Why Dogs Eat Poop? 10 Ways to Prevent Dogs Eating Poop

Of all the disgusting habits dogs can have, eating POOP is one of the worst.

This habit is so common worldwide that there’s even a name given to it, “coprophagia.”

Reasons being dogs eating poop can be varied from situational, medical, behavioral, and physiological reasons.

While some dogs eat their own poop, others love cat poop, whereas some eat random poop.

Despite it being one of the common behaviors amongst dogs around the world, eating poop isn’t something pet parents must encourage.

If you find your dog eating poop, you should focus on the condition right away.

Despite seeing it for the first time, it is smart to stop it before it develops into an unimprovable habit. 

Here’s a complete guide on Why dogs eat poop? And How to stop a dog from eating poop?

Why do puppies eat their own poop?

Why do Dogs eat Poop? Learn the Truth Behind Why Your Dog Eats Poop?

Despite the disgusting visuals, there could be various serious reasons behind your dog’s poop-eating habit.

While most pet parents take the situation lightly and think their dog has developed an annoying habit, they are unfamiliar with its reasons.

If your dog is eating poop, there are various underlying reasons behind it. 

  • Due to motherly instinct. Mother dogs lick and clean their puppies, and in the process, they tend to eat poop. Though it is natural and there is nothing to worry about.
  • They may like the taste or smell. Dogs have a really strong sense of smell. Thus, if they find poop’s scent appealing, they will eat it.
  • Anxiety or Restrictive confinement. This reason goes commonly for dogs who have been rescued from either inhumane owners or crowded shelters. Due to fear of punishment (they may have experienced it in the past), they will eat their own poop.
  • Hunger, starvation, or severe malnutrition. Dogs who suffer from acute hunger or starvation will eat anything that has taste, even Poop. Unfortunately, dogs who are suffering from severe malnutrition due to various conditions may eat their own poop.
  • Mimicking. Your dog may have seen some other dog eating poop. Because they have no sensibility of their own, the idea of eating poop can fascinate them.
  • To save themselves from punishment or to please owners. If you have ever punished your dog because he poops inside the house, he may end eating it up the next time. This is because of fear or simply to hide the mistake from you. 

Medical Reasons that can lead Dogs to eat poop

While most of us confuse it with only behavioral, situational, and physiological reasons, Dogs may eat poop due to underlying medical reasons.

While these medical conditions are non-visible, one has to analyze and consult professionals.

  • Enzyme Deficiency. Pet dogs who stay deprived of digestive enzymes in their diet tend to eat poop. 
  • Malabsorption. Malabsorption conditions in dogs can lead to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This, as a result, can stop your dog from absorbing nutrients from the food. In effect, he/ she may start eating poop.
  • Parasites. If your dog’s stomach is breeding parasites, he will surely end up eating poop and a lot of it. 
  • With the effect of Diabetes, hypothyroidism, or steroids. Certain illnesses and medications can lead to nutritional deficiency in dogs. And while nutrients are absent in their body, dogs will naturally start finding them in poop. 

Why do dogs eat grass and poop?

Several dogs, regardless of eating their own poop, tend to attract towards poop present in gardens.

It is because dogs love eating grass; they mistakenly eat the poop hidden underneath the grass bed.

So, the next time you find your dog eating grass and poop, maybe they weren’t actually focusing on poop, but on grass only. 

However, with the development of this habit, dogs actually start liking how grassy it feels to eat poop.

So, before it becomes an obsession, consider correcting the habit. 

10 Ways to Prevent Dogs Eating Poop

Depending upon how behavioral or medicinal this habit is, there are several ways to prevent your dog from eating poop.

Despite how undesirable the poop eating behavior is, it isn’t difficult to be worked upon. 

Here is a list of 10 ways that can prevent your dog from eating poop (As per Veterinarians and experienced dog owners)

Emphasize Cleanliness

limit your dog’s access to poop. First, if your dog will not find poop easily, it will never get the opportunity to eat it. 

Make sure you clean their poop right away. Also, consider keeping your garden and backyard free of poop all the time. 

Engage with toys

During potty breaks, give them a toy to stay engaged. Engaging them during the potty break will break their habit of pooping and eating it right away.

Remember, supervision during potty time is essential. 

Feed them Healthy Food

Fulfill your dog’s needs with a healthier, fuller, and nutritionally rich diet.

Dogs who eat a nutritionally rich and fuller diet generate less attraction towards poop.

Keep your dog engaged

Exercising or engaging your dog is important both mentally and physically.

As found, dogs who are isolated or have less physical and mental exercise tend to eat poop more often than others. 

Try to make the poop taste bad.

You can mix lemon juice, citrus fruit, or any other thing with poop.

Basically, add things that are not hazardous, but only your dog doesn’t like.

Wait for some time, and your dog will automatically walk past poop instead of making a meal out of it.

Use the Leave it command.

Dogs are smart learners, and it isn’t really difficult to teach them.

While your dog tries and sniffs poop quite often, help them understand it is bad. 

The process will become easier if you train them with commands and examples like Leave it or Take it.

For example, if there’s a toy, command Take it while if they are sniffing over poop, command Leave it.

If you fall short of options, consider using Poop eating detergent.

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It is nothing but a stool detergent that makes poop less appealing.  

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Give them enzyme supplements.

If your dog is getting enough enzyme supplements, he will naturally feel unattracted with the idea of eating poop.

Though before supplements, it is always better to ensure a naturally healthier diet. 

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Give them Vitamin supplements.

As per research and experts, if your dog is eating feces, it is suffering from vitamin deficiency.

Primarily, Vitamin B deficiency triggers poop-eating habits in dogs.

Thus, by ensuring a diet rich in vitamins, you can improve this habit. 

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Show them that you aren’t happy with their behavior.

Dogs are really sensitive, and their owner’s mood can affect their own to a great extent.

While they observe your disappointment due to them eating poop, they may try not to do the same.

However, do not mistake disappointment for punishment. 

Meet the Vet.

If none of the home remedies for eating poop helps your dog, then, at last, meet their Vet.

As per studies, dogs with brain illness and dementia starts eating poop.

The problem also arises in old-aged dogs who have almost lost their memory.

Thus, to overcome any such possibility, consider your Vet’s advice foremost. 

Are there any risks if my Dog is Eating Poop?

Yes, definitely. Coprophagia in dogs (the practice of eating own or alien stool) can lead to potential dangers.

Poop, no matter to whom it belongs, is simply gross.

It contains everything that a body cannot digest, of which 50% are live bacteria.

Poop may also contain eggs of intestinal parasites that, if consumed, can lead to several illnesses. 

Possible risks if your dog is eating poop:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss in appetite
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Internal infection
  • A decline in oral health
  • Bad breath
  • Poisoning

Fun Facts- Dogs Eating Poop

  • Female dogs are more likely to eat poop than male dogs. 
  • 92% of dogs prefer eating only fresh poop.
  • 16% of dogs eat poop regularly, while 24% of them eat poop occasionally.
  • Dog breeds like Poodles are less likely to eat poop, where breeds like terriers and hounds are more likely to eat poop. 
  • Poop eating habit is more common amongst dog who belongs to multi-dog household or shelters. 


This was all for the concern “Why Your Dog Likes to Eat Its Poop”? Before wrapping it all up, we believe that the information mentioned above has cleared most of your doubts before wrapping it all up. 

So, the next time you find your dog eating poop, make sure you work to improve this habit instead of ignoring it.

And if you fail to do so, meet their Vet and ensure your dog is as healthy from inside as he looks from outside.