Woman picking up dog poop from the lawn at the backyard as a small terrier tries to grab bag from her

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? And How To Stop It

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You may have seen your dog sniffing or even munching on some feces, whether it’s their own, another dog’s, or even a different animal’s.

This behavior is called coprophagia, and it can be quite disgusting and puzzling for us humans. But don’t worry, your dog is not crazy or sick (well, most of the time).

There are actually some reasons why dogs eat poop, and some ways to stop it.

7 Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poop 🐶

According to a study by Dr. Benjamin Hart from the University of California, Davis, about 16% of dogs are serious poop eaters, meaning that they have been caught in the act five times or more.

Here are some possible explanations for this habit:

  1. Nutritional deficiency: Your dog may be lacking some nutrients in their diet, such as protein, fat, or vitamins. This may cause them to seek out alternative sources of nutrition, such as poop. Poop may contain some undigested food that smells appealing to your dog.
  2. Malabsorption syndrome: Your dog may have a condition that prevents them from absorbing nutrients properly from their food, such as inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatic insufficiency. This may make them feel hungry and crave more food, even if it’s poop.
  3. Intestinal parasites: Your dog may have worms or other parasites in their intestines that feed on their food and steal their nutrients. This may also make them feel hungry and look for more food, even if it’s poop.
  4. Disease: Your dog may have a disease that affects their appetite, digestion, or metabolism, such as diabetes, thyroid problems, or Cushing’s syndrome. This may also make them eat more than usual, even if it’s poop.
  5. Attention-seeking: Your dog may have learned that eating poop gets them attention from you, even if it’s negative attention. They may do it to get a reaction from you, or to get you to play with them or give them treats.
  6. Anxiety: Your dog may be stressed or anxious about something, such as being left alone, moving to a new place, or meeting new people or animals. They may eat poop as a way of coping with their emotions or calming themselves down.
  7. Isolation: Your dog may be bored or lonely if they are kept alone for long periods of time, such as in a kennel or a basement. They may eat poop as a way of entertaining themselves or keeping themselves company.

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop 💩

If your dog is eating poop, you may want to consult your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues that may be causing it. You may also want to check your dog’s diet and make sure they are getting enough quality food that meets their nutritional needs.

Here are some other tips to prevent your dog from eating poop:

  • Clean up after your dog as soon as possible, so they don’t have access to poop.
  • Keep your dog on a leash when walking them outside, and steer them away from any poop they encounter.
  • Teach your dog the “leave it” command, and use it when they show interest in poop.
  • Provide your dog with plenty of mental and physical stimulation, such as toys, games, puzzles, and exercise.
  • Reward your dog with praise and treats when they ignore poop or listen to your commands.
  • Avoid scolding or punishing your dog for eating poop, as this may reinforce the behavior or make them fearful of you.
  • Consider adding some supplements or additives to your dog’s food that make their poop taste bad or unappealing.
What does it mean if your dog eats poop?

If your dog is eating poop, it could be a sign that they are not getting enough of the nutrients they need from their food.

They may also be attracted to the taste of certain types of poop, like that of another animal. Some dogs may eat poop as a way to clean up their living area.

Whatever the reason, it is important to talk to your veterinarian if you notice your dog eating poop as it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.

Can a dog get sick from eating poop?

Yes, a dog can get sick from eating poop. While a dog’s digestive system is able to handle some bacteria and parasites, there are some that can make a dog sick.

The most common way that a dog can get sick from eating poop is by ingesting roundworms. These parasites can be found in the intestines of some animals, and if a dog eats the feces of an infected animal, they can develop roundworms themselves.

In addition to roundworms, other parasites that can be found in animal feces can also make a dog sick if they eat it. These include tapeworms, hookworms, and Giardia.
Eating feces can also make a dog sick if the feces contain harmful bacteria or toxins.

For example, if a dog ingests the feces of an animal that has been poisoned, they can become sick themselves. If a dog eats the feces of an animal that has an infection, they can also develop that infection.

Finally, eating feces can also lead to gastrointestinal obstruction if a dog ingests a large enough amount. If you think your dog has eaten poop and is sick, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Is my dog eating poop because he’s hungry?

Many people believe that if their dog is eating poop, it must be because they’re hungry. However, there are a number of other reasons why dogs may choose to snack on stool.

One possibility is that your dog is simply curious and wants to investigate what’s inside.

Another reason may be that your dog is lacking certain nutrients and is trying to compensate by eating poop. If your dog is eating his own stool, it could also be a sign of anal gland problems.

If you’re concerned that your dog is eating poop because he’s hungry, the best thing to do is to talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to rule out any medical causes and provide you with advice on how to best feed your dog.

Why does pumpkin stop dogs from eating poop?

Pumpkin is an effective remedy for dogs who eat poop because it contains high levels of fiber. Fiber helps to bulk up the stools and makes them more difficult to eat.

Pumpkin also contains important vitamins and minerals that can help to improve your dog’s overall health. Feeding your dog pumpkin can help to deter them from eating poop and can also help to improve their overall health.


In conclusion, dogs eat poop for various reasons that may be related to their health, behavior, or environment.

While this habit is not harmful in most cases, it can be unpleasant and undesirable for us humans. Therefore, it is important to understand why dogs eat poop and how to stop it effectively.

Remember that this behavior is not uncommon and not necessarily a sign of something wrong with your dog. 🐾

However, if you are concerned about your dog’s health or behavior, you should always consult your veterinarian for advice.

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