A pet-parent with two young puppies has been experiencing issues with her pups eating their own poo, coined "coprophagia." Not pleasant to discuss, but how do you correct this sort of behavior?
Tonight I decided to go in search of answers and found this article from the Pet Behavior Centre. It suggests sprinkling tobasco sauce or chili powder on feces to deter determined pups or to enrich the diet to ward against any possible nutrient deficiencies that may be responsible, notably by offering pups chunks of pineapple to aid digestion. Here is an excerpt:
Various ways of overcoming the problem by altering what a dog eats have been advocated. These include changing the diet to one of the premium dried foods. These are processed more easily by the dog’s body before being passed and the resultant faeces are less appealing. Various additions to the diet are thought to be helpful, such as pineapple chunks, because of the presence of an enzyme that aids digestion. In many cases adding sterilized bonemeal to the diet reduces the attraction of a dog’s faeces because they are drier and less palatable. Adding 10% fiber to the diet has also been advocated as a method of controlling the problem - this can be achieved by using a bulkier dry diet or by adding fibrous material such as bran or boiled green vegetables to the normal diet. If your dog has a coprophagic habit you should discuss dietary aspects of this antisocial behavior with your veterinarian in more detail. They will also be able to exclude physical causes for the behavior, an important step if the onset is sudden, and can prescribe some additives for the diet that will make the dog’s own faeces less palatable.
Whatever the cause of the behavior it is often developed into a worse problem by the owner's response. For example their understandable dislike of their dog’s habit may cause them to rush out into their yard with spade in hand to clear up before their dog can eat what it has passed. From the dog's point of view this may look like competition and some become so determined to beat their owners to it they will eat what they have done as soon as they have done it.
If nothing else works, hopefully it's just a phase they'll outgrow.