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Why do dogs eat feces?

Updated on May 23, 2009

Coprophagia or feces eating is one of the most common complaints of dog owners. It would certainly be disconcerting and outright ludicrous when the pampered pet, the one that is provided with high quality and pricey dog food and treats would still take pleasure in eating its own and other animal’s poop. Dogs are voracious eaters. Hungriness will be ruled out if the dog is well fed. However, dogs are scavengers. They are also less discerning in what they put in their mouths.

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Types of poop eating

Autocoprophagia is when the pooch eats its own poop. Dogs in dog parks and other public places would eat other dog’s feces. This type of poop eating is known as intraspecific coprophagia. The dog may find feces very delectable and when there are no dog poops available it would eat the feces of other animals. This kind of poop eating is called interspecific coprophagia.

Why do dogs eat feces?

A dog may eat its own or other animals’ poop when it is hungry. Dogs are scavengers. Stray dogs would raid garbage cans and eat spoiled food. These animals that have ultra sensitive sense of smell seem to have a fondness for obnoxious smelling things. There may be something in the smell of poop that dogs find very appealing. Animal behaviorists believe that poop eating is the dog’s way of seeking attention. The dog knows that this kind of behavior would not fail to elicit a reaction from the master. Bored dogs would eat poop for lack of anything better to do. Dogs that are reprimanded for having an accident in the carpet or inside the house may eat the poop in an effort to hide the evidence of its misdeed.

Hazards of poop eating

Pets should be stopped from the poop eating habit not only because it is annoying and disgusting and that the dog would have a revolting breath.  Feces eating can also be hazardous to the health of the dog. Parvo virus a highly infectious disease that affects canines is transmitted through feces. When dogs eat the feces of other dogs, they are exposed to Parvo virus, parasites and other diseases.

Stopping the pet’s feces eating behavior

The feces eating behavior is easier prevented than cured though parasite infestation and other disease will be avoided if worming is done regularly and the vaccinations are kept up to date. Obviously the best way to stop the dog from eating its own feces is to remove the poop at once though close monitoring would of course be needed for this. Obedience training will teach the dog to respect and obey don’t and off commands. Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper and other off putting substances placed on the feces may stop the dog’s poop eating habit.

How to Stop a Dog From Eating Feces

Eating Feces - Poop Eating - Coprophagia in Dogs

How to Stop a Dog From Eating Feces


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