Have you ever noticed your dog sniffing something in the grass, then on closer inspection discovered he was snacking on poop! Yes I know it sounds disgusting, but it’s not that uncommon.
The “official” term for poop eating is Coprophagia, and there are various reasons why a dog might do it. Cushing’s, pancreatitis or intestinal issues, but most often it is behaviorial. The only way to stop it is to monitor him closely when out walking, clean up poop immediately, and if you have a cat, keep the litter box clean.
Why your dog eats poop
If this is something your dog started doing recently, please make an appointment to see your vet. It’s something I always recommend when a dog exhibits a new behavior and you aren’t sure of the cause. It’s always best to start by ruling out any medical issues.
No one really knows exactly why dogs eat poop, but here are some theories –
- He likes the taste
- Your dog is bored
- Not eating a nutritionally balanced diet
- Separation anxiety
- Looking for attention
- Cat poop seems to be considered a delicacy – yes I’ve had a dog that liked it!
- Steroids – can increase a dog’s appetite
- They’ve been punished for having accidents in the house, and now “eat the evidence”
- Puppy mill dogs – their environment is extremely stressful and they are usually fed a cheap, poor quality diet
- Doing what their wolf ancestors did in the wild
- Greedy eaters
- Living in a multi dog household
Is eating poop harmful to your dog?
Generally speaking it isn’t, but if he eats the poop of other animals it can contain medication that would be harmful. It could also contain worms in which case your dog will get them as well.
If your dog has/does eat poop, be sure to wash your hands after coming in contact with his mouth.
My dog eats poop and his breath stinks!
I’m sure it does. The quickest fix is to give him a breath freshening treat. You can buy them, or better yet make some yourself. There are tons of easy recipes on Pinterest, and I’m including one to get you started.