If you are here wondering why dogs eat poop… you are most likely a pet parent with a dog suffering from coprophagia, the consumption of feces. To be honest, this is something many animal species practice as a matter of course.  Animals such as dogs may consume their own, or other animals’ feces, due to certain conditions and puppies are likely to ingest their own feces, as are their mothers.  Nursing mothers may consume her puppies’ feces to keep the nest clean and to keep predators away. 

The reason why dogs eat poop is relatively unknown, but there are plenty of things owners can do to control coprophagia. Some dogs will grow up with coprophagia and it can be a compulsive behavior that is difficult to control.  Depending on where they live, some canines are more likely to practice coprophagia especially if they live in an impoverished environment where there are feces on the ground for long periods of time.  Most of the time the condition is nothing to worry about; it is just the dog’s natural behavior in evolutionary history. However, as humans, it is quite difficult for us to watch, know and look past when our canine companions come in for a smooch.

Although it is unlikely, coprophagia could be caused by a medical problem such as starvation, malnutrition or malabsorption disorders.  That is why it is important to see a veterinarian if this problem occurs so they can rule out various conditions and determine if they are the root cause of the behavior.

Resolving coprophagia can be challenging.  There are several tactics you can use to try to get rid of it, but if the behavior has become compulsive, it may take a while:

* Make sure that your dog is getting a nutritious, easy to absorb diet.  This will prevent dietary deficiencies and the temptation to ingest feces when he/she is hungry.
* Give your dog plenty of distractions, such as toys, to keep him away from the feces.
* Go outside with your dog and clean right after he goes potty. 
* You may also benefit from teaching your dog cues as simple as “no” or “leave it”.

The helpfulness of these tactics will depend on the severity of the condition and your dog’s own personality.  You may need to seek help from a veterinarian of a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist.
There are certain supplements that may help with coprophagia, such as S.E.P aka Stop Eating Poop. Stop Eating Poop will make the feces bitter to the taste and your dog won’t want to eat it. As always, talk to your veterinarian about what treatment would be best for your pet.

Coprophagia should be controlled because feces can contain harmful bacteria that can cause illness; unfortunately it will lead to improper hygiene and is not healthy for humans and other animals to come in contact with. 

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