How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop

Coprophagia. What a word, right? But if you’ve ever discovered that your dog is eating poop, then you’re hardly alone. It’s actually more common than you think. It turns out the scientific term for “your dog eats poop” is coprophagia, and it’s not just gross—it can be dangerous to both your canine and his or her human family members because of the potential to spread parasites or bacteria. Even though it might be embarrassing to talk about this with your vet, there are specific recommendations we can give when we know what’s going on so we can stop inappropriate elimination behaviors from happening in your home.

The first step may seem obvious but is also very important: Please don’t yell at or punish your dog for eating poop, as this will only teach them to eat it more quickly so that they don’t get caught! Instead, let’s take a look at what might be causing the problem and how we can help you put an end to all those messy cleanup jobs.

Take your dog outside more often.

You may be surprised to learn that dogs, who are scavengers by nature and natural predators, will often eat poop if they’re hungry. If you want to stop your dog from eating poop and keep him healthy, take him out more often. That way he can burn off energy by playing with other dogs or chasing birds and squirrels—and even if he eats some of these things while doing so (he’s a scavenger), they’ll be less likely to contain harmful bacteria because they’re not covered in feces!

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If your dog continues to eat his own or other animals’ feces even after you’ve increased his exercise regimen and decreased the amount of time he spends indoors alone all day long, take him in for a checkup with his veterinarian; sometimes there are underlying health problems that cause dogs to turn their noses up at food but go crazy for anything else resembling something “tasty.” Dental disease is also frequently responsible for this behavior: if the problem isn’t addressed immediately it can lead directly into more serious issues such as malnutrition or infection throughout the body (which could potentially land your pooch on death row).

Change your dog’s food.

If you’re having trouble finding a solution to your dog’s poop eating, try changing his food. There are many different options out there, and if you find that one brand doesn’t work for your dog or one flavor isn’t to his liking, it will be worth taking the time to try another option. You should also consider trying a different type of food altogether!


  • A different brand
  • A different flavor
  • A different type of food (dry vs wet)
  • A food with different ingredients (grain-free vs high-protein)
  • A food with a different texture (chunky vs fine kibble)

Talk to your vet.

If your dog is eating poop, first talk to your vet. If they think it’s a medical problem (i.e., if they prescribe medication), that’s great! But if it’s behavioral, they can help you find a solution via either training or medication (or both).

Play a game with your dog.

There are a few different ways that you can distract your dog from eating poop, but one of the best is to play a game with them. You can play fetch or hide-and-seek, or even try something like a puzzle feeder (if they’re food motivated) or treat dispenser (if they’re treat motivated).

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You must first figure out why the coprophagia is occurring in the first place.

It is important to first figure out why the coprophagia is occurring in the first place. If your dog has a medical problem, they may be eating their own feces in order to seek relief from that problem. There are many different medical problems that can cause coprophagia including gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), parasites or infections. If you suspect that your dog might be experiencing these symptoms, then please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible so they can diagnose and treat any underlying issues.

It is also possible that your pooch is simply doing this because he or she enjoys it! Dogs love eating poop because it gives them a sense of comfort and familiarity when around other dogs who have defecated nearby. It’s important not to punish them for this behavior but instead find ways to make sure they don’t do it anymore by changing their environment or routine so there aren’t any opportunities where there could be fecal matter close enough for them to access easily (i.e., keeping track of where each member of your household goes every day).


The best thing you can do for your dog is to address the issue head on. As a dog owner, it is up to you to take control of the situation and remedy any problem that may arise. Remember: your dog does not want to eat poop. Your dog is only doing this because he or she is suffering from some underlying issue or health condition. The sooner you discover what’s bothering Fido, the sooner you can get him back on track!