Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Why is my dog eating poop all of a sudden? If you're a dog owner pondering this question, you're not alone. Stool eating, also know as coprophagy, is actually quite normal behavior for a puppy. Adult female dogs may eat the feces of her puppies to protect the litter from predators. A mother will work continuously to keep her den clean, and eating poop is part of the process.  Dogs and puppies may also eat poop out of boredom, poor digestion, stress, hunger, craving for attention or to avoid punishment. In some cases, dogs may eat feces due to underlying health problems. If you see your dog eating poop all of a sudden, take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out any medical conditions. Luckily, there are several ways to keep your puppy or adult dog from eating poop. 

Is It Harmful to a Dog to Eat Poop?

For the most part, if a dog eats its own poop, it generally poses little danger to the animal. However, parasites and bacteria from that stool can be transmitted to humans and other animals via contact with the dog's saliva. If you find that your dog is eating poop, or eating poop and throwing up, you must wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with your pet's saliva. When a dog eats the poop of another animal like another dog or cat, they are at risk for ingesting potentially harmful bacteria or the eggs of intestinal parasites that can lead to illness. If you notice your pet eating the feces of other animals, schedule a fecal analysis with your veterinarian immediately.

How to Stop a Dog From Eating Poop

It may help to know that stool eating in puppies stems from a common cause. To stop the behavior, you'll have to address the cause promptly — otherwise, it may become a recurring habit. First off, keep in mind that reacting harshly or scolding your dog as a result of it eating poop will lead to more problems down the road. Instead, follow these tips:
  • Ensure your yard is kept free of animal waste: A vital step to take if you want to prevent your dog from eating poop is to keep waste out of your yard at all times. 
  • Train your dog to turn their attention to you immediately after defecating: Keep your dog on a leash when defecating, and make sure to divert their attention to you — and not their poop — afterward. Try teaching the "look" command, grant your dog a reward and immediately dispose of the feces. Proper training is essential to help your dog reach optimal health in adulthood. 
  • Add products to your dog's diet: To make stool taste bad to your dog, try adding a product like "For-Bid" or "Deter" to their diet and be sure to choose one that's labeled specifically for dogs. Double-check with your veterinarian about the safest products to use and make sure your dog isn't allergic to the products you plan on feeding them. 

Find a Well-Trained Dog From Golden Meadows Retrievers Today

At Golden Meadows Retrievers, our team of compassionate and knowledgable trainers have been breeding and training high-quality golden retriever puppies for over 25 years and offer up to a three-year guarantee against genetic defects in our pets. Along with testing the health of all our parents, we extensively train our puppies at a young age.  We provide early socialization skills for our puppies, including early neurological stimulation, or ENS, and a technique known as the Rule of 7. If you're looking for one of the friendliest and most loyal of breeds, Contact Golden Meadows Retrievers today for more information about our services. 

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?