Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? Unraveling the Mystery Behind Coprophagia

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? Unraveling the Mystery Behind Coprophagia

Dogs are known for their quirky behaviors, and if you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably seen them do some pretty weird things, but why do dogs eat poop? One of the more unpleasant habits that dogs exhibit is eating poop or coprophagia. Witnessing your dog munch on feces can be both alarming and disgusting, leaving you puzzled and wondering why they do this. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why dogs eat poop and what you can do to stop this behavior.

So, Why do Dogs Eat Poop?

Instinctual Behavior

One of the reasons why dogs eat poop is rooted in their instincts. In the wild, dogs would eat waste material as a survival mechanism to clean their dens and to protect their pups from predators instead of trying to steal food. While domesticated dogs do not face the same circumstances, their natural tendency for poop eating persists, leading to this aberrant behavior.

Health Issues

Another reason why dogs may indulge in coprophagia is due to underlying health issues. Digestive disorders, malabsorption syndromes, and a deficiency in vitamins and minerals may cause dogs to eat poop to replenish their bodies. In addition, dogs suffering from diabetes, thyroid disorders, and other metabolic conditions may also feel the urge to eat feces.

Behavioral Causes

Dogs may also engage in coprophagia due to behavioral causes. Mother dogs who have recently given birth may eat their puppies’ feces to keep their environment clean. Additionally, dogs that are confined to small spaces may develop this habit out of boredom or anxiety.

Social Influence

Dogs are pack animals and may also eat poop due to social influences from other members of their pack. Often, puppies learn by observation and imitation, and if they see other dogs eating poop, they may start doing so. Thus, it’s vital to discourage coprophagia from an early age to prevent the habit from forming and spreading.

How to Stop Coprophagia

Thankfully, Preventing poop eating is possible. The first step is to rule out any health issues that may cause coprophagia. Ensure that your dog is on a healthy, nutritious diet that meets their dietary needs. Additionally, provide plenty of physical and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and anxiety. You can also train your dog to “leave it” or “drop it” commands to discourage them from eating poop. Later on in the blog we will go over more ways to rid your dog of this habit.

The Dirty Truth: Understanding the Dangers of Dogs Eating Poop


Dogs are curious creatures and they often like to explore the world around them with their mouths. While it is natural for them to sniff and lick various objects, dogs eating poop is a common and concerning behavior that is often misunderstood by pet owners. Despite its prevalence, this habit can lead to serious health risks for both your pup and your family. Below, we will explore the potential dangers of dogs eating poop and discuss some tips on how to stop this behavior.

Parasite Transmission

One of the biggest risks associated with dogs eating poop is the transmission of parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. These parasites live in the intestines of dogs and can be spread through fecal matter. When your dog eats poop, they can ingest these parasites and become infected, which can cause a range of health issues including diarrhea, vomiting, and even anemia. Additionally, humans can also contract these parasites from their dogs poop, especially young children who are more susceptible to infection.

Bacterial Infections

In addition to parasites, dogs eating poop can also lead to bacterial infections such as salmonella and E.coli. These bacteria can cause a range of symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Moreover, if your dog comes into contact with the bacteria, they can also spread it to you or other pets in your household.

Nutritional Deficiencies

While it may seem gross, some dogs have eaten poop because they are lacking important nutrients in their diet. If your adult dog is not getting enough protein or other essential vitamins, they may try to supplement their diet by eating feces. However, this behavior can be dangerous as the nutritional content of poop is not only low, but it can also contain harmful substances such as toxins or bacteria.

Behavioral Issues

Sometimes dogs eat poop simply because it has become a habit or behavior that brings them pleasure. In some cases, dogs may even eat poop as a way to get attention from their owners. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to address this behavior as soon as possible before it becomes a habit that is hard to break.

Prevention Tips

To prevent your dog from eating poop, it is important to keep their environment clean and free of feces. Additionally, make sure that your dog is getting a complete and balanced diet, and consider providing them with chew toys or bones to satisfy their oral fixation. It is also crucial to train your dog and teach them basic commands such as “leave it” or “stay” to prevent them from eating poop.

Dogs eating poop may seem like a harmless behavior, but it can pose serious health risks for both your dog and your family. Understanding the potential dangers of this habit and taking steps to prevent it can help ensure the health and safety of everyone in your household. If you are struggling to break your dog’s poop-eating habit, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. By working together, you can create a safe and healthy environment for your furry friend.

How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop

Dogs are amazing pets that bring so much joy and happiness to their owners. However, as much as we love them, they have some bad habits that can be quite frustrating like eating poop. Yes, you read that right, eat poo! If your dog enjoys eating poop, you’re not alone, as it’s quite common among dogs of different breeds and sizes. This habit, also medically referred to as coprophagia, can have adverse effects on your dog’s health and hygiene, and it’s essential to stop it as soon as possible. In this post, we will discuss some tips on how to stop your dog from eating poop.

Monitor Your Dog:

One of the easiest ways to stop your dog from eating poop is to monitor them. Keep an eye on your dog when you take them outside, and always keep them on a leash. Be mindful of their behavior when they are sniffing around, and if they show interest in eating poop, correct them immediately. You can do this by using a firm tone and saying “No” or “Stop” and gently pulling on their leash. Once they stop, reward them with a treat or praise.

Keep Your Yard Clean

If you have a yard or a garden, it’s vital to clean up after your dog immediately. Do not let poop accumulate in your yard as it may attract flies and other harmful toxins. You can also use a poop scooper to pick up the poop and dispose of it properly or use a litter box. Keeping your yard clean reduces the chances of your dog eating poop and promotes a healthy environment for both you and your furry friend.

Add Supplements to Your Dog’s Diet

Some dogs eat poop because they are lacking certain nutrients, such as vitamin B. Adding supplements to their dog food may help to deter them from eating poop. You can also consult your vet on the best supplements for your dog. These supplements will not only stop your dog from eating poop but also improve their overall health.

Train Your Dog

Rottweiler Puppy Running on Lawn Grass

You can also train your dog to stop eating poop by using positive reinforcement techniques and potty training. Start by using a neutral taste deterrent on the poop and reward your dog when they sniff and avoid the poop. Over time, they will learn that poop is not food and avoid it automatically. It’s important to note that training your dog may take time and patience, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.

Seek Professional Help

Dog At Vet

If all else fails, consider seeking professional help from your vet or an animal behaviorist. They can help determine the root cause of your dog poop eating behavior and develop a plan to stop it. This approach may include medication, behavioral modification, and other practical techniques.

Stopping your dog from poop eating may require a combination of strategies, including monitoring, keeping your yard clean, using supplements, training, and seeking professional help. The habit of eating poop may be unhealthy for your dog and pose health risks to your family, so it’s vital to address it as soon as possible. Remember, it may take time, but with consistency and patience, you can stop your dog from eating poop and promote a healthy and happy life for you and your furry friend.

In summary, coprophagia is an unpleasant habit that many dog owners have to deal with. While the reasons for this behavior are multifaceted, with proper training and care, it’s possible to stop your dog from eating poop. Remember to consult a veterinarian if you suspect that your dog may be suffering from underlying health issues. Lastly, patience and perseverance are key, and with time, your dog can learn to break this habit and live a happy, healthy life.

If you believe your dog has a problem with eating poop, we suggest getting them checked out to prevent any of the above issues. Here at Sirius Vet, we make sure your pup is treated as our own. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!