Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop

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It can be very confusing when you find yourself thinking why does a dog eat their poop.

It is not a nice behavior to deal with, but the first step to putting a stop to it is to understand why does a dog eat their poop?

This behavior is a scientifically recognized trait known as Coprophagia.

What is Coprophagia?

Coprophagia is when dogs eat feces. This can be either their own or that of another animal.

This can be other dogs poop, such as cows, horses, cats, or even rabbits.

It often starts when they are puppies, and a lot of dogs grow out of it.

While you can assure that eating their own poop is harmless, eating other animals’ poop and also human stool is something very harmful to your dog’s health.

It could bring parasites, viruses, and other bacterias that can lead to different health problems.

Why Does A Dog Eat Their Poop? Common Reasons!

There are a whole host of different theories out there as to why some dogs do this. Some simply state it’s because the animal enjoys the taste.

Another theory is that as dogs exhibit scavenging behaviors they consume poop as there may be some nutritional value to the undigested fat and protein found within it.

Other ideas as to why do dogs eat their poop are based on their being a lack of something in a dog’s diet.

None of these explanations have been entirely proved.

There are some rare medical disorders that are thought to contribute to coprophagia.

So, if you have any concerns over your dog’s health you should consult your vet.

Your dog can simply eat poop because they are bored. Boredom is a big factor in this disgusting behavior, especially for puppies.

This can also lead to stress and most puppies may find eating poop an act of relieving stress.

So If you’re a busy dog mom, you better be aware of these causes.

It may also be that coprophagia is a learned behavior, caused by a puppy watching and copying their mother or other dogs.

Sometimes mother dogs will eat the feces of their puppies to keep the nest area clean and free from disease and it may be that this is mirrored by the pups.

5 Things You Need To Know About Dogs Who Eat Poop

Before we talk about the solution, there are some amazing facts you need to know about dogs who eat poop.

These will give you a deep understanding of this trending question.

  • According to some dog experts, did you know that most poop eaters do not eat their own poop? Research says it’s true! Most of them usually eat other animals’ feces. Well, that sounds even more dangerous!
  • Studies say Female dogs and puppies are more likely to eat poop than males.
  • This behavior is very common to multi-dog households. So If you have 3 dogs or more inside your house, there is a big chance that they can turn into poop eaters. Especially if you do not have much time taking care of them.
  • According to research, greedy dogs who love stealing foods in your kitchen are more prone to this weird behavior.
  • 9 out of 10 poop eaters would want to eat fresh stool.

8 Easy Method To Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop

There are several possible solutions you can try to answer the uncomfortable question of why does my dog eats their poop.

Try each of these one at a time so you can work out which has the best results with your pet.

If your dog is very young or old or has a history of intestinal issues then some of these methods are not recommended without consulting a vet first.  

The pineapple method

Some people believe pineapple prevents coprophagia in dogs. Try putting small chunks of fresh pineapple into your dog’s food.

The theory is that any subsequent feces then has a bitter or acidic taste, which deters your dog from eating it.

Raw pineapple (not canned) contains an enzyme called bromelain. This enzyme works so fast and this will make poop taste completely trash for your pooch.

This will prevent them from eating poop all over again.

The Courgette Method

Simply stir a few pieces of diced raw courgette into your dog’s food.

For the same reasons as the pineapple method, this makes the taste of your dog’s poop much less appetizing for them and it is likely they will avoid eating it.

Just make sure you do not feed your dog by this vegetable too much.

Although courgette is generally safe for dogs, but only for small amounts and complete moderation.

Overfeeding your dog can cause different digestive problems like stomach pains, cramps, and diarrhea

Restriction Method

Restrict access to poop by supervising all outdoor visits. You should also clean up any poop as soon as your dog has finished going to the bathroom.

Prevention is better than cure! Never give your dog any reason to fall into this behavior trap.

Reward Method

Give your dog something else to do with their mouth by providing them with a wide variety of chew toys and increase your quality time with your dog.

You can also give them a treat each time they do not eat poop that is nearby.

Some dogs eat feces as attention-seeking behavior, so ignore your dog unless you catch them in the act.

Cleaning Method

Having a dog is like parenting a baby, It entails a lot of care and effort.

Cleaning your dog’s area is one of the most important aspects of being a dog owner.

Let’s say you have a puppy, puppies are very curious of anything they see.

At first, they will smell the poop out of curiosity and after licking it, they will eat it eventually. They simply want to know what is it.

After all, dogs and puppies are just innocent animals and they cannot clean themselves the way people do. So what do puppies do?

They will clean their area by just eating everything they can including their poop.

So, not cleaning your puppy and the area of their living is a bad habit for a dog owner.

Vitamin Supplementation Method

Maybe your dog is lacking vitamins and nutrients that’s why they’re eating poop?

The vet called this Vitamin B deficiency in dogs. Enzyme supplement is also very important to your dog’s diet.

What you can do is ask your vet regarding this problem and your vet will prescribe some vitamin supplements for your dog.

You can also get this vitamin by feeding your dog naturally.

If you want to know more about natural healthy foods that you can give to your dog, we have written a complete guide in this post:

What Human Foods Can A Dog Eat?

The Feeding Method

One of the reasons why does a dog eat their poop is because they are starving.

Increase the amount of food you give your dog each day to ensure they are never hungry. If this does not stop it, then do not give them more food.

Instead, increase the number of times you feed them by splitting their mealtimes into smaller and frequent meals every day.

For example, instead of feeding them two large portions a day, feed them five small portions instead. 

Keep Your Dog Busy Method

As mentioned above, boredom is one main cause of eating poop.

I suggest keeping your dog busy by utilizing different exercise routines like walking with your dog in the morning, swimming, hiking, or simply playing with them.

Exercise will not only prevent them from eating poop but also be beneficial to your dog’s health and fitness.

If you want to know more about exercising your dog, this recent post about how much exercise does a dog needs every day will help you a lot.

If you have tried all of the above and are still concerned as to why does your dog eats their poop.

Then it is best to ask your vet to refer you to a good animal behaviorist to find out why your dog continues with its coprophagia.

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