Why do dogs eat poop? Here’s How to Deal with this Disgusting Behavior!

Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Woody Pet

Is your dog a living pooper-scooper? You might be worried about watching your beloved pet feast on feces. Why do dogs eat poop among all things? Your dog’s health is at risk whenever she eats her poop, other animal poop, and even human poop. Fecal matter in general has bacteria in them. When your dog eats poop containing bacteria, parasites, or viruses, several diseases can be passed on to her.

Why do dogs eat poop? Coprophagia is the medical term used to describe poop-eating behavior. Some claim it’s a sign of obsessive-compulsive behaviors in canines. But believe it or not, it’s just that the dog finds the poop inviting most likely because of its smell. Regardless of the reason, you have to stop this bad habit right away. 

The big question is how to stop dogs from eating poop? The most obvious one is to get rid of the poop from the yard as soon as possible. Aside from this, you may follow our vet-approved recommendations below.

Why do dogs eat poop?

Why do dogs eat poop

Feed your dog pumpkin

Using fresh or canned pumpkins to stop dogs from eating poop is a vet-approved approach. Many pet parents swear by this technique for years since it’s proven tested and effective. It’s because pumpkin tastes good when your dog eats it but has a strange and uninviting odor once it’s released by the body. Besides that, canned pumpkin is widely available in supermarkets not to mention that it’s easy to prepare.

Because pumpkin emits a foul odor when your pet passes it, she will not be tempted to eat it. If your dog only eats the fecal matter from your other dog, consider feeding that dog with a pumpkin. Feeding pumpkins to stop dogs from eating poop is also helpful if your buddy keeps suffering from digestive problems like diarrhea and constipation.

Pumpkins may be beneficial for dogs eating poop and throwing up. Pumpkin works like a charm when easing digestion as it promotes regular bowel movements. People often use it to treat their diarrhea but it can be also used to treat most tummy problems even in animals. You may offer it as it is or as a topping to your pet’s kibble or homemade treats. 

Pumpkin in its pure form is the best way to serve it to your pet. But if you only have access to canned pumpkin, check if it’s not the pie mix that already contains sugar. Since pumpkin comes with higher amounts of fiber compared to fresh pumpkin, serve it plain as much as possible. 

Add enzyme supplements

Does your pet smell her stool long before she licks it? The stool may contain undigested food and this could be the reason your pet is tempted to taste it. If she keeps on eating her stool, she may be suffering from a lack of digestive enzymes.

Digestive enzymes are essential for survival. Your dog’s body needs three different types of digestive enzymes for food absorption. These enzymes are proteases, amylases, and lipases. Proteases work by breaking down proteins. Amylases are needed for carbohydrate absorption and lipases are needed by the body for breaking apart molecules from fat. 

The inability to create enough digestive enzymes is called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). This condition is among the malabsorption diseases common in dogs. A dog with EPI should be checked as soon as the symptoms show. Otherwise, the animal may suffer from starvation and eventually death. 

Digestive enzymes may also be helpful for a dog eating poop and throwing up. Still, it’s well-advised to consult your vet first before supplementing your pet with digestive enzymes. Digestive enzyme supplements are not necessary for animals with healthy and working pancreas. Besides, a dog eating poop and throwing up is a serious concern so it’s just important to have your pet checked by a licensed vet.

Give your pet deterrents

Deterrents are often sold in the form of chewable tablets. These tablets are specially created for dogs with coprophagia. The ingredients in these tablets make the poop taste so horrible that your pooch will not want to taste it again. 

Do note, though, that some of these chewable tablets come with age recommendations. Some products are only intended for dogs 12 weeks and above. If your pet is younger, consider looking for a deterrent made for dogs of all ages.

The goal is to make the stool taste bad so your pet will not be tempted to lick it. Try adding some pepper to the feces or spraying it with apple spray. The latter is bitter and can also be sprayed on multiple surfaces. You can also use it on clothes and furniture if your pooch had a habit of chewing on them.

Dogs hate the smell of citrus fruits and vinegar. Because they are sensitive to the smell of citrus and vinegar, she will refuse to go where it was sprayed. You can make your deterrent from home by combining distilled or white vinegar, water, and drops of oranges or lemons. Simply spray your DIY deterrent on the dog’s stool right before she goes near it. 

Why do dogs eat poop conclusion?

How to stop dogs from eating poop? The best way to deal with it is to prevent your pet’s access to poop as much as possible. Thorough cleaning of your lawn or yard is still the best way to limit your pet’s exposure to feces. If it’s not possible, maybe because you’re not at home 24/7, try other options such as diet modification and deterrent application. If a dog is fed enough, there’s a big possibility it will look for other food sources. 

Finally, remember that the poop-eating habit in dogs isn’t just a behavioral concern. It can be a symptom of an underlying problem. There’s a possibility it’s a medical condition that needs to be treated. The best way to do is to consult a veterinarian to ensure your pooch gets the proper medication. Your vet needs to see your pooch for any signs of parasitical infection and other diseases such as diabetes and thyroid problems. 


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