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  • Writer's pictureChew Sean Thong

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop ( And How You Can Get Them To Stop!)

Photo Credit: USA Today

Sometimes, our adorable furry friends engage in the most peculiar behaviors. Aside from nibbling on their mucky paws or frolicking in puddles, dogs have been known to partake in some rather curious activities. They may be caught drinking from toilets or giving their derrières a friendly lick or two!

In some instances, your precious pup may even go as far as indulging in their own poo 💩, or worse, the feces of another dog or animal. For any devoted pet owner, such behavior is undoubtedly considered revolting and a cause for concern.

But why do dogs find pleasure in munching on poop? The truth is, our four-legged companions have a bunch of reasons for engaging in this unappetizing pastime. Although their actions may seem repulsive to us humans, their motives behind it may not be as vile as they appear.

Why do dogs eat poop?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), there are several potential reasons, such as: anxiety, seeking attention, feeling isolated or confined, or having an improper association with food are among the possible explanations!

In some cases, dogs who have experienced harsh punishment in the past may resort to eating their own feces as a means to avoid further reprimand. Others might engage in this unpleasant habit solely to provoke a reaction from their owners 😞. In such situations, it's best not to overreact and stay calm.

Plus, loneliness can also be a contributing factor. Dogs that are frequently kept away from human interaction or confined to cramped spaces — such as overcrowded kennels — may be more prone to consuming feces. Furthermore, if your furry friend's food is located near their designated potty area, they might mistake the scent of food for that of excrement, leading them to associate poop with a potential meal 😆.

But… is it normal for dogs to eat poop?

Now, you may be wondering whether this behavior is normal for dogs. Well, scientifically known as coprophagia, poop eating is pretty common among our canine companions!

According to a study conducted in 2018, around 16% of respondents reported their dogs engaging in this habit frequently, meaning they were caught in the act less than or equal to six times. However, a whopping 77% of owners claimed to have never witnessed their dogs feasting on feces.

Some of the reasons behind this peculiar behavior are relatively commonplace. For instance, nursing female dogs often consume the poop of their offspring as a means to maintain cleanliness. Some dogs also find the feces of other animals — like cats, rabbits and even horses! — appealing due to the nutrients they contain. However, it's important to discourage this behavior, as harmful bacteria can also be present in the feces.

Will my dog get sick from eating poop?

As a devoted pet owner, you may be worried about the potential health risks associated with poop consumption — and you're absolutely right! Eating poop can actually make your dog sick, even if they're munching on their own feces. The risk also increases significantly if your dog indulges in the feces of another dog or animal, as it exposes them to infectious diseases and parasites.

According to Muenster Milling, some common symptoms of poop eating include: gastroenteritis, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, fatigue, and intestinal parasites 🤢 If your dog has consumed poop and is experiencing any behavioral changes or symptoms, it's advisable to consult your trusted veterinarian.

So… how can I keep my dog from eating poop?

Now, you may be eager to learn how to prevent your furry friend from engaging in this strange habit😣Fortunately, there are measures you can take to curb their poop-eating tendencies!

According to the AKC, you can consider adding vitamin or enzyme supplements to their diet, especially if their behavior stems from a nutritional deficiency, such as a lack of vitamin B! In the meantime, you can also consult a trusted vet to check for any underlying issues and find out what nutrients your doggo might be lacking so you can provide them with the correct munchies~

Additionally, training your dog with commands like "leave it" or “stop!” can help redirect their attention away from feces during walks. It’s super important to keep a vigilant eye on your pup while out and about, and remember to promptly clean up any feces they encounter to minimize temptation (which also keeps the environment clean for others too!).

While our beloved canines may have their quirks and peculiar habits that might boggle our minds, we can help them properly navigate the world without putting their health at risk ❣️With a little patience, love and proper care, your doggo will be a master of courtesy in no time 😉


Thanks for reading this far! We hope that this list was helpful to all pawrents looking to better understand their puppers so that they can live happy and healthy life~ You can save this article for future reference and share it with fellow doggo owners 🐕

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