One of the most commonly cited home remedies for coprophagia is feeding your dog specific vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and many others are purported to turn your dog off from eating poop. What’s the idea behind this recommendation? And more importantly, does it work?
First, we should examine the science. Most of the vegetables that are commonly recommended are in the family Brassicaceae, which are commonly referred to as Cruciferous vegetables. Most literature indicates that because these vegetables have a high sulfur content, the smell of these plants after they are digested make them so repulsive to dogs that they won’t eat them. When you think about this, however, does it really make sense? How often does a bad smell actually deter a dog?
More likely, I think is that the organosulphur compound sulforaphane contained in these vegetables has some properties that may help SOME dogs with digestive issues. There is a great deal of human research going on related to the relationship between sulforaphane and other compounds and their relationship to enzymes. It seems reasonable that sulforphane has some effect on a dog’s digestive system.
So, what commonly available vegetables are highest in sulforaphane? Kale, collard greens, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, turnips, and rutabegas are all considered to be cruciferous vegetables.
People have varying degrees of success using vegetables to control coprophagia, but it’s certainly worth a try!
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photo credit: sleepyneko