Raw feeding and Poo eating

We have a puppy Leonberger female who is 13 weeks old, the breeder that we got her from feed all his 16 dogs on raw food (she eats better than we do ha ha) and raved about it so I kept her on it and so far she is doing great on it and I am very impressed with it so much so that I would like to change my 3 cocker spaniels onto it. This is were the problem starts Benson my 10 year old is a nightmare round food he can sniff it a mile away and is always hungry he is also very possive over his food especially chews. Dylan my 5 year has always had a sensitive stomach and had to have an operation to remove something from his gut a few years ago which I don’t think helps. When we first got him he would eat his own poo and this was because when he was with his mum all the other puppies did it so he didn’t know any different he did grow out of it. Many Moons ago I used to have a pet shop and the food at the time was Eukanuba which Benson was feed on with no problem but it didn’t suit Dylan it just gave him wind all the time and thats how I started doing some research into different foods. At the time I changed over to to Burns which was fine but the dogs lost so much weight so back to the drawing board. At the time I wanted to give my dogs the best and the most natural as I could afford and raw was not an option so I went for Arden Grange. Over the years there has been so much research and every year there is a new food coming out and different trends and things change as new research comes out. Know for my 2year working cocker who is one of the kindness dogs I have ever met and who just wants to please you all the time. We got him from a very good breeder who feed Eukanuba he also had the habit of eating his and others poo :-[ and again the food didn’t suit him so back to the drawing board (which to a point makes you look at feeding kibbles with so many problems with food). It has been an on going problem with his poo eating until I put him on Markus Muhle Naturnah and he is great on it but it doesn’t suit the other two cockers. (complicated i Know). So heres my problem I am so impressed with the Raw feeding that I though I would change them all over one at a time starting with Harvey and what happens he started eating the other dogs poo. Sorry for such a long subject but I wanted to give the full story - do I put him back on Markus Muhle Naturnah which would mean 3 different foods to buy. :-\ :-\

I have a similar problem to you in that I have three dogs and I don’t want to be buying different food products. That is why I have them all on Gentle, which is from the same company as Markus Muhle and has the benefit of being for all life stages. For me, this has worked well. I tried raw feeding fairly recently but it didn’t work out for various reasons. The recipe for Gentle is similar to MM but I think it is better because the only carbohydrate in it is the 28% brown rice. IIRC MM has maize in it.

Regarding the coprophagia - have I got this right?:

  • Harvey has had this habit for some time but it stopped once he was changed to Markus Muhle.
  • He is now on raw but has started to eat the poo of the other two dogs. I assume that you have not yet moved these two onto raw food. If not, what are they currently being fed on?

From your post you seem to feel that diet does have a bearing on the habit. Some people say that it is due to the fact that there may be undigested parts of commercial dog food which attracts the dog. Others think it is due to pica i.e. some nutrient that is lacking in the dog’s diet that he is trying to replace by eating poo. I just think it is a habit that is unrelated to diet and is all but impossible to stop but I am open to correction. If they are really hooked on this nasty habit, the only thing to do (IMHO) is to clear up double quick or pop a basket muzzle on them while they are out in the garden.

If I have it right, it’s odd that he stopped eating poo when on the MM and that indicates to me that the food was satisfying his hunger more than the raw. From what I have read, raw is digested and out of the stomach within about four hours so maybe increasing his number of meals to three might help. I think you probably need to decide what your priorities are. Is it the raw feeding or trying to stop the coprophagia?

I have noticed, that since I started feeding raw as part of my dogs diet, she has stopped her habit of eating cow poo and nibbling grass. She only used to try and grab the odd mouthful and I often thought it was to gain some nutrients from the greenery they eat. She will occasionally nibble on grass still but far less frequently than she used to.

I feed her nutriment and it contains green vegetables. I also give her spinach when we have it. She never ate dog poo or cat poo as far as I know so I am not sure if she was motivated by the same thing as your dog.

I have also heard that dogs who eat raw food may produce poo which is more attractive for others to eat. I am not sure how true that is however. It may be worth considering a muzzle when it is likely to be a problem as the waste from raw fed dogs may contain more bacteria.

It’s a complicated story, but do I read it correctly that the main problem at the moment is with Harvey; that he was poo eating when he came to you; that he stopped doing this when you fed him Markus Muhle Naturnah; he started doing it again when you switched him to raw?

If that is the case then it does seem that his poo eating is linked to his diet, rather than being just a bad habit.

I wonder what exactly you mean by raw feeding. There are many ways of feeding raw as DIY, and a number of commercially prepared raw diets each of which has different ingredients. I find it odd, to be honest, that people tend to lump them all together - you don’t get many people who try just one type of kibble and then, if it doesn’t suit their dog, leap to the conclusion that ‘kibble doesn’t suit my dog’ without trying any others - why do the same with raw?

I’d be interested to know exactly what it is you have tried Harvey on, and also if you have been giving him a variety of protein sources or just one or two, since if it is the latter then slight deficiencies are much more likely.

Thank you for your comments they have all been helpful. The Raw food I am feeding to my Leonberger is the Natural menu. I am following the guide lines from my breeder and for the Natural Menu information. I mix up my carbs with grated sweet potato (no other potato according the the young lady at Natural Menu but could not tell me why) and or part boiled brown rice, my veg and fruit I mix up all sorts and add herbs only those that are suitable for dogs to eat. I am finding that it can work out quite expensive and time consuming as well so I was wandering wether to feed so cool pressed as well? I am keeping my eye on Harvey I did ask the vets nurse about it and it could be down to him acting up because of Mia the puppy because he has urinated in the house which is not like him. So we will see. ; ;D

It does sound a complicated diet. First of all, by ‘Natural Menu’ do you mean Natures Menu and if so, which products are you using? They do such a wide range. My understanding is that cold pressed foods are OK with raw diet. If you did feed a combination of raw and cold pressed, you probably would not need to add sweet potato and brown rice because it already has carbohydrate in it. I can see that being a lot easier for you.

Sorry yes I do mean Natures Menu I feed the free flow minces, heart, beef chunks, liver, chicken wings, tripe, poultry necks, I try and give a variety and work to the advise given. I don’t get the complete because of the cost my Leonberger is on 1kg of food a day while she is a puppy.

Any grain free food is fine to feed along side raw, it is high levels of carbs, and especially starch, that could in theory cause some issues with different digestion rates that is usually advised against. Just because a food is cold pressed doesn’t necessarily make it low in carbs.