Feces eating (coprophagia) is considered to be a big problem in dogs and puppies, especially as our best friends now are so close to us, licking our faces.
In this guide you will discover how to stop your puppy from eating poop.
We had gone through the same situation when our Border Collie was 4 months old and had started snacking on poops.
We tried alluring him with his favorite toys, food, and even vocal punishments, but none worked well.
If you’re the one who’s tired of his poop eating habit and want to stop this behaviour, then congratulations, you’ve landed at the right place!
We have done extensive research, reviewed various studies, browsed many informational sites, and surveyed dog owners and veterinarians to come across valid reasons and possible solutions for poop eating behavior.
Are you still staring at your dog and wondering, how do I stop my dog from eating poop?
Now you can do 2 things: Keep doing the guesswork or get the RIGHT answer immediately.
Keep scrolling and explore more!
Poop Eating is Normal for Puppies and Dogs
Poop eating is normal behavior for some species; for instance, rabbits eat their poop to obtain key nutrients. Unfortunately, discouraging poop eating behavior in rabbits develops health problems.
However, dogs are totally opposite when it comes to poop eating. Fortunately, they don’t get nutrients this way, but this is their normal, natural behavior at some canine life stages.
Mother dogs lick their puppies to remove and clean them by eating poops. This behavior continues till the baby dog is 3 weeks old.
Similarly, puppies also exhibit the same natural behavior and eat their own poop and other animal’s feces. Some puppies find goose and horse manure appealing.
Puppies who eat their own feces don’t undergo severe health issues but eating other animal’s manure may be harmful, especially if the poop is infected with viruses, parasites, and toxins.
4 Facts About Puppies Who Eat Poop
Yes! Dogs are prone to eat poops. Consider it as their habit or a way to explore the world. Some dogs are satisfied with a sniff, and some really want to put it into their mouth like a human child.
Although there are many unanswered questions on ‘how to stop your puppy from eating poop,’ some amazing facts about puppies who eat poop will surely surprise you.
#1 Poop Snacking is Common in Multi-Dog Household
Coprophagia is very common in multi-dog households, which means a home where more than 2 dogs reside. Studies show that only 20% of dogs have a habit of eating poop in single-dog homes, whereas the ratio increases to 33% in homes where more than 2 or 3 dogs live.
#2 Hard and Frozen Poop
Dogs prefer to eat poops that are hard and frozen rather than soft, poorly formed stools or diarrhea.
#3 Prefer Fresh Poops
Studies reveal that 92% of the dogs prefer to eat fresh poops that are only one or two days old.
#4 Battle of the Poop: Male v/s Female
Surprisingly, female dogs eat poops more than male dogs. They eat poops either by licking their babies poop to clean them or by cleaning the yard to make it safe for puppies.
16 Reasons Why Your Dog Might be Feasting on Feces
When my puppy was 5 months old he started noshing on poops.
Ugh! That smelled so bad!
I started scratching my head over this vexing behavior and ended up Googling. And there I came across a list of reasons why your puppy feast on feces.
Here are few reasons discussed below:
Behavioral Reasons That Causes Poop Eating in Dogs
Puppies love to socialize. Extended isolation time period causes separation anxiety and develops poop eating behavior.
Puppies are adventurous in nature. They love to explore things by taking stuff into their mouths. Poop eating is also an adventure for them.
Dogs are working animals. They are indulged in physical activities and hence need ample space to walk and play. Congested places or confinement develops behavioral change such as snacking on poop.
Stress, either physical or mental, inspires puppies to do strange things. They put everything in their mouth to relieve stress, including poop.
Dogs get bored, either left alone or left idle. If they are not galvanized mentally or physically, they eat poop to keep boredom at bay.
Dogs are natural scavengers. Stinky things like manure don’t repel them; instead, they are prone to grab a bite.
Dietary Reasons That Causes Poop Eating in Dogs
#7 Processed Kibble Diet
A processed kibble diet lacks all the necessary nutrients. This poor diet encourages dogs to fulfill their dietary needs through feces.
Feeding insufficient food specifically to a growing-up pooch makes him a poop eater.
Health Reasons That Causes Poop Eating in Dogs
#9 Pre Digested Delicacy
Puppies do regard poops as a pre-digested delicacy. They love snacking on poops, especially when it is from their prey animal.
If your puppy has coeliac parasites, he may end up eating his poop because these parasites absorb all nutrients present in his body.
#11 Vitamin Deficiency
Dogs who are feeding on canned or processed food usually suffer from vitamin deficiency. Manure is enriched with vitamins, and hence, it is an excellent source of vitamins for dogs.
#12 Mineral Deficiency
Highly processed food and kibble deprived of minerals, and dogs who feed on kiddle lack minerals in their bodies. The mineral deficiency in dogs triggers poop feeding behavior.
Medical Reasons That Causes Poop Eating in Dogs
#13 Diseases Causing Increased Appetite
Diseases such as diabetes increase appetite in your puppy and make them eat anything they find, including feces.
Note: Some drugs contain steroids that also increase a dog’s appetite.
#14 Enzyme Deficiency
Digestive enzymes assist dogs in absorbing all nutrients, and its absence causes food to pass through undigested. Dogs naturally develop enzymes in their body, but they aren’t enough. To overcome enzyme deficiency, dogs feed on poops.
#15 Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
EPI is a genetic condition in which puppies aren’t able to create some digestive enzymes. This pancreatic insufficiency results in weight loss, diarrhea, and stool eating.
Malabsorption is a condition where puppies suffer poor nutrient absorption. In this condition, pups eat on their poops to get those undigested nutrients back or may find the cat’s poop tastier.
11 Ways to Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop Naturally and Without Punishment
#1 Feed High-Quality, Unprocessed, and Wholefood Diet
To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art!
So it shouldn’t be any different when it comes to your puppy.
If you think kibble is filled with carbs and starches that make your pup grow healthy, so for your information, they rob the vital nutrients.
They trigger poop feasting behavior, and your puppy will find feces more tasty and healthy.
Switching to raw and wholesome food can surely address your dog’s poop-eating habit. If you’re not in favor of raw meals, you can easily flip to home-cooked food, which also entails many health benefits.
The basic purpose is to prevent poop feasting habits in your pup!
As long as you’re serving an unprocessed, wholesome, and balanced diet, your pup can overcome bad habits, and it will also add years to his life.
#2 Visit Vet and Get Your Puppy Checked
Visiting a vet and getting your puppy thoroughly checked is the foremost step. It will help you to prevent any medical disorder that induces your dog to eat poop.
Following steps are suggested for more fruitful result:
- Get a fecal float done! It will obviate all internal parasites that are messing up with your pup’s nutrient absorption.
- Use appropriate medicines to deal with parasites. Make sure you’re not feeding any unwanted guests residing in your pup’s body.
- If your pup demonstrates any medical signs and symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, wasting, or sudden weight loss, it is recommended to go for a blood test. It will help to determine the hidden medical conditions causing coprophagia.
#3 Get Your Pup’s Nutritional Status Tested
Ah! I wish I could get my puppy’s nutritional status tested when he was exhibiting coprophagia. Unfortunately, these tests were very expensive.
Don’t be troubled! Because these tests are now easy to come by. Only a small amount of your puppy’s hair is required to get the nutritional status tested.
Does your dog eat poop? His hair will lend every information about his nutritions. It holds more information as compared to a dog’s saliva or blood.
The test will disclose every information, for instance, deficiencies, excesses, biological imbalances, or dietary issues.
When you know where your puppy exactly lacks or in excess, you can easily seek valuable solutions for highlighted problems.
#4 Add Apple Cider Vinegar to His Diet
If your dog eats poop, he lacks hydrochloric acid. To overcome this deficiency, one possible solution is to add apple cider vinegar to his diet.
Add apple cider vinegar directly to his food. If your pup weighs 25 pounds, one teaspoon of vinegar is appropriate.
Note: Raw zucchini is a preferable substitute and can be used in place of apple cider vinegar.
#5 Digestive Enzyme Supplement
As discussed earlier, your pup makes digestive enzymes naturally, but they aren’t enough and lead to digestive enzyme deficiency.
To subdue deficiency problems, serve your furry friend digestive enzyme supplements such as Prozyme. The supplement will help in breaking down food so your pup can reap all nutrients.
Say goodbye to coprophagia!
#6 Gut Support
Isn’t your pup stopping snacking on poops? Try gut support!
Offer gut support to your puppy with pre and probiotic powder and raw diet!
Extending gut support isn’t as easy as it seems to be. However, certified, organic, and high-quality gut supplements can heal your puppy from inside and prevent poop feasting.
I recommend Dr. Peter Dobias GutSense. The product is GMO-free and certified organic. It is a reliable source for offering gut support and a key to a healthy immune system.
#7 Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
If your dog’s nutritional status is being tested, you know where he exactly lacks or in excess. This will help you to subdue those areas individually.
However, if you don’t have enough information, you can still supplement him nutritionally via medicines.
Vitamins and minerals are key nutritions that keep your pup healthy and discourage bad eating habits.
#8 Omega 3 Supplement
Here’s a little dietary support for your puppy!
Omega 6 supplements are crucial for your pup’s body, but their excess can cause inflammation, especially when Omega 3’s are deficient.
However, Omega 3 supplements won’t completely rule out poop snacking habits in your puppy but will bring balance to his body and reduce inflammation.
It is preferable to feed whole, raw fatty fish such as Sardines or Pilchards for direct Omega 3. However, if he is not a fish lover, go for Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs – a pure and sustainable Omega 3 oil.
#9 Add Pumpkin to His Diet
Remember, vitamins, minerals, and Omega 3 are essential for your puppy’s wellness, but its profusion can be harmful too.
Canned and unspiced pumpkin is a natural supplement that reaps many health benefits. It will keep his tummy full, help with constipation and diarrhea, promote urinary tract health, and most importantly it intimidate poop-eating habits.
Important: Always involve a dog-care professional while modifying your pooch’s dietary lifestyle. Make sure he doesn’t have allergies to these foods.
Yes, dogs can pick up your vibes, sense your mood, and can feel your energy and reactions.
Train your puppy about good and bad edible stuff. React on their negative behavior to reinforce positive behavior.
Training your pooch will surely address his poop-eating behavior and turn him into a good boy sooner or later.
#11 Keep your Yard Poop Free
Keep your yard poop-free! This is a tried and tested tactic that will surely prevent your dog from eating poops.
If you have been cleaning your yard once a day, try doing it twice.
Keep things hand in hand! While you’re helping him to improve his diet with healthy food and supplements, you also need to keep the yard clean and tidy.
We all have heard, dogs copy their owners. If your puppy sees you cleaning the poop and disposing of it in a trash bag, he’ll also try to clean it up rather than feasting on it.
4 Wrong Ways to Stop Your Puppy From Eating Poop – Myths and False Recommendations
Serving pineapples to dogs is a tip-up sleeve to prevent coprophagia. Adding a few pieces of pineapples to their food can be sorcery.
Who knows the actual theories behind pineapples? Most of the puppy owners don’t!
Unfortunately, serving pineapples to puppies to stop their poop-eating habit is a myth. They will still find poops more delicious. Also, pineapples are high in sugar. A 56 grams slice of pineapple contains 6 grams of sugar, and dogs shouldn’t account for more than 3% of their diet.
#2 Chilli or Hot Sauce
Yes! There are some folks who recommend feeding chili or hot sauce to dogs.
Don’t you think this is a punishment for dogs? Or you think dogs are stupid creatures who have 40% of their brain dedicated to scent and still eat some chilies or hot sauces stuff?
It is not a recommended solution for coprophagia because the moment you stop sprinkling chilies or hot sauces, they’ll start snacking on poops.
#3 Bitter Spray
Many dog owners use bitter sprays and chews to prevent poop-eating behavior. However, this isn’t an effective way.
Although bitter spray tastes nasty still this isn’t a suitable option to deter poop eaters. This is not a long-term strategy to address the problem because as soon you stop using the spray, dogs will start feasting on poops.
#4 Meat Tenderizer
Again! A false recommendation!
There are websites recommending meat tenderizer as an agent that stops dogs from eating manure.
Isn’t it crazy?
As we mentioned earlier, a dog’s 40% brain is devoted to scent. How could you even think that he will eat food which has meat tenderizer sprinkled over it?
Moreover, the meat tenderizer contains a large amount of salt. Though salt is an important mineral, it is required in small amounts to meet the need. Besides, the types of salt present in it are of very low quality.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is meant by coprophagia?
Coprophagia refers to feces eating habits in dogs. It includes eating poops of other species or their own selves.
How to stop Coprophagia in Dogs?
Coprophagia can be corrected in a number of ways. It includes adding apple cider vinegar to his diet, vitamin, omega 3, and mineral supplements, and constant support by veterinarians.
Is poop eating harmful or dangerous for my dog?
Dogs are scavengers. It is not unusual for them to eat poop. Eating their poops is harmless but consuming other species of poop is dangerous and harmful as they may be contaminated with viruses, parasites, and toxins.
Why do dogs feast on poops?
Dogs eat poop due to several reasons. These reasons can be behavioral, dietary, health, or medical. It includes malabsorption, vitamins and mineral deficiency, enzyme deficiency, boredom, stress, low-quality diet, and others.
Will coprophagia make your puppy ill?
Coprophagia is usually harmless, but in some cases, it may cause many infectious diseases or parasites to your dogs. It can also lead to gastroenteritis which results in vomiting and diarrhea.
Why does my dog eat his own poop?
Your dog is eating his own poops because of environmental stress or behavioral reasons, for instance, isolation. If he is kept alone for a longer time in kennels or basements, he will end up eating his own poop.
How to stop your puppy from poop eating is still a question for many dog owners. However, there’s no particular answer to it that can completely stop him from eating poop, but a dog owner needs to contemplate this displacement change carefully.
Poop eating is normal behavior that every dog breed exhibits.
They may show this behavior while they are in the growing stage or facing out of ordinary stuff. Any change in the environment or lifestyle is subject to trigger poop-eating habits.
Since dogs are scavengers by nature, they can develop coprophagy behavior at any canine stage, and rescuing them against this habit is mandatory.
It is recommended to visit a veterinarian for thorough health screening and determine the underlying health issues causing this behavior. If the puppy is undergoing any medical condition, don’t panic; instead, change his living and eating habits.
Kicking out his poop-eating habit isn’t a piece of cake. One must try different strategies whenever he tries to reach out poop.
Tip: If your puppy lacks essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, check out Ollie dog food recipes. Ollie offers mouth-watering, toothsome, and human-grade flavors: chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb.
Each flavor is unprocessed and enriched in nutrients, which will fulfill your pup’s body needs and compel him from eating feces.
We really appreciate the time and energy you put into reading this article about how to stop your puppy from eating poop. We hope this little piece of information helps to subdue your problem ‘my dog eat poop‘.
Don’t hesitate to connect if you’ve any queries/criticisms!