Why Do Dogs Eat Their Own Poop? (Coprophagia)


For years veterinarians, dog owners, and dog trainers have wondered why dogs have taken to this seemingly odd habit known as Coprophagia. Here we will look at some of the theories and possible solutions get your dog to stop eating poop. At the very least, when you finish this article “Why do puppies eat their own poop” will no longer be a question. Instead, you will have a firm grip on why your puppies eat poop.

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For years veterinarians, dog owners, and dog trainers have wondered why dogs have taken to this seemingly odd habit known as Coprophagia. Here we will look at some of the theories and possible solutions get your dog to stop eating poop. At the very least, when you finish this article “Why does my puppy eat his poop” will no longer be a question. Instead, you will have a firm grip on why your puppies eat their poop.

Dog Poop Eating Separating Fact from Fiction

Many times people assume this is just a disgusting habit that dogs do. This cannot be further from the truth. You do not have to worry about your dog getting sick or your doing it to out of boredom. Scientist have studied dogs for years and there is no real reason for dogs to do this and there is no real reason to stop dogs from doing this. Yes, it is disgusting but it won’t harm your dog. The only harm that come from eating feces is your dog could pick up worms. Besides worms, your dog will be just fine if eats feces on occasion. However, you do need to make sure it does have a proper diet.

Poop Eating (Coprophagia in Dogs) #1: Improper Nutrition

Some people believe dogs eat their feces because of bad nutrition or an unbalanced diet. Personally I think this is a bunch of hogwash and science does not back this up. I have trained service animals and I have seen the guide dogs who have the best and most well-balanced nutrition eat feces. Studies under well-controlled conditions just does not support this theory. So far it has yet to be determined why dogs eat poop. We just do not know.

Poop Eating (Coprophagia) #2: Boredom

Dog trainers like to use the boredom excuse to get you to buy their training guides. Unfortunately, this does not prove true either. Again, if service animals eat feces when they get a chance, then you don’t stand a chance with your pet. I do not care how well trained your pet poodle is. If I cannot get a service animal to stop eating feces at the park, then you will not get your pet to stop either.

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop at Home

The only thing that works is prevention. You can do this in two way. The easiest way is to simply pick it up. Take your dog out to the bathroom and pick it up. If there is nothing to eat, then your dog cannot eat the feces. Simple as that. However, if you simply cannot pick up the feces every time there are additives you can use.

Additives to Prevent Poop Eating (Coprophagia)

  • Forbid — This is sprinkled on the food. After the dogs poops, it makes the dog spit the feces back out. The poop is no longer palatable.
  • Dis-Taste — It is sprinkled onto the food. Dogs will spit out the feces.
  • Pineapple Juice — Mix a tablespoon of pineapple juice with the dog food. This is said to only work with puppies. (I have not tried this method but I have heard it works well).

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop in Public

When you are out, the best bet is teaching your dog basic obedience commands ahead of time. As a dog trainer, I always recommend teaching your dog the basics. They come in handy in so many situations and this is just another one. When you see your dog going for some poop, tell your dog to “Stop” or “Leave It.” If you catch your dog in the act, then you need to tell your dog to “Drop It.”

As you can see, these commands work well for stopping your dog from eating feces, but they work just as well with ice cream, glass, tennis balls or anything else you might find in a park. Basic obedience commands are always a plus and should never be overlooked when getting a new dog.


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