Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? Exploring the Causes and Solutions

As dog owners, one of the most unpleasant habits we can witness our furry friend indulging in is the consumption of feces. This behavior, also known as coprophagia, can be quite baffling and concerning. However, it is not uncommon for dogs to eat poop, and there are many reasons why they do so.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? Exploring the Causes and Solutions

Understanding the Causes of Coprophagia in Dogs

There are various reasons why dogs eat poop, and some of the most common causes include:

Nutritional deficiencies

If your dog’s diet is lacking in essential nutrients, they may be compelled to eat fecal matter to supplement their nutritional needs.

Behavioral issues

Dogs that are bored, anxious or stressed may resort to eating fecal matter as a coping mechanism.

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions such as pancreatic insufficiency, intestinal parasites or diabetes may cause dogs to eat poop.

Motherly instincts

Puppies often eat their mother’s feces as a way of keeping their environment clean.

Solutions for Coprophagia in Dogs

If your dog is eating poop, there are several measures you can take to discourage this habit, including:

Improve their diet

Switching your dog to a high-quality, nutrient-dense dog food can prevent nutritional deficiencies that lead to coprophagia.

Offer appropriate toys and activities

Providing your dog with stimulating toys and engaging activities can prevent boredom and reduce anxiety.

Treat underlying medical conditions

If your dog’s coprophagia is caused by a medical condition, treating the condition will eliminate the behavior.

Train your dog

Training your dog to “leave it” when they encounter fecal matter can be an effective solution.


Although coprophagia can be a frustrating habit, it is not an uncommon one. By understanding the causes and implementing appropriate solutions, you can effectively discourage this behavior and keep your dog healthy and happy.


Q1. Why do dogs eat poop?
A1. There are a few reasons why dogs might eat poop. One reason is that they are not getting enough nutrients in their diet, so they are trying to supplement their diet with what they find in feces. Another reason is that they might be bored or anxious, and eating poop gives them something to do. Additionally, some dogs may have learned this behavior from their mother when they were young.

Q2. Is it dangerous for dogs to eat poop?
A2. Eating poop can expose dogs to harmful bacteria and parasites that can make them sick. It can also lead to digestive problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, some dogs may develop behavioral issues, such as resource guarding or aggression, if they become possessive over their feces.

Q3. How can I prevent my dog from eating poop?
A3. There are a few things you can do to prevent your dog from eating poop. First, make sure your dog is getting a balanced and nutritious diet. This can sometimes help reduce their urge to eat feces. Second, keep your yard and any areas where your dog walks or plays clean and free of feces. Third, supervise your dog when they are outside, and redirect their attention if they start to sniff or eat feces. Finally, work with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist if your dog’s poop-eating behavior is difficult to manage.

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