Why Do Dogs Eat Their Own Poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Their Own Poop?

Why do dogs eat their own poop? It has been a question to many for years, and only recently have scientist began to understand why dogs eat their own excretions, as well as those of other animals. Even more importantly, how do you get them to stop? Well, to answer this one, we have to go back to why. The reason your dog may be eating its own poo will give you the answer as to how to stop this behavior.


Dogs eat their poop for a number of reasons, but here are a few:


Lack of Nutrients.


If a dog is not getting enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, then it may prompt the dog to eat his feces in an attempt to recover minerals lost throughout the digestive process.


If your dog is eating feces for this reason, then the fix is normally very simple: feed them a higher quality food, and make sure your dog is getting the nutrients it needs. If you have to, make a diet plan with your vet.  


Stress or Anxiety.


A dog may poop due to stress or anxiety, especially when left alone, and then turn around and eat said poop.


To fix this, make sure your dog is on a routine. This will help your dog from feeling as stressed out. Make sure you have plenty of potty breaks, and monitor potty time to make sure your dog is not eating feces while on a leash or outside.  




This is probably one of the most common reasons that a dog will eat their own poop. If a dog lacks activity in their day, they may start playing with their feces, and then gradually start eating it.


To correct this behavior, give your dog plenty of time to play outside and in the house. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise, and they will be too pooped to eat their… well, you get it.  




Some dogs just enjoy the taste of their own (or others’) droppings. Some will smell, lick, or eat other animals’ poops. They simply enjoy the taste.


The best way to deal with this is to find a product designed to make a dog’s poop taste gross. There are many products that you can mix with a dog’s food, and when it comes out, it tastes very sour if they try to eat it again. You may also try a hot sauce; although some dogs enjoy hot things, so it may not be as effective.  




Some dogs will eat their poop in order to keep what they perceive as “their area” clean. Dogs who are physically punished for potty training accidents sometimes learn very quickly to eat their own poop in order to avoid discipline.


In order to fix this, clean your dog’s area as soon as they poop. If you are using physical punishment, try using less physical means, and more positive-centered training methods to avoid making your dog feel as if it needs to eat its feces in order to avoid punishment.    


If you suspect your dog is eating their poop for one of these reasons, try one of these solutions. Not all dogs will be so simple to stop, and some may take professional training.


Do you have any tips to share? Have you ever dealt with a guilty poo-eater? If so, share your comments and tips in the comment section of our Facebook page. We love to hear from you!  


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