Why Does My Dog Eat Poop? And How Do I Make Them Stop?

Have you ever caught your dog eating poop? As cute and adorable as your dog is, this behaviour really, really stinks. So, we’re not surprised that you want to get to the bottom of this strange habit.

There are many questions surrounding dogs eating poop: Why do they do it? Is it normal for dogs to pig out on poop? Can your dog get sick from dining on dung? Don’t worry, we’re here with the lowdown.

Why does my dog eat poop?

Poop-eating, which is also known as coprophagia, is a normal behaviour for many animals. In fact, it’s seen in roughly 24% of dogs.  

There are lots of reasons why dogs eat poop but the long and short of it is – they probably just like the taste and texture of it!

Gross, right? However, while it may seem repulsive to us, for dogs, it makes for an interesting dining experience, especially as poop is often packed with fascinating information that tells your dog about the animal who made it.

Some other reasons why dogs eat poop:

  • They’re hungry and looking for something to munch. Or, if parts of your dog’s food remain undigested after they’ve eaten it, they may try to eat it again.

  • They’re bored, stressed, or anxious. Some dogs that are being house-trained are told off or punished for having an accident in the house. This can cause feelings of anxiety about making a mistake and can result in dogs eating their poop to “hide the evidence” to avoid being told off.

  • They get some nutritional value from undigested matter.

  • For attention. Some pooches learn that eating poo will get them attention, and for these pups, even being told off is better than no attention!

  • They may have learned this behaviour as a puppy from their mum (it’s completely normal for a dog mum to eat their puppies’ poo and puppies may pick up this habit out of curiosity).

  • Medical reasons. This is rare, however, some dogs eat poo due to an illness or dietary deficiency. If your dog has suddenly started eating poop or displays other symptoms such as having an upset stomach, then make sure to tell your vet.

Is it dangerous for my dog to eat poop?

Disgusting? Yes. Dangerous? Not necessarily. While it’s unpleasant for your dog to eat poop, it’s usually relatively harmless. However, if your dog does dine on dung, there’s always the risk of parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Plus, if your dog eats the faeces of an animal that’s on medication, these can pass through to their poop and make your dog unwell. 

If you spot your dog eating faeces, the first thing you should do is give them water and something to eat to help rinse their mouth out. Don’t let your dog lick you (but we’re sure you’ll keep well away!) and wash your hands thoroughly if you encounter your pooch’s saliva.

If your dog suddenly starts eating poo or eats it often, then speak to your vet – especially if they show any other signs of illness.

How can I stop my dog eating poop?

To help discourage your dog from dining on dung, here are some things you can try:

  • Make sure to pick up your dog’s poop straight away to remove the temptation.

  • Keep your dog on their lead when you’re training them to stop eating poop, this way you can quickly lead them away from it.

  • If your dog chooses not to eat poo, give them lots of praise and attention.

  • Practise recall and the “leave it” command, this will help keep your dog away from poo when you’re out on walks. Remember to give them positive reinforcement for good behaviour.

  • Try feeding your pooch more regularly or on a diet that fills them up for longer – but consult your vet about this idea first.

  • Don’t shout at your dog or punish them for eating poop as this could cause more behavioural issues – especially as your dog may enjoy the attention (even if it’s negative).

  • Be patient – it may take some time to get your dog out of the habit of eating poo, but with hard work and patience it’ll all be worthwhile!

If you’re concerned about your dog pigging out on poop, then it’s always best to speak to your vet for advice – they may advise you to take your pooch to a behaviourist.

Does pineapple put dogs off eating their own poop? 

Some people swear that feeding their dog pineapple or courgette stops them from eating their own poop because it makes their faeces taste bitter. While there’s no scientific evidence to support this, there’s no harm in trying – just be sure to introduce these foods gradually to your dog as sudden changes to their diet can cause a tummy upset.

How do I stop my dog eating cat poo?  

Our canine companions can have funny habits and tastes, and some pooches can’t resist fishing in a cat’s litter box to eat their poo!

To discourage your dog from eating cat poo, you could:  

  • Clean out your cat’s litter tray more regularly.

  • Move your cat’s litter tray to somewhere that’s out of reach for your dog but still accessible to your kitty, like high up on a table.

  • If you haven’t already, you could get your cat a litter tray that has a lid or door so your pooch can’t get in.

Walkies with Yappy

Make sure you’re fully kitted out for your next walkies session with the pup! At Yappy, we have a wide selection of dog walk essentials, including leads and collars and walking bags. Or why not keep yourself hydrated while out exercising with your own water bottle or travel mug?


We hope you found this post helpful! For more advice on caring for your four-legged friend, check out our blog post on whether to walk your dog before or after a walk and find our why your dog likes to eat grass.

Yappy.com is a personalised pet product shop for dog and cat lovers, simply select a breed and icon and add your pet’s name to create a personalised shop just for you and your pet.

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