In fact, Simona has left her’s untouched THREE times now . . . Yaaahooooo! I think Tara has found a winner of a resolution for me in dealing with my Simona’s bad eating habit!
As one dear friend put it after talking with her about this very topic, “OMG, what people who love their pets talk about!” 🙂
Will be back to keep you updated regularly. I wanted to share this great news with ANYONE suffering from their dog’s bad eating habit NOW, so you too can start on this stuff straight away. In the meantime, I best be ordering more For-Bid. The first box ordered took 12 days to arrive, and though I have now order 3 more boxes, these won’t be enough to last me for the 3 months use.
If you have found this post helpful then please DO share it so others can gain advantage from my learning the hard way. All comments (below) will be greatly appreciated!