Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? – 6 Reasons They Do This


Just like humans, dogs have their own motives and behaviors. If you own a dog, then you might have seen him or her eating some strange things. Though there are many weird things dogs consume, we are here to list down the various reasons to the question – why do dogs eat poop.

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop

Did you know that when many dogs live in same household and if any one falls sick, healthier dogs at times eat the feces of unhealthy dog. Now, this might be an instinctual reaction for hiding the ill dog from predators. Before even dogs were domesticated, as myth goes – they were scavengers. They lived on whatever they found. Thousands of years ago, dogs used to feed on other animals waste. So, poop eating is just a remnant of dog’s history. A dog eats poop for different reasons. Sometimes, it might eat its own poop or other animals’ feces. You might feel sick when you see this but understand that this is a very common behavior in pets. A dog eating poop signifies different reasons, which include:

  1. It Is A Sign Of Nutritional Imbalance

Whenever a dog his or her own poop, know that it is experiencing a nutritional imbalance. Believe it or not, stool still contains some undigested nutrients, minerals and is the main reason why your dog is eating it.

  1. Because It Is Stressed

A dog eats poop out of anxiety or whenever they are lonely. Eating his or her poop signifies a displacement behavior.

  1. Dog Eats Poop Out Of Boredom

So, apart from the above listed reasons, why do dogs eat poop? Well, boredom is yet another major reason. Lack of proper interaction, exercise or any physical activity often makes a dog end up eating his or her stool. In fact, they even play with the poop out of boredom.

  1. Because It Loves The Smell And Taste

This might sound yucky to you but a dog just loves the smell and taste of other animal feces. In fact, the scent and the stuff tempt his or her tongue to have some.

  1. It Wants The Environment To Be Clean

Few dogs might eat poop in the house just to keep their surroundings or living space completely clean. A dog that is physically punished for potty training mistakes often learns to eat his or her stool to prevent the master from getting angry.

  1. It Could Be A Sign Of Illness

Make a note that not all coprophagy is harmless or normal. A dog that suffers from malabsorption syndrome like exocrine pancreatic insufficiency tends to eat stool (either its own or other animal feces). It might be trying to recover the essential nutrients it cannot absorb during normal digestion.

Is It Harmful When A Dog Eats Poop?

It all comes down to the contamination. Is the poop contaminated with fleas, worms or other harmful parasites, which carry viruses and bacteria? If yes, then there is no doubt of the red signs. The consequences of consuming contaminated feces also depend on the dog’s immune system and its overall health. Take for example, young puppies. They have developing and delicate immune systems. Therefore, might be susceptible to bad poop, particularly if they are not fully vaccinated. So, it is better to allow your puppy for neighborhood walks and hikes only after he or she has received all the vaccination shots.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop Of Other Animals?

As said earlier, they are extremely attracted to other animal’s feces, especially a cat’s. The reason why a dog is attracted to cat’s feces is because cat food has more amount of protein and fat than dog food.

How To Stop A Dog From Consuming Poop?

A little amount of poop is certainly not going to hurt your dog. However, if you don’t want your dog to do this, there are certain things you can do about it.

  1. Prevent Your Dog From Accessing Poop

The best way is to keep your environment clean and neat. Tidy your yard to prevent your dog from accessing poop. Lure him or her with something yummier. Even better, try to distract your dog whenever you sense or observe that he or she is going to eat poop or has developed an interest on it.

  1. Keep The Litter Box Out Of Your Dog’s Reach

Not only should you keep the litter box far from your dog’s reach but also make sure to keep it clean.

When You Need A Vet’s Help?

If your dog is eating poop, first you have to make sure that there isn’t any underlying health issue. Few dogs begin eating stool whenever they are not acquiring enough nutrients. Chances are that they have few pancreatic issues or have parasites. Such are the times when a coprophagic dog requires a thorough examination from vet.

Why Is Your Dog More Attracted To Poop Than Dog Food At Times?

Dog’s digestive system depends on a certain mixture of enzymes in order to break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. There are even evidences, which suggest that digestive system of a dog has not caught up to today’s modern diet (which often tends to have less animal protein and more of carbohydrates). Few veterinary nutritionists claim that a dog eats poop to replenish enzymes. Also, there are evidences, which show that dogs are not getting sufficient nutrients and this is exactly when they begin to eat poop. The main reason is lack of B-vitamin, which leads to coprophagia.

Neglectful Parents

A behavior of dog eating poop is often linked to owner. Well, many dogs purposely eat stool to get the attention of their master. Even if the attention is negative, it is still an attention and that is exactly what a dog wants. Also. Few dogs might resort to eat stool only because they aren’t getting adequate real food. Moreover, if the owners don’t keep their dogs’ living area clean, they start eating poop to clear out everything.

We hope you have found this article useful. If you have tried some good tricks to stop your dog from eating poop and want other readers to know about it, feel free to drop them in the comments section.