Dog Eating Poop? How To Stop Them

For some reason one of my dogs picked up the habit of eating dog poop. Not his own poop but my other dog’s poop. When I first caught him doing that, I was instantly grossed out and couldn’t believe my own eyes. I started researching and trying to find out reasons why dog would do such thing and how can I stop them?

Here is what I found out….

Dogs eating poop is a behavior called coprophagia. It can be a variety of reasons, which can be grouped into medical, behavioral, and environmental categories. Understanding the root cause can help in addressing the issue effectively.


Medical Reasons

  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Dogs might eat feces if their diet lacks certain nutrients, such as vitamins or minerals.
  • Parasites: Intestinal parasites can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, causing the dog to seek out additional sources of nutrients.
  • Malabsorption Disorders: Conditions like exocrine pancreatic insufficiency can prevent proper digestion and absorption of food, leading dogs to eat feces.
  • Other Health Issues: Conditions like diabetes, Cushing’s disease, or thyroid problems can increase appetite and lead to coprophagia.

Behavioral Reasons

  • Attention-Seeking: Dogs might eat feces to get attention from their owners, even if it’s negative attention.
  • Boredom or Anxiety: Dogs left alone for long periods or those that are not mentally stimulated may eat feces out of boredom or anxiety.
  • Imitating Other Dogs: Puppies often learn by mimicking adult dogs. If they see other dogs eating feces, they might do the same. ** I believe this is the reason for my own dog.
  • Cleanliness Instinct: In some cases, dogs, especially females with puppies, might eat feces to keep their environment clean.

Environmental Reasons

  • Access to Feces: If feces are readily available in the dog’s environment, they might be more likely to eat it.
  • Scavenging Instinct: Dogs are natural scavengers and may eat feces simply because it’s available and they are inclined to investigate and eat things they find.

Specific Scenarios

  • Puppy Behavior: Young puppies may eat feces as part of exploring their world, but most outgrow this behavior.
  • Overfeeding: Eating too much can lead to undigested food in the feces, making it more appealing to the dog.

Other Considerations

  • Taste and Texture: Some dogs might find the taste or texture of feces appealing.
  • Hunger: If a dog is not fed enough or not fed on a regular schedule, they might eat feces out of hunger.

How to get your dog to stop eating poop? 

It involves a combination of addressing potential underlying medical issues, providing proper training, and implementing behavioral modifications. Here are several steps you can take:


Medical Checkup

  • Visit the Vet: Ensure your dog doesn’t have any medical issues such as nutritional deficiencies, parasites, or other health problems that might cause or contribute to the behavior.

Diet and Nutrition

  • Balanced Diet: Ensure your dog is on a well-balanced, high-quality diet. Sometimes, dogs eat poop due to a lack of certain nutrients.

Behavioral Training

  • Supervision and Management: Keep an eye on your dog when they are outside. Immediately clean up after them to remove the temptation.
  • Training Commands: Teach your dog commands such as “leave it” or “no” to discourage the behavior. Reward them when they obey.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Reward your dog with treats or praise for not engaging in the behavior. Positive reinforcement is key to changing habits.

Environmental Management

  • Prevent Access: If your dog tends to eat poop in specific areas, restrict their access to those areas.
  • Litter Box Management: If you have other pets, keep litter boxes out of reach and clean them regularly to prevent your dog from accessing feces.

Behavioral Deterrents

  • Taste Aversion: Some products are available that can be added to your dog’s food to make their stool taste unpleasant to them (e.g., For-Bid, Deter).
  • Deterrent Sprays: Use sprays that make the poop unappealing to your dog.

Enrichment and Exercise

  • Mental and Physical Stimulation: Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Boredom can lead to undesirable behaviors like coprophagia.

Consistency and Patience

  • Consistency: Be consistent with your training and management strategies. Inconsistency can confuse your dog and make it harder to break the habit.
  • Patience: Breaking this habit can take time. Be patient and persistent with your efforts.

Professional Help

  • Consult a Behaviorist: If the problem persists, consider consulting a professional dog behaviorist for personalized advice and training.

I hope this was helpful because it is certainly helpful when I learned how to address the dog eating poop situation in my case. I believe in my case my dogs are curing creatures and they don’t necessary eat a lot of poop but he takes a bite, which is enough for me to say No No more. 🙂 

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