Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop?

Dogs can be seriously gross. They eat their poop, after all. But this behavior isn’t just for laughs; it’s actually a cause for concern for many dog owners. 

So why do dogs eat their poop? This question’s answer is complicated, with various potential reasons ranging from nutrition to stress and anxiety.

In this article, let’s look at some of these possible causes to understand better what might be causing your pup’s coprophagia (the fancy word for “poop-eating”). 



A dog may eat their poop for a variety of reasons. Some known reasons are more common than others, but it’s important to remember that dogs are individuals and may exhibit behavior that doesn’t necessarily fall into any category.


These are some possible explanations:

  • Dogs may indulge in eating their poop if they’re bored. If a dog is bored to hell due to your absence or some other situation, it may eat its feces to pass the time.
  • Dogs may eat another animal’s feces if they find it while exploring or sniffing around outside. They will often pick up the fecal matter in their mouth before bringing it back home and depositing it in your yard or on your property to mark territory with their scent. So, if you notice that your pup spends an unusual amount of time sniffing around after he comes back from a walk, this might be why.



An underlying illness might be causing your dog to eat their poop. This includes:

  • Parasites: If your dog is infected with intestinal parasites, it will likely eat its poop to facilitate its life cycle.
  • Worms: Your dog may also be chewing on their poop if they have worms. You can try deworming medications from an online store like PetCareRx for your dog.
  • Diarrhea: If your dog has diarrhea and is eating it up, this could be a sign of health issues like food allergies or GI disease.
  • Constipation: Another reason dogs might be eating their feces is constipation; some dogs will eat their poop to loosen up whatever’s blocking them from going number two.
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There are plenty of reasons why your dog might be eating his poop. One of the most common culprits is diet. It can affect the smell, consistency, and color of your dog’s stool and its taste. Your pet could also be trying to ingest indigestible materials such as grass clippings or leaves as they move through his system and end up in his feces.

Another possibility is that he’s trying to gain nutrients from what he eats because he always feels hungry, so he reverts back to eating something familiar (even if it’s not necessarily nutritious). Dogs often engage in coprophagia when their diet changes suddenly or drastically. This means that if you want him not to eat his poop anymore, it could be beneficial for you to try switching his food again or adding more protein to his meals. 


Coprophagia Deterrents And Deterrent Sprays

You can deter your pup from eating his poop by spraying it with a deterrent. The spray will only work if applied to the stool while fresh, so ensure you’re quick about this step. Spraying the poop with a barrier and then putting it in the trash is also an option. But this will only work if you’re vigilant and do not leave sprayed stools anywhere except in a covered trash can until they are picked up. 


Get Some Detective Work Down Your Sleeve

The truth is, there are many reasons why your dog may be eating his poop. With the help of your veterinarian and some detective work, you can figure out which one(s) is likely causing this problem in your dog.

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The most common reasons for coprophagia include:

  • Poor diet and inadequate nutrition
  • A lack of environmental enrichment (no toys or bones to chew on)
  • Stress from changes in their environment (new home, new people coming into the house)



Coprophagia in dogs could be due to many reasons. The main reason is a habit, and the dog does not even realize it is eating feces. Other reasons include stress, boredom, lack of exercise, and medical problems such as allergies or worms.

Other reasons for coprophagia in dogs include illnesses, such as diabetes or kidney disease. It has also been linked to depression and anxiety in dogs unable to cope with their environment.

You must immediately take your pup to the vet if you suspect it is suffering from any of these conditions to get treatment directly.

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