Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Don’t you just love your fur baby?  They look at you with those baby doll eyes and cuddle up into your arms by the time you get home from work.  Time after time, they wish to shower you with their sloppy kisses as a sign of affection.  In between kisses, however, don’t you find it weird that there is this strange smell emanating from its breath?  Uh oh. Has it been eating poop again?  

Yes, dogs eat poop.  In fact, they eat it as if it’s part of their diet plan.


If so, you could imagine how unsightly and disgusting the scenario was at that time. There is a scientific term for their poop eating habit which is called coprophagia. As fur-parents, it is quite alarming to see our pets eating their own feces since it might make them sick. 


Don’t fret, though.  It is quite common and normal for dogs to eat their poop.  It is a cause of concern if adult dogs do it frequently and if they have been eating another animal’s feces.


It could be due to medical or behavioural reasons.  There are a lot of causes for this matter such as:

Anxiety, stress, and boredom
  • Anxiety, stress, and boredom

Some dogs may experience separation anxiety for being left alone or being confined into a small space, which may cause them to defecate. If left alone for too long with no activities to help them with their anxiety,  they will most likely get bored and may start playing or eating their feces. Dogs would also eat their poop as a trauma response from being scolded for defecating indoors. It is a way for them to hide the evidence.

Nursing dogs
  • Nursing dogs 

This behaviour is normal and not a cause of alarm since this is a way for female dogs to clean their newborn puppy. This happens for the first three weeks and will eventually stop when she weans her puppies.

Seeking attention
  • Seeking attention

Puppies would commonly eat their poop for attention. It starts off as a curiosity for them to do so and, if not corrected, would later become a habit. As humans, we chase these poop-eating puppies around as a way of insisting that what they’re doing is wrong.  In their case, however, it is a sign that you just want to play with them and welcome the idea of being chased.  

  • Malnutrition

Dogs that have a poor quality diet would eat poop to compensate for the lack of vitamins and nutrients they have.  That is why it is necessary to give them high quality food and supplements. If not addressed immediately, it would lead to becoming a habit of theirs. 

  • Parasites

Tapeworms or other parasites in a dog’s body would take all the nutrients in order for them to grow. This would lead to the dog having nutritional deficiency and would seek out ways of getting nutrients – one of which is by eating poop. 

Diseases or Illnesses
  • Diseases or Illnesses

If a dog starts eating poop, it could be a sign of a medical condition such as Pica wherein dogs consume items that are inedible and not considered to be food.  Dogs may also experience an underlying sickness which triggers them to eat poop as a way of coping up with their vitamin deficiencies.


Your dog might not have the proper nutrition it needs for its body. They tend to eat poop from other animals or other dogs because they are searching for the undigested food that would supplement their needs when it comes to nutrients. This would likely lead to parasites and other diseases.


Consult your veterinarian
  • Consult your veterinarian

It is necessary for you to contact your veterinarian when you notice your dog eating poop. It is always a good idea to know the reason why your dog is acting that way. Your veterinarian could advise you with this problem. Even if it is quite normal for dogs to eat poop, there is still a risk of getting parasites and other diseases. 

Seek an Animal Behaviorist

  • Seek an Animal Behaviorist 

If poop eating happens frequently and is most likely linked to behavioural problems, it is best to ask a dog behaviourist to prevent dogs from eating poop. 

Make sure they have a healthy diet
  • Make sure they have a healthy diet

A balanced diet will keep your dogs healthy. It is important that you give your dogs the proper nutrition they need. Make sure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need in their every meal so that they wouldn’t have to look for it in another dog’s poop.

Avoid punishing them
  • Avoid punishing them 

This may work for a while but it would affect them in the long run. It could lead to anxiety and other behavioural problems for them to eat their own poop again. 

Clean after them
  • Clean after them

Once your dog poops, it is best to immediately take it out in a proper waste disposal to avoid consumption. If you have other pets in your household such as a pet cat,  it is best to clean out the litter box or place it where the dog couldn’t reach it. 

Give your dog high quality supplements
  • Give your dog high quality supplements

Supplementing your dog with Salmon Oil has powerful ingredients that support brain development; improves skin and coat health, and supports the immune system which will keep your dog healthy and  protected from any illness, including any aftermath from eating dog poop. 

Train your dog
  • Train your dog

Train your dog to not eat their poop. It is also best to supervise them outside. Positive reinforcement is necessary. Reward them with something appealing like a dog treat or toys. 

It might take a while for some dogs to break their poop-eating habit. But it is important that we, fur-parents, don’t give up too quickly when addressing this problem.

All in all, poop eating is normal for your fur baby.  It is a cause of concern if done regularly and if they have been eating poop which is not theirs.  Finding the cause is essential so that any sickness will be uncovered and healed at an earlier stage.  

Has your dog been eating poop lately?  What did you do to stop it?