Why do dogs eat dog poop?

Why do dogs eat dog poop

Dogs, like humans, derive their behaviors by motivation. As a dog parent there are so many compulsive behaviors that might make you furious, but for sure, eating poop is always at the top of the list. There is a scientific term for dogs eating dog poop, and that’s coprophagia. Coprophagia is actually very common in dogs especially in households that hold more than one pet. There are both medical and psychological/behavioral reasons why dogs might start eating poop. In this article we will introduce some of the reasons why dogs eat dog poop and how you can prevent this problem.

Medical reasons

  1. Enzyme deficiency

Historically before dogs were domesticated, they were always feeding on prey. They didn’t only eat meat but they ate everything that had to do with the prey including its guts. The guts are full of digestive enzymes that help the digestive system, however nowadays most kibble food that we feed our dogs doesn’t includes these enzymes and thus dogs try to find these alternatives in poop. Read also on how to evaluate your dog’s food ingredients.


  1. Pancreatic insufficiency

This is the case when the pancreas doesn’t secrete the digestive enzymes needed for the body to absorb all nutrients in the food.


  1. Parasites

Like worms that eat up all the nutrients in the dog’s body. Read also on what the color of your dog’s poop tells you.


Behavioral reasons

  1. Cleanliness

This happens especially to female dogs who just gave birth in order to keep their place clean for the puppies. Learn how to care for a pregnant dog.


  1. Attention seeking/boredom

Most dogs whose parents don’t spend enough time with them tend to do things that would attract their parent’s attention even if it was a wrong behavior.


  1. Stress and anxiety

Dogs who are under stress and feel anxious tend to eat their poop.


  1. Help keep predators away

Especially if there is a sick dog, healthy dogs will often eat the sick dog’s poop to eliminate the scent and keep predators away.


How can you prevent your dog from eating their poop

  1. Always keep the dog’s place clean and clean up after your dog
  2. Keep your dog engaged with activities and spend more time with them
  3. Check your dog’s poop regularly for parasites and worms
  4. Give your dog the needed intake of enzymes and vitamins
  5. Work hard on the commands “leave it” and “come”
Written by Farah Khaled
Sources: American Kennel Club , Dogs Naturally Magazine , The Dog Poop Diet


Leave a comment