Why does my dog eat poop?


What is so appealing to my dog that it would it’s own poop?

If your dog likes to eat poo, this is completely normal. 

For some animals, like rabbits, eating poop is a normal way to consume nutrients and calories. And it is even typical behavior for puppies and their moms. Dog moms will lick at their baby to encourage elimination and puppies may consume feces as they learn about the world around them.

For non-puppy dogs, the reasons behind consuming poop may date back to the dog’s ancestry. 

Then what was the common ground? In most cases one can attribute a dog eating poop to it’s wolf ancestry.

Wolves typically defecate away from their dens, in part because poop contains intestinal parasite eggs. But if, say, a sick or lame wolf did its business at home, the waste wouldn’t necessarily be dangerous immediately. Parasite eggs usually don’t hatch into infectious larvae for a few days. So the dogs would eat the feces more quickly as to not get infected. This could also be another reason as to why they do it. There is also nothing to be concerned about, if your dog consumes his own feces, there is less to worry about since he has already ingested that food and the majority of all harmful toxins and such would be removed naturally by the dogs system.

If you are concerned and notice some differences in your dog’s behavior or mannerisms, call the vet. Some symptoms to look out for are vomiting, nausea, lethargy, no interest in food, or diarrhea. 

What can you do about it?

  • Clean up your dog’s living space. If there is no poop in their vicinity (think: your backyard), they won’t be able to eat it.
  • Teach your dog to leave it and use the command when your pup prepares to eat the poop.
  • Offer your dog toys to keep him engaged when you aren’t around. Toys are great ways of training and it offers a reward when your dog manages to retrieve the treat.
  • Supervise your dog during their walks. If you typically let your pup roam free in the backyard to do her business, keep a watchful eye to monitor her behavior.
  • Chat with a dog trainer.