How to stop your dog eating poo

by Vivien Richardson on January 3, 2010

It may not be nice but it is not that unusual.  Many dog owners can get rather upset if their dog or puppy gets into the habit of eating their own poo.

It can happen when you have taken your dog for a walk or your dog runs into the garden and you catch him eating dog poo.  Your reaction is to tell your dog off.

Coprophagia is the name for this occurrence and although it is not a pleasant sight it is quite common.  Once your dog has got into the habit, it can be difficult to stop him.

There is no way your pet dog is going to stop just because you are not happy. Your pet dog eating his own faeces will not do him any harm although it is unpleasant.

However the bad news is this pattern of behaviour is messy and your dogs breath will smell awful. There is also a risk of parasites being ingested by your pet if he starts to eat faeces from other animals.

There is no exact reason why dogs start this behaviour although vets do give a couple of possible reasons.
It may be that your dog enjoys eating it while it is warm. It may be your dog is just examining his faeces as it is of interest to him, after all, all dogs interact by their mouth and they chew bones, sticks and toys.

Another possible reason is that your dog is not getting enough protein in his diet.  Try giving a little fresh chicken with his meal or switch dog food.

If your pet is a puppy he will sometimes eat his poo while puppy training as he could take a while before he catches on what he is supposed to eat and what he is not.

If you shout at a puppy for getting his toilet training wrong he will destroy the evidence as he is worried about being told off.  Your puppy will have seen his mother dog clean up his faces from birth and followed suit – if this is the case he may well grow out of it.

Clean up after your dog as quickly as possible so he does not get chance to eat his own faeces.

Filed under: Care & Training