Why do dogs eat poop?

Why do dogs eat poop?

If you are lucky enough to own a dog, you may have experienced them eating—or at least attempting to eat—poop. But why? Here are some potential explanations:


Dogs that are hungry, especially those that have been badly treated or re-homed from shelters, may eat poop out of survival instinct. This could have been the only viable food source available to them at one point.

Learned Behavior

Puppies may learn to eat poop from their mothers, who clean up after their litter by consuming the feces. Dogs are also natural scavengers and may mimic the behavior they observe in other dogs.

Mental Health

Boredom, stress, and anxiety can also lead dogs to eat poop. In some cases, this behavior is a way for dogs to seek attention from their owners.

Medical Reasons

Certain medical conditions can cause increased hunger or make a dog's diet difficult to digest, resulting in more appealing feces. Conditions like digestive enzyme deficiencies, parasites, and diabetes can contribute to this behavior.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Eat Poop?

While it may seem disgusting, eating poop is a common behavior among dogs. However, this habit can pose health risks, including bacterial and parasitic infections. It is important to discourage this behavior to protect your dog from potential harm.

How to Stop My Dog from Eating Poop

Here are some techniques to help stop your dog from eating poop:

Restrict Access to Poop

Regularly clean up your dog's mess inside the house and in your garden to remove temptation.

Put Them on a Lead

Use a short training lead during walks and keep an eye out for other dogs' poop. Encourage your dog to keep walking and avoid the poop.

Use a 'Leave It' Command & Recall Training

Train your dog to respond to commands like "leave it" and practice recall to keep them away from poop.

Don't Leave Your Dog Alone and Bored for Too Long

Spend quality time with your dog to keep them active and sociable. Dogs are pack animals and need interaction.

Use a Taste Aversion Technique

Adding pineapple, pumpkin, or spinach to your dog's diet can make their poop less appealing to eat. You can also use stool eating deterrents in capsule form, which often contain probiotics and breath fresheners.

Maintain a Healthy Diet with Supplements Where Necessary

Ensure your dog is eating high-quality food with natural ingredients to support digestion

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