Why Your Dog Might Be Eating Their Own Poop

The cutest, most lovable dogs can do some of the grossest things – like eating their own poop.  

Formally known as coprophagia, the act of eating poop is not all that uncommon for dogs. But, if you have ever seen your fur friend munching on the stinky piles he’s left behind in the backyard of your Phoenix residence, you have likely cringed and thought he has lost his mind.  

Let’s talk about why your dog might be eating their own poop – and what you can do about it.  

Why Dogs Eat Their Poop 

Dogs may eat poop for many different reasons. For instance, dogs know when their body needs something. While it may not be the advice from their vet, dogs lacking certain vitamins or enzymes may seek out ways to get them – and that often means eating poop. Or, dogs who have digestion issues may use the poop to help calm down any gastro issues.  

Behavior concerns also lead to this dirty habit. And this can happen due to:  

  • Boredom or isolation: When you don’t have anything else to pass the time, eat poop? Some dogs find it to be a means of stimulation.  
  • High levels of anxiety: Anxious behavior is tough for dogs to handle and eating poop may be viewed as an outlet or distraction.  
  • Attention-seeking behavior: Some dogs seem to be just looking for attention from their humans. 
  • Fear: Dogs who are punished for pooping in certain areas, such as the house or crate, may eat their poop to get rid of the evidence. Unfortunately, in these situations, they often get in trouble for that, too.  
  • Environmental or habit: Whether there is too much poop lying around or they have watched their mom eat poop, environmental factors can sometimes play a role, too.  

What to Do if Your Dog is Eating Poop 

If you notice your dog eating poop, then it is important to have them seen by the vet. Although it very well may be a behavioral issue, it is important to rule out anything medical-related. In addition, because poop can contain all sorts of bacteria and parasites, getting checked out is imperative.  

Your vet may examine your pup for signs of:  

  • Intestinal parasites 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Gastroenteritis 
  • Fatigue 

Keep in mind that eating their own feces can lead to much better outcomes than eating someone else’s. Regardless, a trip to the vet is warranted.  

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop 

Now that you have witnessed the cringe-worthy scene, it is time to take steps to help your dog stop eating poop.  

Investing in high-quality dog food is a great place to start. If they are eating the poop because their body is lacking in vitamins, nutrients, or enzymes, then a new food may fix the craving by giving them what they need.  

If you have ruled out health-related issues, then be sure to address any behavioral concerns that could be causing them to eat it. Work with your vet or a skilled trainer to help your pup feel good without having to indulge.  

Finally, if there is no poop lying around to eat, then your pup can’t eat it. So, cut off access by picking up after your dog. The more time you take to ensure they have a clean place to go to the bathroom without anything being left behind for later, the greater chance you will have of stopping your dog from eating poop.  

Scoop Soldiers is a pet waste removal service in Phoenix AZ. That’s right – we make your dog poop our business. With services like pet waste removal, sanitizing, and deodorizing, we always leave behind a clean and healthy turf for your pup.