Why do Dogs Eat Poo?

Some dogs have odd habits. They are often sweet and endearing habits but one not so pleasant one is their obsession with eating poo.

Not all dogs display this behaviour but many of them do. They may eat their own poo, other dogs’ poo or even cat and fox poo.

Why does my dog eat poo?

There’s no real definitive answer to why dogs eat poo but there are a few theories.

One is that it could be a behavioural response. A mother dog often eats the poo of her puppies when they are first born to keep the whelping box or crate clean to keep away potential predators that may smell her newborns.

Wild dogs may have fed on the waste of other animals thousands of years ago so it could be a throw back to this behaviour.

If there are a number of dogs living together there may be a pack order and the more submissive dogs may eat the poo of the pack leader.

It may be the case that dog’s lack a certain vitamin or mineral that they can get from faeces. If a dog eats a healthy and balanced diet that’s not very likely.

Dogs may just like the taste of poo or it may be a habit.

How to stop your dog eating poo

Being vigilant is probably the best way to stop your dog eating poo. If they eat their own, pick it up and bin it as soon as possible to stop your dog getting to it first.

Some people when their dog has done a poo put chilli sauce on it to stop the dog from eating it but it’s best just to pick it up in case your dog eats the poo anyway including the sauce which may lead to other problems.

Keep your dog on a lead when you are walking through areas where you’d expect lots of dogs to have done their business.

You can buy special powders often containing pineapple or pepper which you sprinkle on your dog’s food which then makes their poo taste unappealing to them. There’s no concrete evidence these work all of the time.

Is eating poo bad for my dog?

It seems disgusting to us humans but thankfully eating poo probably won’t make your dog ill. It makes sense to make sure your dog is wormed regularly and has all of the relevant injections.

Don’t let your dog lick people, especially on their faces, when they’ve had a poo snack.

It may be a good idea to buy some mint breath freshening drops or give your dog a good teeth cleaning after they have eaten poo.