Coprophagia: Why Do Dogs Eat Their Own Poop?

Coprophagia by definition is the consumption of feces.  Many dogs present with this behavior and it is most apparent when they are puppies. There are many different theories as to why your dog may be doing this. First, there could be something wrong with your dog. When your dog isn’t absorbing the proper amount of nutrients they may feel the need to eat their own feces. It is always advisable to talk with your vet if this behavior presents to be sure that your dog doesn’t have any absorption issues.

Second, you may not be feeding your dog enough. Many times your dog may feel the need to eat their feces not because he isn’t absorbing the nutrients enough but because the owner isn’t feeding them enough. It is essential as dog owners that we make sure we ask our vets how much to feed our dogs to maintain a proper weight. In addition to not feeding them enough, having a rounded diet is key. Be sure you buy a quality pet food with all of the vitamins and minerals essential to a dog’s health.

Third, it may just be that they are curious and following their instinctive scavenger behaviors. This usually occurs in puppies that are still learning and when left unsupervised may ingest or play with their own feces.

What if your dog is eating other animal’s feces? Usually this is never attributed to health issues or imbalanced diet but rather purely scavenger behavior. It is instinctive for dogs to find food wherever they can and unfortunately this includes other animal’s feces. If you do find your dog eating or playing with their feces remember that it may be attributed to health issues and always ask your vet about this behavior.

If your dog is eating his own feces, try a product such as For-Bid which you simply sprinkle on your dog’s food and mix. This gives the feces a pungent taste which discourages consumption by your dog. After using for several days, the habit will usually be curbed.