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Why Is My Dog Eating Poop?

Coprophagy is defined as eating feces (dog poop) and may involve your dog eating his own stools or the poop of other animals. Coprophagy is more disturbing and gross to you than it is harmful to your dog. Mother dogs normally eat the poop of their puppies during the first three weeks of lactation. In many cases, coprophagy is a behavioral problem.

Is my dog eating poop due to a vitamin deficiency?
Likely not. If you veterinarian has examined your dog and given appropriate vaccinations and removed any parasites (like fleas and ticks), and your dog is on a well-balanced dog food like Hill’s® Science Diet® or Hill’s® Ideal Balance™, then you can rule out a vitamin deficiency.

Should I punish my dog for eating dog poop?
Punishment is not recommended as it may stop your dog from eating poop, but violate the confidence he has in you. Punishment may also aggravate the poop eating behavior.

What can I do to stop my dog from eating dog poop?
Walk your dog on a leash and keep him away from his poop after he goes. Also while on walks, keep your dog on a leash to keep him away from other dog’s stools.

Repulsive substances can be used to create an aversion to poop. These products include spices (pepper, hot pepper sauce), strong perfumes and meat tenderizers. Going down this path can be time-consuming and, unfortunately, is unproven to be effective in all cases.

Having a dog that eats poop can be disturbing, but rest assured you are not alone. If you have additional concerns about your dog’s health or with your dog’s behavior, be sure and contact your veterinarian for a consultation.

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