Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes
Summary: In this blog, we learn all about why dogs eat poop! We’ll discover whether dogs can eat poop, why they eat poop (their own or other animals!) in the first place and whether eating poop is normal for a dog. Read on to find out more about dogs eating poop…
“My dog eats poop” – if this is you, pet parent, rest assured you’re not alone! Many of our four-legged friends indulge in this arguably gross habit, also known as coprophagia. But, why do dogs eat poop? Is it normal for a dog to eat poop? And, what are the ways you can encourage your dog to stop eating poop…?
There are actually a few reasons behind why your dog may be eating poop…
Some pet experts believe that our pups start to eat poop when they’re experiencing anxiety when away from you, their pet parent. Read our blog on how to help your pup with suspected separation anxiety here.
Some dogs eat poop out of boredom, so engage in the behavior for something to do. As well as meeting their daily exercise needs, make sure you’re engaging in play both indoors and outdoors and regularly interacting with your furry friend to alleviate any potential boredom.
Your dog may not be being fed enough and is compensating for their hunger by eating poop. Check-in with your vet on how much your dog should be eating in accordance with their breed, size, exercise routine, and weight.
One general view is that dogs engage in this habit (alongside other mammals like rodents, rabbits, elephants, and beavers) in order to digest more nutrients, despite it being second-hand. So, your dog may be instinctively eating poop to top up any nutritional deficiency they may be experiencing, but this is still a topic of debate amongst pet care experts and animal scientists.
Some dogs simply love the taste of other animals', or their own, poop! For Fido, it may just be a case of being too good a smell to not try and taste… Lovely!
However, if your dog has never eaten poop before and has developed this habit out of nowhere, or they’re eating a lot of it whenever they get the chance, make sure you get them looked over by the vet to rule out any underlying issues that are causing them to indulge in the habit.
If your dog has started eating cat poop from the litter tray or the yard, this isn’t uncommon - cat poop tastes extra nice to some pooches!
Make sure the cat litter tray isn’t accessible to your dog by either purchasing one that has a lid on it, or place it in a space your dog can’t get into but your kitty can. And, be sure that you’re staying on top of picking up all poop in your backyard before Rover gets a chance to try it!
Eating dog poop can be bad for a dog’s health. Other animal’s poop can contain worms and other unwanted bacteria that can make your dog sick. Some livestock’s poop will even have worming medication residue in its contents, which could make your pup very unwell.
It’s essential that any dog, but particularly one who likes to eat poop, is receiving regular flea, worm, and tick prevention treatment. This protects them, your home, your family, and your community from the different types of intestinal worms in dogs which can be picked up via eating feces if they are not properly protected.
Encouraging a dog to stop eating poop can take perseverance and persistence from you, their owner, as it’s a hard habit to break once your pooch has acquired a taste. Some useful steps to take include: