Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

why does my dog eat poop
why does my dog eat poop

Seeing your puppy or dog eat poop is quite a worrisome sight, and you are not alone in facing this problem. Many people have come across the issue of their dog eating poop. 

You may have heard that your dog has coprophagic behavior. The scientific term commonly used for dogs eating poo is coprophagia.

A study showed that almost 24% of dogs show signs of coprophagia at least once in their lifetime, and 16% are serious dog poop eaters. 

In this article you will learn:

  • the reasons behind why your dog may be eating his own feces
  • does eating poop actually kill your dog – no thank goodness
  • why dogs eat their own vomit
  • various ways to clean your dog’s mouth after they have eaten poop
  • tips for stopping your dog eating poop

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

Reasons, why your dog may develop this unpleasant habit, include:

Nursing – female dogs clean up after their young

Greedy Behaviour – dogs love to eat and sample anything on offer, especially if they are hungry

Seeking Attention/Boredom – dogs can get bored home alone all day and love a game of chase if they are caught eating poop

Nutritional Deficiency – Your dog may be lacking something in their diet

Separation Anxiety – Your dog may be lonely and miss you


A female dog may show coprophagic behavior in an attempt to clean up her puppies’ poop. This continues till the weaning age of puppies.

If you watch these actions by a mother dog, do not worry. It is normal and has no significant effects.

Greedy Eaters

We all know that dogs are food-driven animals and love to eat very much. Their nature forces them to get a taste of everything they see. Whether they see their poop or other animals’ poop, they start eating it.

A dog may eat a cat poop out of the litter box because it is rich in protein. Try and find a way to restrict access to the litter tray so your cat can still access it but your dog cannot.

For Seeking Attention

Whenever you see your pet eating feces, you may start to yell to discourage them. This leads to a misconception of negative attention from their owner.  They may take it as a game to get attention.

Whenever they want to play with their dog owner, they start eating poop to get attention and it becomes a game for them. 

Chasing them away to prevent them from becoming a regular poop eater is a great game for a dog.

Try and incorporate positive training techniques with your pet, you may need to contact a dog trainer for help. 

Stop coprophagia in dogs

Unhealthy Diet

If your dog develops a poop eating habit out of nowhere, it can be due to nutritional deficiency in their diet. Take you to the vet for a check-up if you are worried.

If this habit persists, it can lead to weight loss, lethargy, discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea. Your veterinarian will diagnose and suggest a solution to the problem.  

Separation Anxiety

Your dog is likely to eat poop when he is under stress or anxiety. A long period of isolated confinement, isolation from the owner, mental trauma from other dogs is enough to make your dog anxious enough to start eating dogs’ poop. 

Can Eating Poop Kill My Dog?

No, eating poop won’t kill your dog. But they can get sick from parasites in your dog’s stool. It can have a negative impact on your dog’s health. 

A significant concern of dog owners is that dogs get rabies from eating chicken poop? Rabies is caused by the bite of an infected animal not from stool eating.

Why Do Dogs Eat Their Own Vomit?

Most people have seen their dogs eating their own vomit. It is a pretty natural and common phenomenon. 

The basis of this habit lies in the feeding habits of early days. Mother dogs regurgitate food for their pup to adjust solid stuff in their bodies. When dogs grow up, they still eat their vomit back, thinking of it as food.   

The best way to stop your dog from eating his throw-up is to remove it quickly. If your dog pukes more than once, contact your veterinarian to diagnose the problem. 

How Do I Clean His Mouth?

A dog carrying poop in his mouth looks nasty. To clean the mouth of your dogs or puppies, you can follow two essential guidelines. 

  • Wipe your dogs’ mouth contaminated with poop with a clean piece of cloth. 
  • Brush their teeth with special dog toothpaste instead of choosing a human paste that can be harmful.  

The good news is that the saliva of a dog has the ability to disinfect its teeth by removing germs. You can provide chewing toys for making more saliva in their mouths. This practice will keep them healthy. 

How to Stop Dog From Eating Any Kind of Poop?

clean dog’s mouth after eating poop
My old beagle, Benson, was known for eating stools

If your vet does not diagnose a health problem is involved and it is a behavioral issue, you can stop this habit by following techniques.

Don’t give access to poo 

Most dogs have an instinct to eat fresh poop. You can eradicate their poop eating habit by removing access to it.

Clean the feces up immediately. If you have any other animals like cats or chickens, you should keep their litter boxes empty and out of reach. 

Give toys to your dogs

When you leave your dogs on their own, you should provide a lot of toys to keep them busy with different activities.

When they are bored, they may start to smell and taste everything to soothe their boredom. If you provide them with toys, especially chewable, they may not think about eating their feces.  

Many pet owners have used positive reinforcements for training dogs against coprophagia. In this way, dogs receive a cue and stop doing it. Furthermore, you should also praise them by taking them outside or present a treat when they follow your guidelines. 

Change their Diet 

Sometimes dogs are fed up with their daily diet stuff and want to try something new, because of this instinct, they start to lick and eat their poop.

You should add different supplements to their diet chart. Papaya, cottage cheese, crushed pineapple can be an excellent addition to their diet.

seperation anxiety

People Also Ask:

Why do dogs eat diapers?

Naturally, dogs have a sharp sense of smell, and they get attracted to a scent very quickly. They also find the texture and smell of diapers very aesthetic and promptly start eating them.

You can stop them from eating by using a cloth diaper or swiftly put them into the trash after removing them. 

Why does my dog eat pads?

Aside from eating poop and diapers, most dogs also eat pads. The reason behind this is that they find their smell enticing.

They don’t know what is good or bad for them, they are food-driven animals and eat whatever attracts them.  

Final Thoughts 

Coprophagia is a common problem that can be threatening to the health of dogs. Fortunately, it is not a serious problem, and you can eliminate their poop-eating habit. If the problem persists, you should contact your veterinarian. 

In this article, we have presented a complete overview of coprophagia, from basics to remedies and prevention. We hope you enjoy this reading and have grasped a useful knowledge of this topic.

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