Stop Dog Poop Eating: Effective Ways to Break the Habit

As a dog owner, you may have witnessed your furry friend eating their own poop or the poop of other animals. This behavior, known as coprophagia, is quite common among dogs. While it may seem disgusting to us, dogs have been known to engage in this behavior for a variety of reasons, including boredom, anxiety, and nutritional deficiencies. In this article, we will explore effective ways to break the habit of poop eating and also delve into the world of canine nutrition.

Stop Dog Poop Eating: Effective Ways to Break the Habit

Understanding Coprophagia

Before we dive into how to stop poop eating, it is important to understand why dogs engage in this behavior in the first place. Here are some reasons why your dog may be eating poop:

  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Dogs who are not getting enough nutrients in their diet may turn to consuming feces as a way to supplement their diet.
  • Boredom: Dogs who are left alone for long periods of time or not given enough mental stimulation may resort to poop eating as a form of entertainment.
  • Anxiety: Dogs who are anxious or stressed may engage in this behavior as a form of self-soothing.
  • Medical Issues: Certain medical conditions, such as malabsorption or parasites, can lead to coprophagia in dogs.

Breaking the Habit

Now that we have a better understanding of why dogs eat poop, let’s explore some effective ways to break the habit:

1. Increase Exercise and Mental Stimulation

One of the main reasons dogs engage in poop eating is boredom. Ensuring that your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation can help curb this behavior. Here are some ways to increase your dog’s activity level:

  • Take your dog for daily walks or runs.
  • Play interactive games with your dog, such as fetch, tug-of-war, or hide-and-seek.
  • Provide your dog with puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys that require them to use their brain.

2. Train Your Dog to Leave It

Training your dog to “leave it” can be an effective way to stop them from eating poop. Here’s how to teach your dog this command:

  1. Place a treat in your hand and close your fist around it.
  2. Show your closed fist to your dog and say “leave it.”
  3. Wait for your dog to stop trying to get the treat from your hand.
  4. When your dog stops, say “good boy/girl” and give them a different treat from your other hand.
  5. Repeat this exercise several times a day, gradually increasing the amount of time that your dog has to wait before receiving the reward.

3. Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool in stopping unwanted behaviors. Whenever your dog does something good, such as leaving poop alone, be sure to praise and reward them. Here are some ways to use positive reinforcement to stop poop eating:

  • Whenever you catch your dog avoiding poop, give them a treat or a toy as a reward.
  • Use verbal praise, such as saying “good boy/girl,” whenever your dog leaves poop alone.
  • If you have multiple dogs and only one is eating poop, be sure to praise and reward the dog who is not engaging in this behavior.

4. Change Your Dog’s Diet

As we mentioned earlier, nutritional deficiencies can lead to coprophagia in dogs. Changing your dog’s diet to one that is rich in nutrients can help curb this behavior. Here are some tips for choosing the right food for your dog:

  • Look for high-quality dog food that is made with whole ingredients rather than by-products.
  • Choose a food that is appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and activity level.
  • Consider adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet as a source of vitamins and minerals.

5. Consult with Your Veterinarian

If your dog’s poop eating behavior persists despite your best efforts, it may be time to consult with your veterinarian. They can help rule out any medical issues that may be contributing to this behavior and provide additional guidance on how to stop it.

Canine Nutrition 101

Now that we’ve explored effective ways to break the habit of poop eating, let’s dive into the world of canine nutrition. Feeding your dog a healthy, balanced diet is essential for their overall health and happiness. Here are some key things to keep in mind when it comes to canine nutrition:

1. Choose the Right Food

Choosing the right food for your dog can be overwhelming, given the countless options available on the market. Here are some tips for selecting a high-quality dog food:

  • Look for dog food that is made with whole ingredients rather than by-products or fillers.
  • Choose a food that is appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and activity level.
  • Read the ingredient list carefully and avoid foods that contain artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.

2. Understand Portion Sizes

Feeding your dog the right amount of food is just as important as choosing the right food. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems, while underfeeding can leave your dog malnourished. Here are some tips for determining the right portion size for your dog:

  • Consult with your veterinarian to determine how much food your dog should be eating based on their age, size, and activity level.
  • Measure out your dog’s food using a kitchen scale or measuring cup to ensure that they are getting the right amount.
  • Avoid free-feeding, as this can lead to overeating.

3. Discover Superfoods for Dogs

Just like humans, dogs can benefit from the health-boosting properties of superfoods. Here are some superfoods to consider adding to your dog’s diet:

  • Blueberries: These are packed with antioxidants, which can help protect your dog’s cells from damage.
  • Sweet Potatoes: These are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are also a low-glycemic carbohydrate.
  • Salmon: This is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help support your dog’s skin and coat health.


In conclusion, poop eating can be a frustrating behavior to deal with, but it can be stopped with the right training and diet. By using positive reinforcement, increasing exercise and mental stimulation, choosing the right food, understanding portion sizes, and incorporating superfoods into your dog’s diet, you can help ensure that your furry friend is healthy and happy for years to come.


Q: Why does my dog eat poop?

A: Eating poop, also known as coprophagia, can be a natural behavior in dogs, especially in puppies. It can be a result of boredom, stress, anxiety, or nutritional deficiencies. However, coprophagia can also indicate an underlying medical condition, so it’s always a good idea to consult your vet if your dog is eating poop.

Q: How can I stop my dog from eating poop?

A: There are several effective ways to break the habit of coprophagia, such as:

    Keep the environment clean by picking up poop immediately and disposing of it properly.
    Feed your dog a balanced and nutritious diet that meets their nutritional needs.
    Provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and anxiety.
    Train your dog to “leave it” or “drop it” commands.

    Use a deterrent spray or supplement that makes poop taste unpleasant.

    Q: Can eating poop harm my dog?

A: Yes, eating poop can be harmful to your dog’s health. It can expose them to parasites, bacteria, and viruses that can cause gastrointestinal problems and other health issues. Additionally, some dogs may develop a habit of eating non-food items, which can lead to intestinal blockages and other serious health problems. Therefore, it’s important to address the issue of coprophagia as soon as possible to ensure your dog’s health and well-being.

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