Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? And How to Stop a Dog From Eating Poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? And How to Stop a Dog From Eating Poop?

What is Coprophagia in Dogs?

Coprophagia is the consumption of feces, and it is very common in dogs. But why do dogs eat poop? Eating shit is a very common and disgusting habit of dogs. But how to stop your dog from eating poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

There is no clear reason or answer to why dogs eat feces. Some say that it is their common behavior to know more of their surroundings while others say that dogs eat stool for some reason, such as hunger, stress, instinct, or sickness.

Hunger or Bad Habit

It is easy to understand that any dog would eat anything if he is suffering from serious malnutrition or starvation. While on the other hand, some dogs are hungry most of the time, even though well-nourished.

It could be due to the signs of illness or just if a dog has developed a bad habit. Sometimes dogs develop the habit of eating anything they find tasty.

Often you may find your dog eating its own poop or eat cat poop. Sometimes dogs eat feces if they are not fed well or if the diet lacks something. Veterinarians believe that it is not the case of coprophagia.

Stress, Anxiety, and Fear

If a dog is stressed or scared, he may start to eat his own stool. Sometimes people punish or beat their dog if they defecate indoors.

Dogs can sometimes relate the beatings with the presence of the stool, and this can make a dog eat the feces to get rid of the evidence to avoid beatings.  


Some illnesses and diseases can make a dog eat poop. If you see sudden changes in appetite increasing or your dog eating non-eating items such as a towel, plastic, metal, or rocks, it can be due to some sort of disease (called pica).

A disease that changes the smell or consistency of the stool might motivate the dog to eat his own poop. 

You must consult your veterinarian if you see your dog involved in coprophagia.

Dementia and some other brain-related diseases can create confusion and disorientation. This can lead to a dog starting to eat stool.

Is it Bad If a Dog Eats Feces?

There are many risks involved in a dog eating his own stool. There are a lot of chances of parasites and bacteria to transmit to the owners and other animals through the dog’s saliva and mouth.

So always wash your hands after getting in contact with your dog if he eats feces.

A dog can be at risk of getting infected with the eggs of intestinal parasites and other harmful bacteria if he has a bad habit of eating feces either of his own or another cat or a dog.

This can cause serious illness, so it is recommended to visit a veterinarian for a fecal examination.    

Eating poop can lead to bad breath, but home dental care may help. But it is best to prevent your dog from eating stool. 

How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating Poop?

First of all, get your dog checked for coprophagia for medical treatment. If there is no issue of coprophagia, you are left with correcting the habit.

It is a bit difficult, but you must try to teach your dog to stop eating stool by rewarding him with something else he likes. 

Keep your yard free of animal waste. Dispose of your dog’s stool immediately after defecation.

Always check if your dog tries to eat his own poop after defecation. Use a leash on the dog while defecating, and if he gets his eyes to feces, get him away from it.

Immediately reward him with something else he likes and dispose of the feces. Try to teach your dog some useful commands such as sit, look, leave it, and no to control his behavior. 

There are products out there in the market to add to your dog’s meal to prevent coprophagia. These products can turn the stool of your dog very bad in taste for him, but make sure to check the ingredients if your dog is allergic to anything.

Your veterinarian can help you out in knowing the best and effective methods and products to prevent your dog from eating poop.

Read More:

Diarrhea in Dogs 

Stop Aggression in Dogs

Manoj Datic