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Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? What Can I Do to Stop It?

Updated by Amy Granger on Jun 9, 2021

Nothing beats our dogs' awful habit of eating feces, which includes drinking from the toilet tank, rolling in swamp mud, licking their butts, and swimming in dirty water. Their purpose may or may not be to disgust us humans, but it surely disgusts us, doesn't it? So much so that feces eating is sometimes cited as a reason for rehoming a dog or even euthanasia.

why dogs eat poop

Fortunately, dogs do not require to eat dungs for nourishment. However, during some times of a dog's life, it is a normal and natural activity. For the first three weeks after birth, mother dogs will lick their puppies to encourage them to eliminate and clean up their excrement by eating it. AKC says puppies will consume their own excrement (autocoprophagia), feces from other dogs (allocoprophagia), as well as feces from cats and other animals. Horse dung and geese droppings are particularly enticing to some canines. While eating their own excrement is safe, eating dung from other animals might create health concerns if the feces contain viruses, parasites, poisons or toxic elements. This tendency will usually diminish before the puppy reaches the age of nine months.

Poop is eaten by dogs for a variety of reasons. If your adult dog begins to eat excrement, you should visit your veterinarian to rule out health issues such as:

  • Parasitic organisms
  • Nutrient and calorie-deficient diets
  • Syndromes of malabsorption
  • Diabetes, Cushing's syndrome, thyroid problems, and other disorders that enhance appetite
  • Drugs, for example, steroids

In many circumstances, dogs begin to eat their own feces as a result of environmental stress or behavioral cues, such as:

  • Isolation: Research has found that dogs kept alone in cages or kennels are more inclined to consume poop than dogs who live with their owners.
  • Spending too much time trapped in a tiny place might be the source of the problem. Coprophagia is common in dogs rescued from overcrowded shelters.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety is frequently caused by a person's use of punishment or harsh tactics during house training for dogs. To get rid of the proof, dogs may excrete and then eat their own feces, according to this belief, but they will be punished much more. It spirals out of control.
  • Seeking Attention: Dogs consume their own feces in order to provoke a reaction from their owners, which they will undoubtedly get. So, if you notice your dog doing this, don't get too worked up about it.
  • Association with real food that isn't appropriate: Dogs fed in close proximity to their excrement may confuse the aroma of food and poop and be unable to distinguish between the two. To avoid this mess, you should always feed your dogs in a clean environment, or at least not near their poop.
  • Putting it on their moms' bodies: this is just about the case above; it still has to do with scents. Puppies may become confused if they scent fecal scents on their mother's breath after she has washed them. Mothers may also vomit food that has been contaminated with puppy feces. This is known as an "appetitive inoculation," and it can cause a puppy to adopt this terrible behavior.
  • Your dog having to share a home with a sick or aging dog: A healthy dog will occasionally take the feces of a weaker canine member of the household, particularly in circumstances of fecal incontinence. Scientists believe it has something to do with the pack's need to protect itself from predators.
dogs eat poop

To stop loud and continuous meowing in cats, you first need to establish why they're meowing. As introduced above, your cat might be meowing for a whole host of reasons. Spend time with your cat and analyze the situation. If you can't work it out and you think there might be an issue, schedule an appointment with your vet and ask for their advice.

Make small changes in your cat's life to try and stop the meowing. By process of elimination, you will ultimately be able to understand why your cat is meowing and take action to change the behavior. Try the following four techniques, to begin with:

  • Vitamin supplementation: There's a long-held belief that dogs consume excrement because they're deficient in one or more vitamins, so a dog multivitamin might be beneficial. Vitamin B insufficiency has long been suspected, and investigations have supported this theory.
  • Enzyme supplementation: Compared to the canine ancestral diet, the current canine diet is richer in carbohydrates and lower in meat-based proteins and lipids. A meat tenderizer containing papain, an enzyme, has worked for some dogs.
  • Training your dogs: Practice the directions "leave it" and "come" as much as possible. Teaching your dog to come to you for a food treat as soon as he has eliminated is a simple activity. Instead of going for the nasty one on the ground, the dog will establish a habit of running to you for a sweet treat.
  • Taste-aversion products: According to the notion, some tastes and scents are as repulsive to dogs as the concept of stool eating is to humans; therefore, adding a feces-eating deterrent to food or rewards will make the dung generated less appetizing.
  • The most effective approach to address the issue is through education and environmental management techniques, such as:

    1. Keep the dog's living space, including the yard, clean so he doesn't have to pick up any messes.

    2. On walks, keep an eye on your dog and pick up after him right away.

    3. Owners of cats should keep their litter boxes clean or out of reach of their dogs.

Q1. Can a dog get sick from eating poop?

While it's rare that poop-eating habits may cause any health problems, they can happen in certain situations. Dogs have been unwell after ingesting feces from other canines or even other animals. Because feces include residues of whatever that animal consumed, it's likely that anything in the excrement will irritate your dog.

Q2. How do I clean my dog's mouth after eating poop?

One of the easiest ways to clean your pet's mouth, according to Joy Pet Product, is to use pet mouthwash on a regular basis. Most dog mouthwashes operate by combining a tiny bit of mouthwash with their drinking water and allowing them to drink it throughout the day. The only drawback is that you'll have to stay away from your poor pooch's lips for a day or two while this medicine does its magic- but it'll work.

Q3. Why is my dog obsessed with poop?

Your dog is obsessed with poop because:

  • They've evolved to use coprophagia as an important aspect of parenting their children (they eat their newborns' feces to keep them clean).
  • Eating excrement in the wild helps keep their dens clean.
  • Poop may be delicious to a dog at times.

Q4. How to stop dogs from eating poop? - home remedies

  • Use spicy sauce or lemon juice, coat the stools. Every day, put a couple of teaspoons of canned pumpkin in his meal bowl. Pumpkin is delicious in cuisine, but it's revolting in dog feces.
  • Meat tenderizer can be added to your dog's meal. It will make the dog waste taste VERY bad.
  • Ensure that rubbish is collected on a regular basis.


Dogs are recognized for their exceptional sense of smell and high-quality olfactory receptors, but that doesn't mean they always follow their nose. Some dogs, in fact, have revolting tastes in what they're prepared to sniff, taste, and cover their pelts with.

If your dog likes eating excrement, the first person you should contact is his veterinarian. Request a full physical examination from your veterinarian, and discuss your dog's eating schedule with him, including the amount of food you're providing each day.

Amy Granger
Amy is an editor from iPetor, owns a 4-year experience in writing tips and tutorial for users. As a pet owner, she will share more pets care methods and recommend more useful products for all pet owners.
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