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The Scoop: Dogs Eating Poop and the Concerns for Dog Owners

Updated: Aug 10, 2023


It's a scene most dog owners dread – you're taking a leisurely stroll with your furry friend when suddenly they stop and start munching on something unsavory. Yes, we're talking about that cringe-worthy habit: dogs eating poop. While it might seem baffling and a bit gross, this behavior, known as coprophagia, is more common than you might think. In this blog post, we'll delve into why some dogs engage in this habit and the concerns it raises for pet owners.

Understanding Coprophagia and the Concerns for Dog Owners

by Chris Moore

Understanding Coprophagia

Coprophagia is the scientific term for dogs consuming their own or other animals' feces. This behavior can range from a rare occurrence to a frequent habit in some dogs. While it may seem perplexing and unappetizing to us, there are a few reasons why dogs might indulge in this behavior:

  1. Instincts from the Wild: In the wild, animals might eat feces as a survival instinct to mask their presence from predators. This trait can still linger in domestic dogs, especially those with a strong prey drive.

  2. Nutritional Deficiencies: Some experts believe that dogs eat poop to compensate for missing nutrients in their diets. If a dog's diet lacks certain vitamins or minerals, they might turn to poop to obtain what they're missing.

  3. Attention-Seeking: Dogs are known for seeking attention, whether it's positive or negative. If a dog notices that their poop-eating behavior gets a strong reaction from their owner, they might continue to gain attention.

  4. Boredom or Anxiety: Bored or anxious dogs might resort to engaging in unusual behaviors, including coprophagia, to alleviate their stress or monotony.

Concerns for Dog Owners

While occasional poop-eating might not be a major concern, frequent or persistent coprophagia can raise several issues for dog owners:

  1. Health Risks: Consuming feces can expose dogs to parasites, bacteria, and diseases that might be present in the waste. This can lead to gastrointestinal issues, infections, and other health problems.

  2. Spread of Diseases: If a dog consumes feces from another animal, it could inadvertently contract diseases or parasites that the other animal might carry.

  3. Nutritional Imbalance: Eating poop may indicate that a dog's diet isn't meeting their nutritional needs. This can result in deficiencies that affect their overall health and well-being.

  4. Unpleasant Behavior: Coprophagia can be socially awkward, especially if your dog decides to share their habit with others. It can also be a challenge to train out of the behavior.

Managing Coprophagia

If you're concerned about your dog's poop-eating habit, it's important to consult with a veterinarian. They can rule out any underlying health issues and offer guidance on managing the behavior. Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Regular Vet Checkups: Ensure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and has regular health checkups to catch any potential issues early.

  2. Balanced Diet: Feed your dog a nutritionally balanced diet to reduce the likelihood of nutrient deficiencies.

  3. Supervision: Keep a watchful eye on your dog during walks to discourage them from consuming feces.

  4. Training and Distraction: Engage your dog in training sessions and provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom-related behaviors.


While coprophagia might be a perplexing and worrisome behavior for dog owners, understanding its potential causes and concerns can help you take appropriate steps to manage it. With the right approach, attention, and care, you can help your furry friend overcome this habit and lead a healthier, happier life. If you're ever in doubt, don't hesitate to seek guidance from your veterinarian to ensure your dog's well-being.

Does your Pawsome Pal eat poop?

  • Yes, but only their own and seldomly

  • Yes, they eat theirs and other Pawsome Pals' in our pack

  • YES, Poop, it's what's for dinner

  • No, poop isn't on my Pawsome Pal's menu!

You can vote for more than one answer.

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