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Reasons why a dog eats its own feces

There are several reasons why a dog eats its feces – psychological, physical and pathological, that is, associated with diseases. A special attitude to feces in puppies and the causes of coprophagia in them are often behavioral and not associated with the disease. It is also worth noting that if a dog is interested in waste products once, this does not indicate a problem. Sometimes they study through the feces of other individuals – how long ago another dog was here, what gender it is, whether it has estrus.


One of the most common reasons a dog eats its own poop is simple hunger. The feces contain undigested food, particles of fat, starch and protein, their number is especially high in the excrement of unhealthy animals. Therefore, if the diet is not high in calories or the balance of BJU is disturbed, the dog may start eating its own poop. It is important to choose the right food or balance the natural diet, based on the age, sex, activity and physiological needs of the pet.


With abundant infection with helminths in an animal, a perversion of appetite can occur. The dog begins to eat not only feces, but also stones, paper, earth and other foreign objects. There are no drugs that protect the dog from helminths, and there are a lot of ways of infection – through water, land, food. Also, fleas are carriers of worms, and even a person himself can infect a dog with worms. Eating feces is another route of infection. Puppies can also become infected in utero from their mother.

Bolesti crijeva

As a result of inflammatory processes, the intestines cannot fully digest the food that enters through the mouth, so it partially comes out unchanged. As a result, the feces may look like a regular meal, and the dog will gladly swallow an extraordinary meal. This is especially pronounced when the pet has an increased appetite due to behavioral characteristics, a hormonal failure, or he takes hormones as prescribed by a doctor.

Lack of vitamins and digestive enzymes

A dog will eat its own or other people’s poop if it does not have enough of its own bacteria to digest or digestive enzymes. A dog’s intestines are densely populated with bacteria that help it digest food. For good digestion, the diet requires the presence of vitamins, enzymes and bacteria. If any of the elements is missing, the dog will try to make up for them, including by eating waste. Feces contain many microorganisms, both positive and harmful.


With a jealous attitude towards the owner, the dog more often destroys someone else’s feces, eating it so that the owner does not pay attention to another individual. But it happens that their poop is eaten.


After the bitch has given birth, she takes care of the babies for a long time. Why does a puppy eat its own feces? Because my mom taught me that. After each feeding, the mother actively licks the tummy and puppies until it is empty. When the puppies grow up, the mother eats their feces for a long time. It is an instinct left over from the wild to hide its offspring. The puppy grows and sees the behavior of the mother, he learns from her and copies her habits.


For you and me, poop is just a bunch of smelly things. For other dogs, especially young ones, this is a whole portal to the world of information. From the feces left, the dog can determine which individual was here, what they ate, what age it is, whether it is sick or healthy, how long it has been here, and in general, what this bunch tastes like sometimes it is also very curious. Banal curiosity is another reason why a puppy eats its own or someone else’s feces.


Stress and boredom are common reasons for eating feces. When an animal spends a lot of time alone, or walks are irregular, and in addition to all this, he is punished for leaving heaps or damaged furniture, this leads to changes in behavior, including eating excrement. Lack of attention on the part of a person can lead to eating feces if the dog understands that you are talking to him only at the moment of punishment after he eats a harmful object. He will try to attract your attention further by eating his own or someone else’s feces. It is worth devoting more time to your pet, acquiring educational toys for him, regularly giving a load to the dog’s brain, learning new commands.

Competition for food

If you have a lot of animals in your house and they are in competition for food, the dog will indiscriminately eat anything that falls on the floor that even slightly resembles food. Therefore, feces for such individuals will become one of the favorite treats.


The dog starts eating its own feces out of fear. Fear is different. Someone is afraid that he will be punished for a pile in the wrong place and, having eaten it, the dog destroys the evidence. And someone is afraid of being discovered. We have already said above that feces are a storehouse of information about a dog for other individuals. And if a dog is intimidated, sick, lacking dominance, by consuming his feces, he will hide evidence of his presence from other stronger dogs. This can also be accompanied by wallowing in other people’s excrement or foul-smelling waste – fish, rotten meat.

Preference ukusa

Yes, unfortunately, there are dogs who are doing well – there is no stress, no hunger, no worms, their intestines are completely healthy, but they eat feces. It’s just that some dogs like the taste of their feces or other animal species. Although, it is worth noting that there are very few such dogs.

What to do when a dog eats its own feces?

Based on the reasons, let’s try to understand what to do if the dog eats his feces:

  • Consult your veterinarian and rule out diseases of the intestines and other digestive organs.

  • Treat all pets living together for deworming.

  • Teach your dog from childhood to the muzzle and the “no” command in order to respond in time to unwanted eating habits.

  • Give your pet more attention at home and on a walk.

  • Remove the dog’s feces immediately after emptying or treat it with unpleasant substances with a pungent odor so that it does not seem so tasty – pepper, horseradish, mustard.

  • To eliminate coprophagia, use special food supplements, for example, vitamins 8 in 1 Excel Deter.

  • Buy educational toys for your dog.

  • If there are signs of a mental disorder – fear, stress, jealousy, be sure to contact a zoopsychologist. The process of restoring the emotional state of the dog is very important and extremely time-consuming, so trust the specialist.

How to stop your dog from eating his own poop

Unfortunately, there is no universal way to wean a dog from eating its own feces, so you need to try all possible options.

In no case do not scream or scare the dog when you find him eating feces. Yelling and slapping will only make things worse. A frightened dog will think that defecation is something forbidden and will start destroying the evidence, which will only increase the amount of feces eaten. But do not encourage the pet, do not stroke it, do not let it be licked, ignore the dog.

Approach the dog, loudly and clearly say: “No!”. If you doubt the severity of your tone, you can clap your hands at the moment of the command, then calmly take the dog away from the place of the meal.

On a walk, pay all your attention to the dog, play, lure with toys, do not leave it for a minute. You can train your dog to carry a toy in its mouth while walking and not let it go without a command. As soon as the dog has emptied itself, immediately divert its attention with commands and games, and take it away from the toilet.

Buy “smart toys” for your pet, there are a lot of them on the modern market. If for some reason you can’t buy them, make your own. For example, take a silicone corrugated toy, spread a thick layer of dog pate on it and send it to freeze. When you leave home for a long time, give it to your dog. While you are away, the dog will be busy licking the pate off the toy and may not even notice that you are leaving.

It is much more difficult to wean an adult dog from eating its own poop than a puppy, so do not miss the moment and correct the behavior from childhood. Sign up for training courses, feed a good complete food or natural balanced food according to the recommendations of a nutritionist, play a lot with the baby, remove feces on time. Do not punish the puppy if he poops in the wrong place, especially by poking his muzzle into a pile. This can adversely affect his sense of smell and cause fear of defecation itself, which is why the puppy will begin to “hide” his poop even more and faster.

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Prosinca 6 2021

Ažurirano: 6. decembra 2021

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