Since I am an old-fashioned girl, my first thought when someone mentions meat tenderizer is a meat mallet, a small metal kitchen tool I often use to beat on the meat until it becomes soft. Nowadays, many people add different commercial products to prepare the meat for a delicious dinner.
Dog owners often use enzymes to prevent coprophagia (poop-eating) in their dogs. If you spot that your physically healthy dog has such a behavior problem, you should find a way to stop it. Once you decide to use some of the products available, you only need to check how much meat tenderizer should be added to dog food and start with the treatment. Let’s see.
What Is Meat Tenderizer?
Meat tenderizer is basically a naturally derived enzyme powder. The most commonly used is papayas’ enzyme papain and pineapples’ enzyme bromelain. Once you sprinkle this powder over the meat, the enzyme will break down the tough meat fibers.
Nowadays, you can find these products with or without seasonings, depending on your dog’s taste. However, you can also get the same effect by marinating meat in pineapple or papaya juice.
How Much Meat Tenderizer To Put In The Dog’s Food?
Many dog owners managed to stop their dogs from eating poop this way, so it is worth trying the method when facing such an issue. Even though you don’t get a satisfactory result, this compound won’t harm your dog.
Believe it or not, it will be enough to sprinkle some meat tenderizer over the meal, and it will be enough to solve the problem in most cases.
The crucial thing is to buy a meat tenderizer that contains Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), a food additive often used to enhance flavor. Although there is a lot of controversy around it, the FDA considers this additive ‘generally recognized as safe.’ The benefit is that this chemical makes poop taste awful, so that your dog will avoid eating it.
Natural Meat Tenderizers
If you want to avoid commercial products, you can use a small amount of natural ingredients to soften meat before offering it to your dog.
- Black tea
- Wine and beer
- Baking soda
- Fruit (pineapple, figs, kiwis, pawpaw)
Why Puppies And Dogs Eat Poop?
In some cases, eating stools is a behavioral issue, but numerous medical concerns can also cause it. Whatever the problem is, you should react right away and prevent this unhealthy habit. Let see what probable reasons for your dog to eat poop are.
1. Poop Taste
High-protein dog food byproducts from stools are usually attractive to your dog. In such a case, your buddy can eat it because it likes the taste.
Our American Staffordshire Terrier Malena enjoys eating our kitties’ poop. It seems that cat feces have an appealing odor, taste, and texture for her. She is an obedient dog and avoids these ‘treats’ because she knows that such a thing is forbidden, but I am convinced that she still considers this stuff yummy.
When the dog’s diet lacks nutrients, or your buddy can’t digest particular foods, it will try to make it up by eating poop.
3. Imitating The Mom
It is normal behavior for a dog mom to keep its litter clean by eating the puppies’ poop for approximately 4 to 5 weeks after delivery. Unfortunately, some pups can start imitating this behavior and continue eating their stools as adults.
4. Getting Attention
It is not rare that the dog tries to get your attention by eating poop. Your intelligent buddy can quickly understand that such behavior causes your response and will keep doing it whenever it wants to play.
5. Loneliness And Boredom
Dogs that spend their lonely lives in kennels, lay down in a small space for hours, or sit alone in pet stores often find entertainment in consuming their own poop.
6. Potty Training Anxiety
When you lose your temper during potty training, your puppy can become frightened and anxious. In such a case, it can start eating its poop to ‘hide the evidence’ and avoid punishment. You can see such behavior in adopted doggies when the previous owners aggressively punished any mistake.
Sometimes, coprophagia results from changes in routines, stress after moving to a new home, or a reaction to a new baby or puppy.
8. Living With An Old Or Sick Dog
Your dog can follow its primary instinct and eat sick or older dog’s stools. The probable reason is instinctively hiding the poop from potential predators and protecting the pack and weak companion.
9. Eating Too Close To The Toilet
If the bowl for food is too close to the area with your cat’s litter box, you can expect your dog to start eating its poop. In some cases, it can associate stool scent with its food.
10. Medical Causes
Medical problems that cause a decrease in nutrient absorption will often lead to gastrointestinal upset. In such a case, your dog will probably become interested in eating stools.
The first thing your vet will do after the physical examination is to check the feces for parasites. The next question includes a diet since underfeeding, a poorly balanced diet, and low digestible food can be the probable reason for eating disorders.
Some diseases can also be a trigger for coprophagia, including:
- Thyroid disease
- Cushing’s disease
Keep in mind that particular drugs like steroids often lead to poop eating.
Are Meat Tenderizers Effective?
In most cases, these enzymes are highly effective in preventing your dog from eating poop. Unfortunately, they won’t solve the medical and psychological problems. These products will change the stool taste but can’t help when your furry friend looks for comfort when feeling abandoned, anxious, and unhappy.
Coprophagia is common with many animal species. Even though it is not a part of the digestive process in canines, you can see such behavior appearing for various reasons. The best example is a new dog mom that removes puppies’ poop in a first few months after delivering.
In all other cases, you can try to solve this disgusting problem by adding natural or commercial meat tenderizer to your dog’s meal. Always exclude potential medical issues first.