Last Updated on April, 2021
You call your lovely pooch to give you a great big doggy kiss. You’re waiting for that affectionate hug with open arms.
Until he jumps on you with his breath stinking to high heaven and his teeth full of please-don’t-make-me-puke yucky, mustard-colored muck.
Gross. Beyond gross.
And leave alone the gross factor. Eating poop, no matter what kind, could be a sign that your dog has some health problems.
It’s called coprophagia, and there’s a reason your dog is into it
Yep, that’s what eating poop, be it his own, another dog’s, or some other animal’s, is called.
Sometimes it can be hard to understand why your otherwise clean and happy-looking dog likes eat poop.
The truth is that it’s not always possible to figure out the exact cause, but there are a few possible reasons fielded by vets and dog experts. (How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Poop Naturally?)
- Nutritional Deficiencies
According to Dogs Naturally magazine, your dog may be eating poop if he lacks some nutrient or other in his diet.
- A lack of digestive enzymes in your dog’s kibble can force him to try find them elsewhere. Dogs in the wild would eat their prey whole, including its digestive tract, which would provide them with the digestive enzymes they need.
Today’s highly processed dog food may be lacking some of those, so your dog may have no choice but to try get them elsewhere.
- The poop may be attractive for its probiotics. If your dog is lacking probiotics, he’ll instinctively look for them wherever he can to supplement the deficiency.
- Parasites in your dog’s system may prevent him from getting to the nutrients in his digestive tract, no matter how good his kibble is.
- A general deficiency of vitamins and minerals can also send your dog searching for poop. This could be a result of many things, including a poor diet, age, or a medical condition.
- Medical Reasons – The AKC writes that if your dog suddenly starts hunting for and eating poop, it may be a sign that his health is compromised.
- Conditions like diabetes and Cushing’s disease can make your dog’s appetite shoot up. So even if he’s getting all the nutrition he needs from his regular dog food, he may end up eating poop because he feels hungry.
- Steroids and some other drugs can cause an increase in your dog’s appetite. If this is the case, again, it’s not malnutrition so much as your pooch wanting more stuff to kill his hunger pangs.
- Malabsorption-causing diseases like EPI may cause your dog to gradually starve to death because he can’t absorb a sufficient amount of nutrients.
- Behavioral and Psychological Causes Your dog eating poop may not be a case of illness or malnutrition. In fact, more often than not, it’s a behavioral issue
- Long periods of confinement in a small space can lead to dogs eat Poop. Dogs rescued from crowded rescue shelters attest to this phenomenon.
- Isolation can be another problem point. AKC points out that according to research, dogs that spend much time alone are more likely to eat poop than those living near their humans.
- Anxiety can also cause your dog to eat poop. If punishments and harsh methods are used in the house training your pup, he’ll be afraid of punishment every time he eliminates in the wrong spot.
He may eat the poop to get rid of the evidence. And then when he’s punished for eating that poop, it turns into a vicious cycle.
- Your dog may simply be seeking attention. An attention-seeking dog won’t care if the reaction is positive or negative. And eating poop is one thing that is sure to get a reaction out of you.
- Boredom. If your dog isn’t getting enough mental exercise and stimulation, he may resort to eating poop and other nasty habits to create entertainment for himself.
- Feeding close to eating feces. If your dog is fed too close to the poop of whatever kind, he may end up making a positive association between the two.
- It could be learned behavior from his mama. Mother dogs will instinctively eat the droppings of their pups in the first couple of weeks.
Your puppies may have picked this up and continue eating poop even after he has left the den.
- Living with a sick or older dog. Sometimes a normal, healthy dog will start to eat the poop of a weaker canine pack member. Scientists believe that this may be related to a dog’s natural instinct to protect his pack.
- It may simply be a natural thing. You probably don’t want to hear this one, but it’s true. Dogs are natural scavengers. They have entirely different sensibilities than humans and poop doesn’t repulse them.
Plainly put, some dogs plain love poop. And the softer, fresher, and smellier, the better.
Table of Contents
So How to Fix This Smelly Problem?
When my now 7-year-old Portie first started eating cow dung and rolling in it, I went nuts. I was asking all my friends’ friends and their third cousins how to stop my dog from eating poop.
There are a couple of things you need to get out of the way first.
- Consider a Visit to Your Vet
This is the first and most crucial thing to do, especially if your dog is losing appetite or weight.
Your vet will be able to tell you whether your dog needs any medication or not, and advise on any nutriment changes required to bring your dog back up to optimum health.
And if your dog is already on some kind of medication, your vet is the only person that can tell you whether that may have something to do with him eating poop.
- Remove Poop Before Your Dog Can Get to It!
It may seem obvious, but the easiest way to make sure your dog doesn’t eat any poop is to remove it before he can get his paws on it.
- Poop scooping may be the last thing you want to do on a cold, wet day, but it’s got to be done.
- If you have a cat or other pets, keep their litter boxes out of your dog’s reach.
- Supervise your dog out any time he’s on a walk or in the dog park to make sure he doesn’t pick up poop and anything else he shouldn’t be eating.
- Supplement Your Dog’s Diet
Your dog will likely need some kind of supplementation to his diet if the vet diagnoses him with a condition like EPI.
But even if your dog doesn’t have any underlying health problems, supplementation won’t hurt.
Giving your dog a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement designed especially for canines will make sure that he’s getting every last nutrient he needs, in the right quantities.
Ultimately, It Comes Down to Training
It doesn’t matter what made your dog think eating poop is cool(or eating feces)
. Often, even if the cause was found and dealt with, your dog will keep on eating poop because it’s become a habit.
So perhaps the single best approach to dealing with poop-eating pooches is to train them not to!
How? You ask. It’s not exactly easy.
Some things immediately come to mind, like strengthening the ‘leave it’ and ‘come’ commands. But it may take more than that to get rid of this gross habit, especially if it’s been a problem for a while.
Brain Training for Dogs
The truth is that all dogs, no matter their breed, age, or size, have intelligence. And that means they can be taught to behave the way you want them to.
You just need to know the right way to communicate with your dog. Train him right, and he’ll reward you with amazing obedience.
Including leaving that disgusting, yucky poop alone.
If you’d like to get rid of problem behavior in your dog, but aren’t too sure how check out Brain Training for Dogs.
Made by Adrienne Farricelli, an accomplished dog trainer with over 10 years of experience in positive dog training, Brain Training for Dogs covers just about every possible problem you may be facing with your pooch.
Brain Training for Dogs is a positive approach to training your dog that doesn’t rely on dominance. Instead of teaching your dog to fear you, it gets him enjoying and looking forward to his training sessions with you.
This guide offers:
- Gentle, force-free tactics to getting your dog to behave the right way
- Clear instructions with pictures
- Video demonstrations of brain training games for your dog
- The huge archive that covers almost every dog problem you can think of
- Tailor-made solutions that tackle the root cause of the problem
Check out this review of Brain Training for Dogs to see if it’s something that can work for you and your pet.
Nobody likes their dog eat poop. Sure, there are a lot of possible reasons, from medical conditions and behavioral issues to your dog simply loving the smell.
It doesn’t matter what’s causing it, what matters is that it’s entirely unacceptable.
Not to mention that your dog may even get sick eating poop.
So how do I stop my dog from eating poop naturally?
Visiting the vet can help identify any medical conditions that may be behind this issue, and supplementing your dog’s diet can help sort out any deficiencies.
But at the end of it all, investing some time in training your dog is likely the best way of making sure he stops your dog eat poop, no matter why he is doing it.
If you need some help with this, Brain Training for Dogs offers a gentle, easy, and practical approach not only to stopping poop eating in its tracks but also to a whole host of other behavior problems in dogs.