Skip to main content

Dog Behavior: Coprophagia

Dog Behavior: Coprophagia

Why does my dog eat poop?

If your dog exhibits coprophagia, talk to your veterinarian about the health issues that might be causing this undesirable behavior.

  • Normal exploratory behavior
    Puppies may do this out of curiosity. The smell of feces can be attractive to dogs. At the first indication of stool sniffing or investigation, the dog should be distracted. Teach your dog to come to you and sit for a treat after eliminating.
  • Establishing intestinal microfloria or compensating for a nutritional deficiency
    Many cats consume high protein diets; as a result, their feces tend to be highly attractive to most dogs. Make cat feces inaccessible by using covered, elevated, gated or automated scooping litterboxes. Clean up your pet’s elimination immediately, and monitor what it is sniffing on walks and outings.

Additionally, if your dog eats poop, he should have a regular fecal analysis to see if he has acquired any intestinal parasites.