Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

Is your dog eating poop? Then you could be wondering why it is resorting to such filthy behavior. The practice is also common among rodents, beavers, rabbits, and other non-human primates.

Scientists have come up with tons of theories seeking to explain the cause of stool-eating. For instance, scientists cite the main reason for canines feeding on poop is to extract nutrients from poop. Below are nine fun facts as to why your pet is feeding on their poop.

Uncontrollable appetite

Some dogs have uncontrollable cravings. Conditions such as thyroid deficiency and diabetes can make dogs feel hungry even after consuming their regular meals.

In the absence of food, dogs can resort to eating their poops to make up for the lack of food. To counter the habit, make sure there is ready food for your canine friend. The trick can work miraculously, especially if your dog has a strong appetite.

Moreover, feed them a proper diet once you suspect they are feeding on poop to obtain additional nutrients.

Attention seeking

Dogs are naturally attention seekers. Some dogs don’t mind picking up bad habits to grab their owners’ attention.

Recent research by AKC (American Kennel Club) explains why dogs feast on poop as a way of seeking attention. To these furry companions, it is the ultimate way of getting their owners’ attention.

When your dog wants to let you know he isn’t getting enough food, he can start feeding on his stool. Instead of punishing him for feeding on poop, understand the underlying reason for his behavior.


Dogs too have stress as humans do. When dogs are going through any discomfort, they tend to eat anything. Anxious dogs can turn to poop to relieve stress, not necessarily because they enjoy feeding on it.

When your pup is feeding on poop, look out for possible signs of stress such as agitation. Then deal with the causes which will stop the dog from going through any stress.

Fear of punishment

Dogs know poop is not good. They are aware of how their owners treat poop with contempt. Whenever they defecate on the wrong places, they know they have done a mistake worth punishment. To avoid punishment, they have to get rid of poop by eating it before the owner notices it.

Don’t punish your furry friend for pooping on the incorrect places. Stop making a big deal of poop, lest you force him to ‘conceal the evidence’ by eating poop.

Mimicking other dogs

Dogs are social learners, just like humans. Puppies, for instance, can pick the habit of eating poop from older canines. Still, puppies can learn about eating poop from their mothers. Naturally, mothers eat poop as a housekeeping skill, purposely to keep their surroundings clean.

However, in the course of doing their housekeeping duty, puppies can in return start mimicking them.

They see eating poop is something normal. If you have an older poop-eating canine, separate him from his little counterparts. It will ultimately stop the little ones from picking such a nasty habit from the older canine.

For fun

Both adult dogs and puppies will cherish the idea of eating their stool just for fun. Stool-eating isn’t a compulsive behavior among dogs. However, some dogs experience a sense of satisfaction after feeding on their stool.

If your dog is eating his stool just for fun, you can stop him by distracting him. You can also pick up after him as soon as he defecates. The idea is ultimately to avoid an instance where he has time to feed on his stool.

Poor digestion

Poor digestion is a scientifically proven reason why some dogs opt to eat their stool. Poor digestion means that the dog cannot digest the food it takes wholesomely. Therefore, his diet will have a low level of digestible nutrients.

Consequently, he will pass it out just the same way he did consume it. In such cases, the dog’s stool will taste pretty much the same as the food the dog eats. It will force the dog to feed on its waste.

If your dog has digestion problems, take it to a veterinarian who will check it to identify the underlying issue. Also, try digestible food options which will not strain their digestive system.

Lack of sufficient food

Intestinal parasites and worms can rob nutrients from your dog’s digestive system. Consequently, your furry mate can start consuming whatever comes its way for purposes of supplementing his diet.

In such instances, your dog can turn to his stool since it is the readily available supplement for his food. Dogs, especially growing puppies, need sufficient food to fuel their growth and physical activity. Ensure it has enough food to deter it from eating stool.

Ensure the dog feeds at least thrice a day. Talk to a veterinarian if you aren’t sure of the amount of food to feed your dog. Remember, excess food can also be a cause of digestion problems for your dog.


Dogs can exhibit a displacement behavior whenever they are anxious. When an anxious canine is in confinement, he can defecate and then eat his poop.

Some of the possible causes of anxiety among dogs include separation, worry, and confinement. To deal with anxiety as a possible remedy for stopping your dog from poop-eating, eliminate all possible causes of anxiety.

For instance, stay close to him to prevent separation anxiety. When looking to confine your dog, expose him to numerous enrichment activities to engage them. The more you deal with anxiety in your furry mate, the lower his chances of eating stool will be.

Poop-eating among dogs is an annoying habit for nearly every dog parent. Undeniably, there are several causes of stool-eating among canines. Luckily, you can stop your dog from poop-eating.

The key to countering the filthy habit is understanding why your dog is feeding on its stool. If you can’t stop your pet from deserting such habit, seek help from a veterinarian to get advice on the best way to stop it.

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