Why Dogs Eat Poop
Most dog owners find their four-legged friends utterly irresistible. But that doesn’t mean we love everything they do – especially when it involves things they put in their mouths.
If you’ve ever been horrified to see your dog eat poop, you’re not alone. Dogs find a wide range of poop irresistible, from their own to cats, bunnies, horses, deer – and yes – even human poo. This is a common problem, and it even has a scientific name: coprophagia.
But just because poop eating is considered fairly natural and normal dog behavior, that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to it. As you might expect, consuming poo can increase your dog’s risk of intestinal parasites and disease pathogens.
So, why do they do it then?
No one knows for sure. However, experts do have a few theories on the topic, such as:
- It tastes good
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Anxiety, stress, boredom, or attention-seeking
- A natural drive to keep a den clean
- An instinct to improve gut health
- Restrictive confinement
- Medications or medical conditions that increase hunger
Since coprophagia can have a variety of causes, you should talk with your vet if you notice your dog eating poop. They can help determine what’s behind your dog’s penchant for poo and offer personalized recommendations to curb their enthusiasm.
Treatments for a dog who eats poop can include medical or behavioral interventions, depending on the cause.