Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? How Can I Stop it?

woman cleaning after golden retriever

When you’re with most dog owners, the prospect of your dog ingesting feces disgusts you. However, did you know that there are other reasons why dogs eat feces? This article will examine the most prevalent causes of coprophagy and provide prevention advice. Read on to find out why dogs consume feces and what you can do to prevent it.

What exactly is Coprophagia?

Coprophagia is the word for dogs consuming their or another animal’s feces. It is a behavior that many dog owners find objectionable, but it is a common habit for certain dogs at some point in their lives. It may begin during puppyhood, with some animals outgrowing it as they age. However, if given half a chance, many dogs will eagerly consume the “wonderful” treats in the litter box of a neighboring cat.

Why do Canines Eat poop?

The reasons why dogs ingest feces may include the following:

Nutritional Deficiencies

If your pet eats poop, you should ensure that they are not deficient in any essential nutrients and incapacitated by certain elements. One study found that dogs whose meals lacked thiamine developed Coprophagia. If your veterinarian is concerned about deficits in a pet, they will conduct tests not included in the standard wellness blood panel. Compared with dogs that eat commercial food, those on raw diets are more likely to experience nutritional deficiencies. Adding dog multivitamins chewable and digestive enzymes for dogs can help.

Existing Medical Problems

If a dog begins eating excrement without apparent cause, it could be symptomatic of several illnesses that cause increased appetite, including diabetes and Cushing’s disease. Dogs with liver disease, anemia and cognitive problems may be at a higher risk of developing Coprophagia.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms may rob your pet of essential nutrients. This can lead to inflammation—Coprophagia is a symptom of that malabsorption. Eating feces could indicate your dog’s anxiety or stress levels are high. This could result from separation anxiety, isolation distress or a dog attempting to avoid punishment during toilet training.


A dog eating feces may be trying to get additional calories if given steroids or other medications that cause increased hunger.

Purifying the “Den”

Early in a litter, the mother dog would lick the puppies’ rear ends to stimulate bowel movements and consume those feces. This behavior is thought to be motivated by a need for cleanliness and protection from predators.

It Simply Tastes Great!

Although it may be hard for us to imagine, dogs could enjoy the taste of feces. Feces are the result of a dog’s digestion and contain leftover food. If your dog eats other animals’ feces, it may also eat plants because they offer more nutrients.

Unsuitable Association with Food

When dogs are introduced to their food and bathroom too close together during key developmental stages, they may develop an appetite for feces. This can occur in dogs confined for long periods without a special place to urinate, such as in puppy mills and overcrowded shelters.

Want Attention or Boredom

Dogs quickly learn that eating feces is a surefire way to get our attention since we typically make a big fuss when they do so. They may repeat this behavior because it works and even views it as a game when you are present. If a dog is bored, it may resort to eating feces or opening the cat’s litter box in search of food.

How To Prevent Your Dog from Consuming Poop

Once you’ve determined the medical or behavioral cause for your dog’s feces consumption, you can take steps to stop this undesired activity.

Focus Cleanliness

If your stool-eating dog lives with other dogs and cats, immediately wipe up the feces. Keep the litter box clean as well. This will reduce the likelihood of feces consumption.

Maintain Your Dog’s Physical and Mental Stimulation.

Avoid boredom through physical activity and mental stimulation. Games, toys, agility, and other sports are excellent methods to keep your dog’s body and mind busy and occupied. This is especially true for working breeds, which must be kept active.

Feed a Healthy Diet

Feeding natural food instead of a commercially prepared diet can affect. Feed your dog a balanced, whole-food, preferably raw-meat-based diet to ensure that he receives the necessary nutrients. Include sufficient organ meats in your diet, as they are extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. Add pre and probiotics for dogs and digestive enzymes to ensure he receives all of the food’s advantages.

Make Poop No Big Deal

Punishing your dog for consuming feces is ineffective. Please don’t make a big deal out of him eating feces. Instead, focus on your dog’s intestinal health and ensure that he receives ample exercise and mental stimulation. With effort, persistence, and sleuthing, you can determine why your dog is eating feces and convince him to quit. However, remember that eating feces is typical behavior.


If your dog habitually consumes feces, or if you are concerned about their health or behavior, you should always consult a veterinarian, especially if this is a new problem. Your veterinarian may be able to provide you with information on how to address this issue, or they may recommend that you consult a behaviorist. You should immediately contact your veterinarian if your dog is eating feces and exhibiting other disease symptoms.


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