What to Do When Dogs Eat Poop

Updated: July 12, 2022

Why do Dogs Eat Poop?

My dog ate poop, what do I do? Our dogs can get really weird. They chase their tails, sniff other pets' butts, and even shower us with saliva! And if there is one thing that disturbs pet parents the most? It is when dogs eat poop!

In this article, we’ll talk about the many reasons why your dog eats poop, what to do if your dog eats poop, and how to prevent your dog from eating poop.

"Why do dogs eat their own poop? Coprophagia is the scientific way of experts naming your dog's habit of eating their poop."

why do dogs eat poop? why do dogs eat cat poop?

Why do Dogs Eat Their Own Poop?

Why does my dog eat other dogs poop on walks? Why do dogs eat their own poop? Coprophagia is the scientific way of experts naming your dog's habit of eating their poop. According to Tender Care Animal Hospital. Coprophagia is not considered to be an abnormal behavior in dogs. Because naturally, female dogs consume their pup’s poop when they are grooming them and keeping their whelping nest clean.

Additionally, pups are also able to ingest their poop when they are in the oral stage of exploring everything with their mouths. As pups grow older, they eventually learn that poop tastes nothing compared to food, and so they outgrow their poop-eating habits. But some really don’t and some develop them later on.

Now, why do dogs eat their poop? In most studies conducted, it goes to show that this habit is actually behavioral and there is absolutely nothing to worry about. But there are medical concerns that must be addressed first before deciding on how to solve this disgusting habit.

why do dogs eat their own poop?

A puppy's interest in poop

The biggest reason why your puppy eats his poop is because he probably learned it from his mother. A mother dog eats her puppies' poop for two reasons. One, for cleanliness. Two, protection from other animals because the scent of poop makes it so easy for other animals to locate her litter.

Your puppy may have learned it from their mother. As a responsible pet parent, it is up to you to clean your puppy's mess immediately before they have the chance of eating it. By doing so, this will persuade them not to do it and he will eventually grow out of it.

An adult dog's interest in poop

If you have an adult dog who suddenly eats poop, it may or may not be a sign that something is wrong but consider the following cases for possible medical concerns: Your dog has never been a poop-eater before but suddenly becomes one and shows other symptoms of illness like pale or swollen gums, unusual tiredness and fever or; your dog has never been a poop-eater but suddenly grows a strong interest in eating other dog's poop.

Why do Dogs Eat Cat Poop?

Why does my dog eat cat poop? Cat poop is another popular item for dogs to eat, unfortunately. Similar to eating dog poop, a dog eating at poop can be the sign of a nutrient deficiency, but it is often a behavioral issue.

A dog may eat cat poop for the simple reason of easy access. A cat's diet is different from a dog's and may smell appealing to them. Plus, your dog will quickly learn exactly where they can get the cat poop and keep coming back for more, reinforcing the habit. A simple solution for how to stop a dog from eating cat poop is to keep the room with the litter box gated off from your dog. If a dog eats cat poop, it can be due to the same reasons that they eat their own poop or other dog's poop. Let's take a look at some common reasons.

Medical Reasons for a Dog Eating Poop

The following health issues can possibly be causing Coprophagia in your dog:

Dog eating poop due to poor diet.

An improper and poor diet of your dog can be causing your dog's interest to eat their own poop. This is because your dog's poop may contain a large amount of undigested kibble or dog food, it will smell quite good compared to the smell of regular poop. Some dog might actually think it’s dog food that’s why they’re eating it.

Underfeeding and malnutrition.

A hungry dog has an increased appetite because he isn't getting all the food & nutrients he needs and an increased appetite means he'll eat whatever he thinks is consumable.

Enzyme deficiencies.

Your dog's body can suddenly quit producing the exact quantity or kinds of digestive enzymes required to absorb and digest nutrients. This is caused by inflammation and issues in the pancreas. This, in effect, causes an increase in appetite and yes, lead to a dog eating their own poop.


Worms in your dog's digestive system will consume the nutrients that are meant to be for your dog. Your dog won't be getting the right nutrition he needs and will increase their hunger.

Other medical causes why your dog eats poop includes diabetes, Cushing’s diseases, thyroid diseases, and some medications that usually contains steroids.

Behavioral Causes for a Dog Eating Poop

Curiosity and playfulness.

Your puppy eating poop may be caused by your dog's curiosity and playfulness. Dogs love to explore everything they come across with. Also, this poop-eating will initially catch their owner’s attention so they will continue doing it to keep their pet parent’s attention on them.

Improper training techniques.

Some pet parents attempt to potty train their puppies the wrong way by sticking their dog’s nose in their poop; this sometimes encourages poop-eating. Note: it also does not help potty training!

Mimicking other dogs.

Why do dogs eat other dogs poop? It can simply be to copy them. Dogs learn from other dogs and can pick up bad behaviors as well.

Innate behavior.

In some cases, as mother dog try to clean their pups by grooming and cleaning them, they may also be leaning themselves and consuming their own poop.

Now if you had your dog checked and they are totally fine, a dog eating poop may be due to stress, boredom, and for seeking your attention.

Some other causes, according to Vet West, include irregular feeding schedule, under-stimulating environment, and inadequate supervision.

how to stop dog from eating poop home remedies

How to Stop a Dog Eating From Poop Home Remedies

Want to know how to stop a dog from eating poop? Here are some home remedies you can try to help stop your dog from eating poop.

  • Provide a healthy, balanced, and easy-to-digest diet. Provide your dog with extra nutrients by giving Multivitamin SoftSupps® daily to help prevent nutrient deficiencies and poop eating.
  • Give your dog enough time to play and exercise to discourage a dog eating poop from boredom
  • Provide mental stimulation and enrichment. Snuffle mats, like the Forager™ Mat is an easy way to provide mental enrichment while feeding your dog.
  • Always be mindful of cleaning up your dog's poop before he eats it
  • Have your dog wear washable dog diapers, like Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers. These premium dog diapers are able to contain both pee and poop, helping you greatly in keeping your dog away from consuming their own poop. Unlike disposable dog diapers, these cannot be easily slid off or shredded, so it will keep the poop out of reach.
  • For a dog eating cat poop, place your cat's litter box in a place your dog cannot access. Use a cat door, baby gate, etc. to keep your dog from eating cat poop, while still allowing your cat free access to her litter box.
what to do if your dog eats poop, dog ate his poop

"An improper and poor diet of your dog can be causing your dog's interest to eat their own poop."

Your dog's habit of eating his poop can be very disgusting. When learning how to stop a dog from eating poop, home remedies are helpful for prevention. However, there is a chance there is a medical cause for your dog eating poop. That's why it is always best to check with your vet for proper assessment of your dog's health. If your dog is eating their own poop or your dog eats cat poop because of a behavioral issue, there are lots of ways to stop your dog from eating poop.