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My Dog Eat's Faeces-How to stop your dog eating poop

Updated on March 31, 2011

Why Dogs Eat Poop

There are many speculations as to why dogs eat faeces, there are however no definitive answers as dogs are unable to speak too confirm them. Prominent veterinarians, dog behaviour specialists and frustrated owners have all tried to explain why a dog would eat his own or another dogs faeces but we can never be sure if they are right.

Some veterinarians will simply advise that it is normal for a dog too eat faeces. Here in this article we will explore possible causes of this nauseating behaviour and offer possible solutions to stop it.

Anyone who has witnessed a dog munching away on faeces will know that it is a disgusting thing too watch, has negative health implications for the dog and increases the incidence of bacterial infections as faeces is a perfect incubator. The scientific name of canine faeces eating is Coprophagia, there are a number of speculative theories why a dog eats faeces; here are the more common ones:

Dog Food and Faeces

A dogs health is largely dependant on the food he eats and exercise. If his diet is not providing him with the right nutrients he will find alternative ways of getting them; this is a survival instinct. Providing your dog with the correct food for his needs is a trial and error process and can take a long time too figure out. Another possibility is that he is receiving the right food but suffers with stomach parasites that steal the nutrients before your dog can benefit from them. Poor quality dog food often passes quickly, as the food has not been digested fully your dog may simply think the food is still there too eat.

Cute Puppy
Cute Puppy


Busy modern lifestyles can mean dogs are left alone for long periods of time, boredom sets in and mischievous behaviour takes over. Eating faeces could simply be something to do.

Separation anxiety is a common condition in dogs, stressful situations can cause your dog to develop odd habits such as eating his own faeces. Puppies are often kept in cages over night, dogs are housed in kennels or locked in the garden during the day, it is entirely possible your dog is cleaning up after himself. If he sees you disposing of his faeces then why would he not want to help, this may seem unlikely but is entirely feasible.

Feeding Pattern

Certain breeds of dogs are greedy, they will literally eat anything including faeces. Your dog could he hungry, poor quality food doesn't fill him so faeces is simply desert. If your dog is fed once a day he will be hungry hours later, he will have learned that his next meal is a long way off so find the next best thing; faeces.


Dog behaviourists and psychologists agree that eating faeces could be an innate behaviour, wild dogs needed to survive and would literally eat anything as they had no way of knowing when they would eat again. There is also the possibility that it is a learned behaviour, as disgusting as it seems to you; a dog could have learned that the warm soft lump on the floor actually tastes a bit like food.

Fresh Food
Fresh Food

Stop Your Dog Eating Poop

As we can never be sure the real motivation or cause behind a dog eating faeces; we need to develop a plan to stop them.

The first advisable strategy would be to have your dog checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions which could be contributing to your dogs behaviour. The second obvious action you could take would be to pick the faeces up as soon as your dog does it. This is fine if you in are in a confined area but not very useful when out in wide open spaces.

A number of foodstuffs have been apparently proven to be successful in stopping faeces eating a little piece of pineapple worked for mine, worth a try but be aware of allergies and intolerances. I am not going to recommend any other food to stop your dog eating poop as I haven't tried any.

Talk to dog breeders who will have specific knowledge about your breed of dog, you can be sure they will have come across this problem before and know how to stop it.

Train your dog to leave it, if your dog is trained to leave things alone especially anything he could consider food then your problem is 99% solved.


This has been a quick overview of why dogs eat poop, if you are unable to stop it immediately don't worry you will with time.

Always get your dogs health checked first, this could be the reason for eating poop. Control his food, think about the quality, amount and timing of his dinner. Train him to leave it, keep him well exercised, don;t leave him alone for long periods of time and most of all clean up straight away.

Good luck with training your dog to stop eating poop.


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    • Aiden Roberts profile image

      Aiden Roberts 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wendy thank you, apostrophes are not my strongpoint:)

      mannyrolando thank you, glad you found it useful.

    • mannyrolando profile image

      mannyrolando 6 years ago

      Great information... I experienced this problem with one of my dogs... I think that he eventually outgrew it... of course we were always after him making sure that he didn't eat poop... but we no longer have to worry about it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Wendy S. Wilmoth profile image

      Wendy S. Wilmoth 6 years ago from Kansas

      The information is good. Article could use a proofread, with special attention paid to apostrophe use.