How to Stop a Dog from Eating Poop

Updated: February 27, 2024

"Why do dogs eat their own poop? To begin addressing how to get your dog to stop eating poop, you must first look at the cause."

Why do dogs eat poop and how can you stop your dog from eating poop? Well, it can be caused by a variety of reasons, and it takes patience from you as a pet parent to put an end to the behavior. We know that your dog eating poop is probably right at the top of the list of behaviors you want to avoid. The good news is that a dog eating poop is relatively common behavior and there are several steps you can take to prevent it. In this article, we will look at common questions like: why do dogs eat their own poop, how do you stop a dog from eating poop, and what can you do to help?

As a pet parent who only wants the best for your dog, poop eating is something you don't want. If not addressed properly and immediately, it might have a great chance of becoming a regular (and even a lifetime) habit. We will talk about possible reasons and management ways how to stop a dog from eating poop.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Why do dogs eat their own poop? To begin addressing how to get your dog to stop eating poop, you must first look at the cause. So, why do dogs eat poop? The reason for your furbaby to be eating poop can be caused by a lot of factors. It can be because of:

Copy Cat Behavior. Puppies may begin to eat poop while still with their mother dog and their fellow littermates. You see, mama dog loves to keep her puppies clean and protect her pups from possible threats, like guests in your house or from other pets at home, so she eats the poop of her litter. Mama dog does this regularly until the puppies are big enough to be weaned. And since puppies are in the stage of learning how to act like confident dogs, they naturally copy what their mother does, and the behavior may continue as the pups grow older.

Poor Digestion. Your furbaby eating poop may be caused by your dog not properly digesting their food. It can be because your dog has some issues with their digestive system or that they are regularly fed with foods that have low digestible nutrients.

Confinement. A dog who spends much of their time confined in a small space (small cage, small kennel, etc.) can cause them to eat their poop. That's why dogs in rescue centers are prone to this behavior.

Stress and Anxiety. This is often the result of your furbaby often being punished during potty training or house training. A dog will often opt to eat their poop so no evidence of an accident can be seen by their pet parent. This becomes a cycle as they have already associated that pooping in the wrong places means punishment.

Attention. Your furbaby might be eating their poop as a way to get your attention because they know you will react to it, even if negatively. So, if ever your dog does this, just remain calm as much as possible. Calmly correct the behavior and remember not to overreact.

Living with A Sick or Senior Dog. If your dog eats the poop of the sick or senior dog they live with, this can be related to a dog's natural instinct of protecting the weaker members of the pack from predators and threats.

Proximity of Poop to Food. Dogs who are in cages or kennels and are fed in proximity to their stools can develop connections between the poop's odor and the food's smell. Sometimes, they are unable to distinguish which is which.

Nutritional Deficiency. The lack of certain nutrients (like iron, other vitamins, and minerals, particularly Vitamin B) in your furbaby can cause them to eat their poop. Your pup eats their poop to try to put nutrients back in the body.

Now that you know the potential causes of dogs eating poop, you can probably narrow it down to one or a few potential reasons. Now, let’s look at how you can stop your dog from eating poop based on these reasons.

Management Methods To Stop Poop Eating

Here are some of the most effective ways how to stop a dog from eating poop.

stop dog from eating poop

Keep Your Furbaby's Living & Eating Area Clean At All Times. One way to eventually stop your dog from eating their poop (or the poop of other dogs at home) is to keep their living and eating spaces poop-free at all times. This way, there will be no more available poops to pick up and eat.

Supervise Your Dog. Supervising your dog all the time will help you redirect their attention whenever they begin to show interest in indulging in eating poop. Strict supervision is also very suitable whenever you go on walks. Pick up your furbaby's poop immediately and absolutely pull them away from other dogs' poops on the road. Yuck! Take treats with you on your walk and reward your furbaby when they leave the poop they encounter.

Training. Training your dog not to eat their poop can be done well with consistency and practice. If you learn how to stop a puppy from eating poop before it becomes a habit, you will not have to worry about it in adulthood. You can work on commands like "Leave it" or "Stay away" whenever your dog attempts to. It is also a good idea to train your dog to come to you after they have eliminated and give them a treat. This way, they will always go looking for you for that tasty treat rather than eating their poop. Positive reinforcement is key, read more about it here.

Food. Never miss a mealtime when feeding your dog! Be consistent. Also, check to see if the food you are feeding your pup has key nutrients. If your dog is eating their own poop because of a lack of proper nutrition, this will help solve the problem.

Supplements For Dogs. As mentioned, dogs eat their poop because they lack certain nutrients. Vitamin B for dogs who eat poop, can be especially helpful. In fact, you might consider it to be the dog vitamin for poop eating. Adding a vitamin to stop a dog from eating poop can be more effective than you might think. Supplementing your furbaby with high-quality multivitamins will help deter your furbaby's poop-eating habit.

How Can Pet Parents® Help?

Each nutrient group has different key roles in a furbaby's body. Multivitamin supplements offer all-around wellness for your dog.

You can offer Pet Parents® Multifunctional SoftSupps® if you know your furbaby is not eating well or having episodes of stress and anxiety, especially when potty training or having accidents. This can help balance out the right proportions of the vitamins and minerals that are needed by your dog and can help ward off nutrient deficiencies.

These can also assist if your furbaby has been diagnosed with vitamin or mineral deficiency that causes them to eat their poop and needs proper supplementation. But remember that even the best supplements are not medications, and they are not meant to cure. However, they can be helpful in getting your dog to stop eating their poop.

These quality dog multifunctional supplements contain a Digestive Complex and are specifically formulated to support digestive system functions in your dogs. This promotes better absorption of nutrients and promotes the body detox mechanism.

The supplements are also packed with high-quality Proprietary Enzyme Blend that supports complete gut health, Niacin that helps in the breakdown of fatty acids to help your furbaby convert fats and carbs into sources of energy & some powerful branded ‘Super Ingredients’ that help keep your dog in top health and can assist in deterring their poop-eating habits!

In addition, when you are not around to supervise your dog, you can have them wear Pet Parents® Dog Diapers. These washable dog diapers will keep the poop inside so that your dog does not have an opportunity to eat it while you are gone.

These diapers are made for comfort with a leak-proof shell to make sure that messes stay inside. Sizes are available ranging from extra-small to extra-large so that you can get the right fit for your furbaby.

"It is a great idea to offer your furbaby Multifunctional SoftSupps® to help ward off any nutritional deficiencies."

When figuring out how to stop a dog from eating poop, remember that overreacting to things will only cause more harm than good. Take a deep breath and work on ways to stop a dog from eating poop. Figure out the trigger and why your dog eats poop. Then you can take the necessary steps on how to stop a dog from eating poop. Try giving your dog supplements to enhance their nutrition and Because a happier and healthier life, filled with slobbery kisses from a poop-proof mouth is what you absolutely want in your life!

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