Why Does My Dog Eat His Own Poop?

Okay, so let’s clear the air…we have all seen our dogs doing something somewhat disgusting, whether it is drinking the toilet water, rolling in the mud, or licking their bums. For some of us, it’s the disgusting thing where your dog eats their own poop. Now that the gagging has subsided, you are here to find answers, right? Don’t worry, we have answers and here are the main reasons to why your dog is a poop eater.

In 2012, a study conducted by the University of California, it was found that 30% of the dogs of the 3,000 surveyed ate their own poop. As a conclusion, researchers speculated that dogs eat their own poop because it is an instinct that has been passed down from their wild ancestors. The instinct could be from their ancestors need to protect other members from parasites that could be in the poop or the instinct that their ancestors were scavengers that would eat anything and everything to satisfy their needs.

Dogs can become poop eaters due to environmental changes. If your dog experiences a lot of isolation or confinement, they are more likely to eat their poop than those that are around more humans and have more space to run around, studies have shown. For example, dogs that are placed in kennels or other spaces and dogs who have been rescued from overcrowded shelters usually fit into this category.

In all, it is best not to be too harsh on your dog if you catch them eating their poop. Anxiety caused by a human’s punishment may make them want to get rid of their poop because they see it as evidence that they have done something bad which causes you to react poorly. It becomes a never ending cycle of anxiety for your dog which is definitely not healthy.

Do you want to stop it? If so, read on, as we think a majority of you will. The best things to do for poop eaters as far as medications: supplements and taste-aversion spray. Your poop eater may be one because of some lack in their diet that they are trying to get from eating their own poop and can usually be fixed with supplements such as Vitamin B. As for taste-aversion sprays, they normally discourage your dog from eating things in your home such as furniture and other inedible things. You can definitely spray this on the poop to make it less appealing, but if you are going to go that far, the best thing is just to go ahead and have a poop scooper to pick it up quickly as possible. This part is related to a major environmental change you could do to stop your dog from eating poop, keep their area clean and poop-free as often as you can. Then, there is nothing for him to pick up. Another change that you could implement is training of commands such as “come” and “drop it” to use if you catch them in the act.

As a side note, if your dog has recently become a mother or is a puppy, it is completely normal. Mothers will lick their puppies clean and eat their poop. Puppies will do the same and this is all due to instinct. In mothers, this behavior should disappear after about three weeks, if this is not a normal, regular behavior for her already. In puppies, this behavior should disappear before they are nine months old, however, as you can see and read here, it sometimes doesn’t disappear.