How to Prevent Your Dogs from Eating Poop?

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How to Prevent Your Dogs from Eating Poop
By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | March 2, 2023
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Poop eating, also known as coprophagy, is a normal puppy behavior. And, as disgusting as it may be to see your puppy eating poop, do not yell or do anything alarming when it happens. So how can you prevent your dog from eating poop?


If your dog eats poop, take them outside with you so you can quickly distract them and pick it up if they start eating poop. Add meat tenderizer, pepper, or another kind of deterrent to prevent them from consuming the poop in their space. 

Poop Eating is Normal for Dogs and Puppies

Eating poop is an entirely normal way of obtaining key nutrients for some species, such as rabbits. If rabbits are not allowed to do this, they will develop health problems, and young rabbits will not thrive. Fortunately, dogs do not require this method of nutrition. Poop eating, on the other hand, is a normal, natural canine behavior at certain life stages.


Mother dogs will lick their puppies for the first three weeks after birth to encourage them to eliminate and clean up their poop by eating it. Puppies will naturally engage in this behavior, eating their poop, autocoprophagia, other dogs’ poop, allocoprophagia, and poop from cats and other animals. Horse manure and goose droppings are particularly appealing to some dogs. Eating their poop is safe, but eating other animals’ poop can cause health problems if the stool contains parasites, viruses, or toxins. In most cases, this behavior will fade before the puppy reaches the age of nine months.

What is Coprophagia?

Coprophagia is the technical term for dogs eating poop, either their own or that of another animal. It’s a behavior that many dog owners and those in the vicinity despise, but it’s a habit for some dogs that occurs at some point in their lives. It may begin during puppyhood, with some puppies growing out of it as they mature. If given half a chance, many dogs will happily tuck into the cat’s nearby litter tray full of delicious treats.

Facts About Poop-Eating Dogs

Coprophagia in puppies is generally regarded as a normal part of exploring their surroundings. Most puppies will be content with a sniff, but a few, like human children, will want to put everything in their mouths, including poop. Dogs will rarely eat soft, poorly formed stools or have diarrhea. They appear to be drawn primarily to hard stools. Frozen poop, in particular, is eagerly consumed! Other observations made by experts about why dogs eat poop include the following:

  • Coprophagia was more common in households with multiple dogs. Only 20% of dogs in single-dog households ate poop, whereas 33% of dogs in three-dog households ate poop.
  • Poop eaters are no more difficult to housebreak than any other dog breed.
  • Female dogs are likelier to consume poop, while intact males are the least likely.
  • Ninety-two percent of poop eaters prefer fresh poop no more than one to two days old.
  • Only poop from other dogs will be eaten by 85 percent of dog poop eaters.
  • Greedy eaters, dogs who steal food from tables, are more likely to be poop eaters.

What Causes Dogs to Eat Poop?

If your adult dog begins to eat poop, you should consult with your veterinarian to rule out any health issues, such as:

  • Parasites
  • Nutrient and calorie-deficient diets
  • Syndromes of malabsorption
  • Diabetes, Cushing’s disease, thyroid disease, and other conditions that may increase appetite
  • Steroids

Many dogs begin to eat their poop as a result of environmental stress or behavioral triggers, such as:


Studies have shown that dogs kept alone in kennels or basements are likelier to eat poop than dogs with their owners.

Restrictive Confinement

Spending too much time confined in a small space can result in a poop-eating problem. Coprophagia is not uncommon in dogs rescued from overcrowded shelters.


This is frequently caused by a person using punishment or harsh methods during house training. According to this theory, dogs may eliminate and then eat their poop to remove evidence, but they are punished more severely. It spirals out of control.


Dogs eat poop to get a reaction from their humans, which they will inevitably get. So, if you notice your dog eating poop, don’t freak out.

Inappropriate Association with Real Food

Dogs fed near their poop may confuse the odors of food and feces and become unable to tell the difference.

Scenting on Their Mothers

According to experts, puppies can become confused by sniffing fecal odors on their mothers’ breath after cleaning them. In addition, mothers may occasionally regurgitate food contaminated with puppy feces. He refers to this as an “appetitive inoculation,” which may cause a puppy to develop this bad habit.

Living with a Sick or Elderly Dog

In cases of fecal incontinence, a healthy dog may consume poop from a weaker dog in the household. Scientists believe this is related to the instinct to defend the pack from predators.

What Are the Dangers of Dogs Eating Poop?

A dog eating his stool poses little risk in most cases. On the other hand, bacteria and parasites from that stool could be transmitted to humans and other animals via contact with the dog’s mouth and saliva. If you cannot prevent your dog from eating feces, thoroughly wash your hands if you come into contact with your dog’s mouth/saliva.


When a dog consumes the feces of another animal (particularly another dog or a cat), he risks ingesting the eggs of intestinal parasites and potentially harmful bacteria, which can quickly lead to illness. A dog known to eat the feces of other animals should have fecal analyses performed regularly by a veterinarian.


The foul breath you have to smell is probably the worst side effect of a dog eating poop. Although home dental care can help with breathing, it is best to avoid eating stool.

Does Eating Poop Give My Dog Worms?

Yes. Some parasites or their eggs may be found in animal feces and can be passed on to your dog if consumed. Hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms can all infect dogs and make them sick. Ensure your dog is wormed regularly, and always consult your veterinarian for the most up-to-date advice.

How to Clean Your Dog’s Mouth After Eating Poop

One of the most troubling aspects of seeing your dog eat poop is knowing that they will later try to lick you or have foul-smelling breath, so how can you clean them? If your dog enjoys eating poop, you could:

  • Give them food and water so they can wash away any unpleasantness and feel a little refreshed.
  • Utilize a cloth and some water to clean the area around their mouth.
  • If you have a toothbrush, use it on your dog. Never use human toothpaste since part of it might be hazardous to dogs.
  • Give them a dental stick to gnaw on.
  • To make it as stress-free as possible, praise them frequently while you tidy them up. Additionally, it will aid in taking your thoughts off of it.

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop

Veterinarians and dog owners have used several strategies to help dogs who eat poop, including:

Vitamin Supplementation

There is a long-held belief that dogs eat poop because they are deficient in specific nutrients, so that a dog’s multivitamin may be beneficial. Vitamin B deficiency, in particular, has been identified as a prime suspect, and studies have confirmed this. In 1981, researchers discovered that fecal microbial activity synthesized thiamine, a B vitamin. Other studies found other nutrients that were lacking.

Enzyme Supplementation

Compared to the canine ancestral diet, the modern canine diet is higher in carbohydrates and lower in meat-based proteins and fats. Some people have succeeded with canine supplements containing papain, an enzyme that aids digestion.

Taste-Aversion Products

According to the theory, specific tastes and smells are as repulsive to dogs as the idea of stool eating is to us, so adding a poop-eating deterrent to food or treats will make the poop produced less appealing. Monosodium glutamate, chamomile, pepper-plant derivatives, yucca, garlic, and parsley are all found in many of these products. If a poop-eating problem exists in a multi-dog household, remember to treat all dogs! To make poop taste worse, some owners will use a bitter-tasting spray.


Perhaps the most effective way to address the issue is through education and environmental management techniques such as:

  • Have all the necessary supplies for feeding, training, and walking your dog.
  • Keep the dog’s living area, including the yard, clean, so there are no piles of poop for him to eat.
  • Cat owners should keep the litter box clean or out of reach of their dogs.
  • Take your dog for walks and pick up their poop as soon as possible.

Training. Work on the cues leave it and come. For example, teach your dog to come to you for a food treat as soon as he has pooped. That way, the dog will look to you for a tasty morsel rather than the revolting one on the ground.