Dog Eating Poop - Why and How to Deal with This Bad Behavior

There are many types of poop eaters.

Some dogs only eat their own poop, other dogs love eating cat poop, and some special connoisseurs only enjoy grass-flavored treats, especially from horses and goats. Bird droppings are also a delicacy that is in frequent demand by very many dogs.

If your dog is eating poop, you are definitely not alone.

It is actually a very common thing among dogs. Dogs are not humans, and they think and learn differently than we do. What smells good and what tastes good to them, can be very different from what smells good and tastes good to us.

However, for reasons of cleanliness and health (intestinal parasites), it is generally a good idea to stop your dog from eating poop.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop and How to Stop It.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop and How to Stop It.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop

The most common reason for dogs to eat poop from other animals, is simply because they enjoy the taste.

Other reasons include stress, boredom, or nutritional imbalance. When dogs eat their own poop, it is usually because of one of these reasons.

1. Nutritional imbalance.

Stool eating can occur because the dog is lacking certain digestive enzymes or nutrients. When this occurs, the dog will eat his own poop to conserve those much needed elements. Studies have shown that insufficient vitamin B1 can cause poop eating.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop - To relieve stress.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop - To relieve stress.

2. Stress.

Dogs will sometimes eat their own poop to relieve stress. This usually only occurs when the dog is extremely anxious.

This has happened to my Shiba Inu twice, both times at the vet when he was getting his shots. Shiba Sephy is extremely sensitive to handling, and to pain, so vet visits are always a high stress affair.

Different dogs will have different anxieties, fears and stress triggers that may result in stool eating. For example, dogs with extreme separation anxiety may poop, and then eat their own poop when left alone.

3. Boredom.

If dogs are left alone all day, with very little human contact and very little to do, their only choice for self-entertainment may be to play with and eat their own poop. Imagine if we were cooped up in the house all day with nothing to do, we would go a little bit crazy as well. Think cabin fever and The Shining.

4. Curiosity.

Puppies or young dogs may eat poop out of curiosity. Everything is new to a puppy so he may want to explore and manipulate all that he sees with his mouth, including animal droppings. It is best to train a puppy not to engage in stool eating as early as possible, so that it does not become a habit when he grows up.

5. Helping to clean up the den.

Harsh potty training techniques may cause some dogs or puppies to eat their own poop, in an effort to appease us, or to avoid painful punishment. Some dogs may also see us cleaning up their poop in the house (den), and try to mimic that behavior. This is why many trainers suggest that we do not clean up potty mistakes in front of our dogs.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop - To relieve boredom.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop - To relieve boredom.

Stop a Dog from Eating Poop

Here are some common techniques to stop our dog from eating poop -

1. Feed our dog a healthy and balanced diet.

This will keep a dog's digestive system healthy, and provide him with all the nutrients that his body needs. An easy way to provide our dog with a balanced diet, is through high quality kibble.

Make sure the kibble has good protein sources that are from meat, rather than from grains, which are more difficult for our dogs to digest. Stay away from kibble that contains gluten (e.g. wheat gluten). Compared to meat protein, gluten is less nutritionally complete and may contain contaminants.

2. Consistent feeding schedule and supervision during poop time.

A consistent eating schedule will also keep a dog's stool regular. This makes it easier to supervise, and prevent our dog from eating his own poop. Scheduled feedings will also help to prevent overeating and obesity issues down the road.

3. Exercise your dog and keep him busy.

Play fun games with your dog, walk him regularly, and do frequent obedience training sessions. A well-exercised dog is better behaved at home, and less likely to eat poop out of boredom.

Here are some common techniques to stop your dog from eating poop.
Here are some common techniques to stop your dog from eating poop.
Try to reduce your own stress and keep your dog relaxed.
Try to reduce your own stress and keep your dog relaxed.

Does your dog eat poop?

  • Yes, I have no problem with it.
  • Sometimes, but I am trying to train him not to.
  • Not sure, he may eat poop when home alone.
  • No, he is well trained.
  • No, he has never shown any interest in poop.
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4. Keep the environment clean.

If there is no free poop lying about then our dog cannot engage in opportunistic stool eating.

5. Reduce stress.

Try to reduce our own stress and keep our dog relaxed. When we are calm, our dog will have an easier time staying calm as well. This results in a better quality of life for everyone, and will stop stool eating behavior that results from stress.

6. Teach your dog the "Leave-It" command.

Leave-It helps us communicate to our dog, what is acceptable to eat, and what is not. Some common house plants such as oleander, are poisonous to our pets. Some common people food such as onions and chocolates, are also poisonous to our dogs.

7. Make the poop taste bad.

One of the most common ways to stop stool eating, is to make the poop taste bad to our dogs. Some people suggest adding stool deterrent supplements, pumpkin, pineapple, or meat tenderizer to the dog's food.

However, this only works when we have full control of the environment. In addition, it only targets the symptoms of poop eating, rather than addressing the issue at its source.

[Note - Consult the vet first before adding any of these to our dog's food. Adding too much may be bad for a dog, and cause digestive issues. A dog may also be allergic to some of these ingredients.]

Frequently, stool eating starts at puppy-hood as a result of curiosity. Therefore, supervise a puppy early on, and teach him what are acceptable things to eat, and that poop is not an acceptable hors d'Ĺ“uvre.

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Does your dog eat poop?
Does your dog eat poop?

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Comments 120 comments

jenny 3 years ago

Hi. I have a 10 year old Labrador that has started to eat dog poo when out on walks, He has never done this before! he is fed the same time every morning and also walked every morning, and he is never on his own as I work from home. Why has he started this??

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Pinkchic18 3 years ago from Minnesota

Our pup eats her poop and we're working on the 'leave it' command. Most of the time she gets it, but sometimes she goes for it anyway. Sigh. Nice hub!

Taylor H 4 years ago

Don't feed your dog Garlic Cloves!

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Marilyn,

Dogs may sometimes eat their own poop when their food is not easily digestible, or when they are lacking certain nutrients. I looked up Bil-Jac and it contains cornmeal as one of its main ingredients, which can be difficult to digest for dogs. Here is an interesting review I found-

Here is a bit more on what I look for when choosing kibble for my dogs-

Here is a bit more on poop deterrents-

Marilyn 4 years ago

I have just noticed in the last couple of days that my new Maltese puppy, Lily, is eating her poop. She is currently on dry Bil-Jac for small breed puppies. Any suggestions for a dry food additive that would possibly deter?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Dogs may sometimes do this if there are ingredients that are not easily digestible, so there may still be nutrients in the poop that comes out.

Are there grains, gluten, or fillers in the food?

awsomepainter 4 years ago

I have 3 shitzue's and reciently changed their diet to better food because they r pregnant( food that is for pregnancy). They r eating their poop more, i mean every time, even the male. Is it because they like the food so much, which they have access to all the time, or it needs to be changeged again. I am going to try pumpkin or pineapple, but why all of a sudden all three r doing this

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Nel,

One of my Sibes is like that. She loves to eat and will keep eating if she can. Whenever she loses her appetite, I know that something is seriously wrong with her.

Given a dog's ancestry, I think some of it may be part of their survival instinct. In the wild, animals usually eat all that they can because tomorrow there may not be any food available.

In terms of poop eating, it can sometimes be because of nutrients, but there are many other reasons. What works best for my dogs is to train them not to eat poop by rewarding them to Leave-It and taking away something valuable (e.g. ending their nice walk) when they try to sneak in a poop treat. :D

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Belinda,

The things that most help with my dogs are-

1. Cleaning up the environment.

2. Close supervision when there is poop eating possibility.

3. Training them not to eat poop with the Leave-It command, and using strong motivators.

Both my Sibes used to like eating outside poop - mostly cat and deer. They also really liked their walk. So I trained them to Leave-It. If they try to sneak in some poop eating, then I march them home and end the walk right away. In this way, they learn that-

Eating poop = don't get to enjoy nice outside walk.

That was a strong enough motivator to get them to stop eating the stuff.

belinda 4 years ago

Hi, just went outside and saw the puppy eating her poop, I have noticed overtime that she sniffs it a lot but never seen her eat it, she is 10mths old shiatsu x toy poodle, her name is Lexi. I don't know whether she has done this before - she'll not be licking my face again - lol :)

She does eat human food, not too much, a bit of boiled or pan fried chicken at night, ever 2nd or 3rd night, bit of toast and egg for breaky (that's from me), eats apple, carrot and a few other raw veges, shared by my daughter. We feed her dry and puppy canned food.

Any suggestions?

Nel 4 years ago

P.s. She has eaten a variety of top quality kibble her whole life (Innova, Wellness,Natures Variety, and now a human grade brand called Life's Abundance).Every now and then, she gets wet food added for more variety, and even has had Missing Link added and doggietrace minerals, too, in attempts to stop the poop eating. The bad taste additives, specifically made for that problem didn't work for her. Just made her vomit a watery substance. All I can do is quickly clean up poop. She's fifteen years old, and no apparent medical problems, ever.She has always been this way. I got her at the normal age of 8 weeks old,but did notice she had the roundest belly among her siblings. I bought her with another doxie pup from a different litter at same house. Not stressed, not fighting for her food. Just strange... Thats why im wondering if its an issue of failing to have an inability to feel full...

Nel 4 years ago

I have a doxie that has NEVER gotten to feel full after eating. She gulps her food, not chewing, even large dog kibble, and she has never left one spec of food when fed. I used to joke that if left her unattended with a 25 lb. bag of kibble, I bet she wouldn't stop, just keep eating, throw it up, probably, and keep eating, more, until she exploded. Anyway, I only fed her rationed food to keep her from gorging herself. She very quickly became fat, when I fed her just a teeny bit more.I feed her with a bowl that is designed to slow her eating. So, as you can imagine, this dog has been and is a ravenous poop eater. Sorry if this is too disgusting, but I caught her one time, as she was defecating, actually turn around during her business and eat it before it hit the ground! I think something is wrong with her system where she is unable to feel full. Is this Possible?

Melanie 4 years ago

Our Boxer would eat his own poop..I talked with the vet and she stated put Lawery's seasoning salt on their food...I did it about 2 days...he never did it said it taste good going down but smelled terrible coming out..she must have been telling the truth never had no more problem...

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Salomi,

I have noticed that my dogs like being most with the people that they have the strongest bond with, i.e. the people who feed them, exercise them, train them, and help them fulfill their needs and goals.

If we build a strong bond with our dog, he will want to stay most with us.

salomi 4 years ago

my puppy's mother is my neighbour's dog will i have a problem in future? as in wll the puppy go back to its mother later?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Big hugs to you too.

What is your dog's name? He sounds like a pretty amazing and lucky guy.

nancy 4 years ago

Thanks. I do think this is an age and shame thing. I love him so I will keep cleaning up after him.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Add - Many dog diapers only deal with urine, so make sure to check that they support both dog poop and pee.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Nancy,

Likely, he just has no control over it. Dog diapers are a possibility, but I would consult with a vet first. There could be other better solutions, depending on the source of the issue.

This thread may also be useful-

Big hugs to your old guy.

nancy 4 years ago

My dog is 18 years old. He recently started going to the bathroom in the house. He started eating his own poop and now he licks up his pre. Up until recently he was totally housebroken. Even when I walk him he'll go in the house a little later. He's so old -hard of hearing and blind - I feel guilty if I yell at him to stop. I am afraid to walk in my house barefoot. Any suggestions? Oh, I did get 2 kittens 7 months ago but they leave him alone. Help

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Baron de Otero,

Very nice to meet you!

Many dogs find bird poop and cat poop to be irresistible. Some things that helped with my furry friends -

1. Leave-It command.

2. Some people use a citronella collar to discourage poop eating. However, that is an aversive smell stimulus, and may carry with it some of the risks of aversive techniques.

Baron de Otero 4 years ago

My name is Baron. I am an 8 year old Dalmation male who was fixed by my mistress. I now live on a lake that has many geese and ducks who come upon my grass.... they go poop poop all over the place. I like to roll in it and eat it. My mistress gets stressed when I roll in the goose poop and gobble it up. I also like to eat kitty-kat poop. My mistress also does not approve of this. Please help me to stop craving goose poop to eat .... I eat Science Diet food and am almost over weight so I am not craving food or trying to supplement a diet deficiency. Will eating this great goose poop cause me any health probems? My mistress is getting very frustrated with me. Help me to dislike goose and kitty kat poop.

Elray 4 years ago

Thnks for the info.

I recently bought this medicine and put it in Ally's food bowl for her to eat along with her dinner/lunch. She hasn't eaten her own poop since.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

From observing my breeder, it seems that once her puppies got older, she only let the mother dog in to interact with puppies at certain fixed times.

She made sure to clean things up before letting mom in, and she supervised their time together so that she can prevent stool eating.

A fixed puppy eating schedule and on-leash potty supervision can also help.

ann 4 years ago

my puppy is 17 weeks old and her mother is still eating her poop. vet said it would stop when she stopped feeding her. it didn't. since then i have had her spade and she is still doing it. i need help

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Lisa,

Stress can also cause a dog to suddenly eat poop. Like your Doberman, my Shiba Inu disdains dog poop. However, when he was under extreme stress at the vet office, he ate his own poop. Some dogs also eat poop due to separation anxiety and other anxiety issues.

When under stress, eating poop is sometimes used by dogs as a displacement behavior.

Has anything changed in your schedule or daily routine? Has anything changed in the interaction between the dogs? Do any of the other dogs eat poop?

Is your Doberman girl eating and drinking regularly? How is her energy level? What is the quality of her stool?

Lisa 4 years ago

Are there any medical conditions other than diet? I have a 6 year old Doberman who would rather die then get near poop. Now all of a sudden she is eating it. I have 5 dogs so I can't be sure if its her own or someone elses. Its very very out of character for her and I'm starting to worry.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Lisa,

Does the cat poop in a litter box? It is probably easiest to move the litter box to some place that the puppy can't get to.

As for the dog poop, what helped with my dogs was to keep everyone on a very fixed eating schedule. This ensures that their poop schedule will also be regular. Initially, I had puppy on lead when we first go out to the backyard. Then, I only let her off when everyone has done their business and I have cleaned everything up.

Teaching puppy the Leave-It command can also help.

Another possibility is to use smell aversion, such as a citronella collar. I generally prefer to try the other techniques first before using anything aversive.

lisa 4 years ago

I have a 8 month old st. Bernard puppy that eats my other dogs and cats poop. I have tried the medicine and pineapple without any luck. He only gets nutritious foods so I'm not sure what to do. He's not bored,I think he just will eat anything. This is so gross. Any suggestions? He's faster than me to get to the poop. He watches the other dogs and runs to get a mouth full as soon as he can. He loves it fresh.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Michelle,

It could be a dietary thing. Here is more on what to look for in kibble-

On-leash supervision can also be helpful.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Dear Elray,

I apologize for not responding. When you posted your comment, I was having issues with HubPages with regard to comments on this hub. By the time it was resolved, some time had passed, and I did not think you would be back to check on replies.

Congratulations on your Sibe puppy. Both my Sibes did not eat their own poop, but they liked poop from other animals.

What I did was first teach them the Leave-It command.

Then, when we are out in areas where they may eat poop, I make sure they are on-leash. In this way, if they ignore the leave-it command, I can stop them with the leash. Then, I end the walk so that they learn that if they try to eat poop, the nice walk ends.

If they eat poop in the backyard, then a time-out is a possibility.

Michelle Miller 4 years ago

Hello I have a Maltese and she eats her poo and she is eating Ims dog food and I dont know what to do to stop her from eating her poo thanks for healping

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Melissa,

"Is there anything I can put in my cat's food (she eats dry only) that will make the her poo unappetizing?"

Cats have different physiology, so it is best to ask a vet.

Another possibility is to use a taste deterrent on the cat poop itself. Here is an article on taste deterrents from the ASPCA-

Note that taste deterrents are added to the poop and *not* to the food.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Cindy,

It sounds like it could be a dietary thing. What food are you currently feeding puppy?

Here is a bit more on what to look for in dog kibble-

Melissa 4 years ago

My dog (3 year old Daschund) doesn't eat her poo, she eats the cat's poo. My cat uses a litter box and goes outside. My dog only eats the poo that is outside. I've never caught her in the litter box. Is there anything I can put in my cat's food (she eats dry only) that will make the her poo unappetizing?

Cindy 4 years ago

My Shi-poo is about 5 months old and continuing to sneak and eat her poop. When she is being supervised she leaves it. It is when we are not looking she hurries up and goes so she could have a warm snack! We tried the meat tenderizer as advised from the vet but still hasn't worked. PLEASE HELP!!!

Elray 4 years ago

I have a 3 month old Siberian Husky and she recently started to eat her own poop. She is well fed everyday and when I tell her not to eat her own poop, she keeps doing it anyway. So everyday I clean up her poop as quickly as I can because she'll always eat it. She's taken on long walks everyday to, how can I stop her behaviour?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Rachel,

What has worked best with my dogs is to teach them the Leave-It command.

Initially, I trained my Shiba on-leash so that I can easily stop him if need be, and so that he doesn't get rewarded with eating the stuff.

Some people train the Leave-It command with an aversive smell stimulus such as a citronella collar. However, my preference is always to use reward training first.

Rachel 4 years ago

Hi, I recently got a 6 month old.long haired dachshund. She eats my mom's cat's poop! I can't put the litterbox up higher because the cat is old and fat. I don't want the cat getting hurt trying to jump up somewhere to go to the bathroo. What should I do instead?

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hormaba 4 years ago

i recently adopted a 5 month longhaired dachshund. He went through alot of stress since he traveled from Oklahoma to Dallas to Miami, where he got sick and then traveled when well (on the plane with me) to Dominican Republic. This was a month ago, and Kocco is now 6 months, he eats he's poop and my other daschshund poop. He has also lost his house training. I tried the POTTY MOUTH pills you put in the food, and it didn't work; I tried the pineapple, and he would eat the food and not the fruit.... I am getting a little frustrated with the peeing all over and the pooping eating has been the icing on the cake. HELP!!!!!!!

susan 4 years ago

@ryan. i have an almost two year old corgi who also eats poop in the dog park. she also knows she isn't supposed to. her behavior is obvious to other owner in the park who know us. i, too, am trying to decide about a shock collar (i would use vibration only)...i have purchased one, but it seems rather violent - even on just vibration so i haven't used it...yet.

but, i am totally at a loss as to what else to do. other dog owners (whom she knows) also try to help me correct her behavior. she even chooses to eat poop in the middle of a great chase or wrestling match. i'm afraid that she thinks eating poop her her job...

what i really find most disheartening is the fact that other owners don't clean up after their dogs - many intentionally (i've had people say, "i'll get it next time). at one point i would do a sweep of the park as soon as i got there, some days picking up 10# of poop or more!

anyway, i'm sorry i don't have an answer, just thought i'd let you know you're not alone.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hmmm, it is possible that he is eating it because of stress (separation anxiety) or boredom.

Here are some ways to deal with separation anxiety-

ines 4 years ago

my dog eats poop but i'm afraid something will happen to him he started to do that after we took him to the doctors to get a shot he only 4 months and since that he started to eat it i suppose it because he home alone all day until 3 but what should i do ?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Lorie,

Yeah it sounds like it could be a nutritional thing. Does she still try to eat poop when she is on the bland boiled chicken diet?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Thanks for sharing your Shiba's story with us Scott. Glad to hear that things are improving.

Lorie 4 years ago

MI just took away a piece of poop from my 6 year old Siberian Husky, and she went right over and got another one. It was from our newest adoptee, a 2 yr. old female.

Kaylee (the 6 yr. old), has an extremely delicate system and has been on ID kibble for a year or so. We tried to put her on a grain free diet (Evo) with the other two, (Dakota age 8, and Tesla the 2 yr. old), and her system went berserk. She threw up and had diarrhea, even after the 10 days of introducing it into her ID food. We took her to the vet and they prescribed Metronidazole and a stool sample check, which was clear of parasites. She is now on boiled chicken and white rice, with a little bit of ID kibble mixed in, twice daily. Her stools have firmed up a little, not completely, but better than before. She seems starved all the time and I'm wondering if she smells the food in the other dog's stool.

My other two huskies (ages 8 and 2) are doing well on the Evo grain free kibble. None of the dogs has ever been interested in poop before, and this was the first time I'd ever seen one of them eat it.

Scott 4 years ago

I also have a Shiba, and she has been a poo eater since we got her. I have a feeling it may be behaviour she learnt from her mother in the kennel but I have no doubt she thinks it is a very tasty treat indeed. She is a great dog, but there is nothing worse that her breath after she has had a little snack :( We have started to feed her chopped pineapple with her meal, which I don't think she likes very much, but I have to say i think it is working in general. I have just caught her in the act now, which is why I am again searching these type of pages, but I will persist with the pineapple because it has certainly curbed the problem.

Camryn 4 years ago

We have tried everything we have tried making the poop taste bad, trying to keep the back yard clean, we feed her twice a day very healthy food, and we exercise her a lot, but she still does it and it's GROSS

KC 4 years ago

KC is a 1 year old akita chow mix and she constantly eats the poop of my 7 year old rottwieler I have tried almost everything to get her to stop. I wish I could get her to stop. What would be the reason in this case?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

I briefly considered using shock collars but decided against it for these reasons-

Ryan 4 years ago

My dog loves to eat poop at the dog park and he knows he's not supposed to eat them but he's mischievous. When he's on leash, he doesn't eat the poop. If he tries to, I use the leave-it command successfully. I am seriously considering getting a remote shock collar just for dog parks. I don't know what else to do...

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Carlos,

Unfortunately, I do not speak Spanish.

I have an account on Facebook, but I don't visit Facebook very often. Mostly, I just drop by to look at dog pictures that my friends have shared.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Sorry to hear that your dog was stolen Carlos. That is an awful thing to have happened, and I hope they catch the thief soon.

carlos 4 years ago

my dog is not lost it is stoden

Carlos 4 years ago

Name of dog bolillo but i do not know How old is he

cmahoney 4 years ago

I have a 4 1/2 year old lab. He started eating (and rolling in) poop at the dog park about a year ago. He does not eat his own. Beyond the disgusting behavior he then comes home and throws up or has diarrhea all over the carpet. He gets a lot of exercise, has a balanced diet and eats prior to going to the park. He does not eat his own. He totally ignores the "leave it" command. I am at my wits end...

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Carlos,

I am sorry you lost your puppy. What is his name? How old is he? Is he micro-chipped?

Hopefully, one of your neighbors will see him and bring him home.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Patti,

When my dogs attempt to eat poop during walks, I usually use the Leave-It command. If they ignore the command and continue to try to eat the poop, then I quickly end the walk and march them home.

This teaches them that eat poop = end of fun walk, while Leave-It = gets rewarded with attention and high priority treats.

patti 4 years ago

My dog recently started eating cat poop and also some others animals poop like deers racoon etc any idea how to stop him he is one year old bearded collie mix, and very sweet. HELP!!!!

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

"He prefers to stay underneath my bed"

Hmmm, could he be eating poop out of stress or separation anxiety?

If so, then helping him cope with stress when he is away from you could lessen the behavior.

It sounds like he is very used to doing it, so breaking the habit may take a fair amount of effort and supervision.

I would be most concerned that this constant regurgitation may impact his health. Perhaps have a chat with the vet and see what they say.

Also consider taking him to see a professional trainer who can perhaps identify whether the poop eating behavior is a result of stress or something else.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Becky,

"He is very submissive and easy to train"

That is great!

What has helped me with my own dogs is to teach them the Leave-It command.

When they "Leave-It" and don't eat poop they get rewarded really well with very good treats and play, but when they do eat the stuff, there is an undesirable consequence. Usually, I end the fun walk or they lose their backyard privileges.

It this way, they learn that they get more good stuff if they leave poop alone.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

"Is he trying to be neat and help me clean up?"

It is difficult to say for sure, but it could be a dietary thing. Do you feed each dog different food? It could be that there is something in the other food that he really wants.

Several things that may help-

1. Call the dog to us.

2. If the dog does not have good recall, then we can put him on a long line so that we have quick control.

3. Use sound aversion to distract/startle him so that we can get there and prevent him from eating the stuff.

We want to reward the dog if he comes to us and/or moves away from the poop. If he keeps trying to get at the poop even after we have told him not to, then there should be a consequence, e.g. losing his backyard privileges for a time.

Raquel 4 years ago

My dog has been eating his own feces since I got him about 5yrs ago. However, he'd only do it while in my mother's backyard (he'd eat the feces of her 2 dogs). But now, he's eating the feces in his kennel while I'm not home. Honestly, if he just ate his own feces, it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

But, he eats the feces and then, inevitably, throws it back up. And when it comes back out a second time, it is NOT the same. It's a complete mess and gets everywhere. He prefers to stay underneath my bed, so of course the majority of his episodes happen there. It soaks into the carpet and the stain is impossible to get out. What else should I be doing? I can't be at home with him all the time. I work and even come home on lunch break to take him out to go to the bathroom.

Becky 4 years ago

I am so very frustrated with our male 4 month old Boston Terrier puppy. He eats his and his sisters poop. He gets plenty of attention as I am at home with him all day. He is on a regular feeding schedule of about 2/3 cup of kibble at 8am and 5pm. He gets plenty of treats and even a little bit of people food. He is always excited about food. He is very submissive and easy to train, but ever since he came home with us at 7weeks, he has had this issue. It's usually inside the house and not piles in the yard-unless it's the neighbor's dog piles which every now and then he runs over and grabs a snack. I'm at the end of my rope. This is the most disgusting thing to witness and clean up after.

ihavewebfeet 4 years ago

My dog has no interest in his poop, but is bound and determined to get to our other dog's poop ass soon as it leaves her. We have a fenced in area, and I pick up all poop as soon as it happens (and when I can get to hers before he does).

They are on a fixed eating schedule (no free-feeding). He has allergies we are trying to deal with, so he is not on a regular poop cycle, so we can't predict when he is going to do it. She is older and is also not poop-predictable.

Is he trying to be neat and help me clean up?

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Jodi,

"I think he does it to hide that he did it or because he doesn't want to lay in it."

Yeah I think you are right. Probably more because he doesn't want to lay in it.

I would consider using potty pads, especially during bad weather. The cold and rain may cause joint discomfort, which may be why he does not want to go out.

One thing that may help is to try training him to go on potty pads when you are around to supervise. Then if he tries to eat the poop on the pads, we can non-mark (No or Ack-ack), and get him to do something else. I would reward well when he decides not to eat the stuff, and moves away from the poop.

Hopefully this will also help him stay on schedule even during bad weather.

Let us know how it goes. Big hugs to your Doxie.

Jodi 5 years ago

My Doxie had IVDD surgery last October. During his recovery he had little control his happened when it happened and sometimes when he was alone in his crate. I started to find evidence that he was eating it from little stains on is blankets. Now a year later he still seems to not have 'full' control and we go through spans of time that he isn't going on his schedule and thus doing it when I'm not home or during the night. He doesn't always eat it. Or maybe he only eats some of it because I do sometimes find it in his crate or his bed. Like I said he is on a schedule but sometimes he gets off schedule (he doesn't like the if it is raining he won't go then this sets off a chain of days where he is off schedule.) Any suggestions. He eats a good food a mix of Wellness Core and Lotus chicken. I think he does it to hide that he did it or because he doesn't want to lay in it. any advice. I like the idea of not allowing him to see me cleaning it. The tough part it catching him before he eats it because more often than not I'm not home.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

That is a very good question.

For my dogs it worked well but timing is very important. I only 'correct' them when I *catch them in the act* of poop eating. Then I non-mark (No or Ack-ack) and march them home briskly and immediately. That way, the consequence is right after the act.

I only had to do this twice with Sibe puppy Lara and now she is good about not eating the stuff during walks.

It is very much like potty training, 'corrections' only work if we are there while the dog is performing the behavior.

ValP 5 years ago


'3. Letting them know that eating poop is an undesirable behavior by taking away one of their privileges, e.g. they may lose walk or backyard privileges temporarily.'

Would a dog know that this 'privilege' removal was as a result of what it had done?

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

"My doxie/poddle mix only eats our cat's poop. What can I do to stop that?"

There are several possibilities -

1. Put the litter box some place that the dog can't get to.

2. Train the dog not to go near the litter box. When the dog goes near the litter box, non-mark him (No or Ack-ack) and give him something else to do. If he keeps going back, put him in a short timeout.

3. Some people use a citronella collar for training. I.e. every time the dog tries to eat pop, non-mark him and spray.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

"We have a 13 year old Dal that has started cleaning up his own poop."

Hmmm, did he just start this? Was he previously house-trained? If so, did anything change in his environment or in his schedule? Were there any food changes?

If there were no changes, and he just started pooping in the house, I would consider giving the vet a call just to see if it could be something physical.

Evelyn 5 years ago

My doxie/poddle mix only eats our cat's poop. What can I do to stop that?

hobbes812 5 years ago


We have a 13 year old Dal that has started cleaning up his own poop. He'll poop on his bed and then eat it as trying to hide the evidence. We've had trouble with him not wanting to go outside, I'm trying to re-train him but until this time how do I get him to stop. Tonight I was outside with him for about 30 minutes and left him out there for another 30. He was in the house for about 20 and you could smell it coming from the other room. When I walked back into the room, the poop was gone but the mark was still there. I'm about to pull my hair out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Nisha,

In terms of the dog's health, eating poop from other dogs or animals that have worms or parasites may cause a dog to get sick. However, I think that eating his own poop should not cause any serious issues. It may cause some digestive unhappiness or diarrhea. I would consult with your vet to be sure.

With my dogs, I don't really like them eating poop and then coming in the house and licking my hands or the furniture.

The things that helped most to stop poop eating with them -

1. Close supervision during the training period.

2. Cleaning up the stuff to reduce temptation.

3. Letting them know that eating poop is an undesirable behavior by taking away one of their privileges, e.g. they may lose walk or backyard privileges temporarily. Some people use a citronella collar.

If they keep getting a negative outcome when they eat poop, they will most likely stop eating the stuff.

Good luck!

Nisha 5 years ago

I got my Dachshund when he was 4 years old from a shelter. It has now been 3 years and he is still eating his own poop when we are gone. He doesn't eat other dogs poop at all, only his own. It started as a every now and then, but now it has turned into an everyday thing. I have tried the pumpkin pulp in hopes of breaking this habit, but nothing seems to work. It is so frustrating! Is it bad for dogs to eat their own poop ALL the time?

Robin 5 years ago

Thanks, I will let you know how it goes.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Melody,

In terms of poop eating, I have found that with my own dogs prevention is key. It is best to stop them before they put the stuff in their mouth.

During the puppy and potty training stage, I supervise them very closely. When they need to poop I take them outside on a lead and let them do their business. Then I just bag it up right there.

During walks though, there will always be poop about from other dogs or wild animals. If my dogs eat poop, I non-mark them (No or Ack-Ack) to let them know that this is not a desirable behavior.

Then I give them the "Drop" command (which I have trained them on previously). If they drop the poop, they get a lot of praise and rewards. They also get to continue with their walk.

If they don't, I usually go in their mouth and remove the stuff. Then we go home and they no longer get to roam about.

To dogs, eating poop is not something bad, so we need to teach them that it is not a desirable behavior to us.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Marc,

There are a variety of things that *can* make poop taste bad, but it only works on some dogs. Some dogs simply don't mind the taste and keep eating the stuff.

1. Stool eating deterrents. These supplements can be bought and added to the dog's food to deter dogs from eating their own stool.

2. Some people suggest adding pumpkin.

3. Some people suggest adding pineapple.

4. Some people suggest adding meat tenderizer.

** I would definitely consult a vet before adding anything to my dog's diet. Some of these ingredients may cause digestive issues in a dog and result in diarrhea. Also ask the vet how much to add. Too much could be bad for the dog.

With my own dogs, it was safer and more effective to just train them not to eat poop. In this way, it works not just for their own poop, but also for outside poop that we see during walks.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Robin,

"does the medicine work on making the poop taste bad ? or does it have nutrients that the dog needs to stop him from craving the poop?"

It depends on what medicine you are using. Some of them try to do both, some just do one or the other.

For a dog with a sensitive stomach I would be most concerned about the supplement causing new allergy issues. It may be best to consult with the vet first before adding anything new to his diet. Stool eating deterrent may only work on some dogs.

With my own dogs, training them not to eat poop worked out best. Once they learned that eating poop means they get their freedoms revoked, they not only stopped eating their own poop but also the cat and wild animal poop that we sometimes see during walks.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

Melody 5 years ago

My Papillon will poop on a puppy pad and carry it into the dining room. Any suggestions?

Marc 5 years ago

My dog is 3 yes old , he is a collie cross jack russel and he has a very good diet and is well socialized every day every time I turn around he has a turd in his mouth how do u make a turd taste bad to a dog ?????

Robin 5 years ago

I meant he could be eating the other dogs poop, and does the medicine work on making the poop taste bad ? or does it have nutrients that the dog needs to stop him from craving the poop? Thanks for responding

Robin 5 years ago

Sorry, I meant to say he could be eating the other dogs food.

I do feed them seperatly, he is on a LID, so I prob. do have to treat them all with an anti poop eating supplant, what do you think? Thanks so much..

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

"I'm wondering if his allergies could be getting worse because he may be eating the other dogs food as well"

That could be one of the reasons. My puppy was also having allergy issues so I fed her separately on a bland diet and then removed all food toys and food after each dog is done. I also supervise them during meal-times to make sure there is no food stealing.

"when giving supplements to stop this behavior, should I be giving it to the other " normal " dogs too?"

Does your dog just eat his own poop or does he eat the other dog's poop as well?

Robin 5 years ago

My dog is seven years old and has eaten his poop since he was a puppy, he also has very bad allergies and is on a limited ingredient diet, I have to other dogs that eat a regular diet of good quality food I'm wondering if his allergies could be getting worse because he may be eating the other dogs food as well, when giving supplements to stop this behavior, should I be giving it to the other " normal " dogs too?

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Lin,

Where does your dog sleep at night? Does she sleep in a crate? or is she free in the house?

Also, as you have observed, correcting a dog after the fact (after she has already eaten poop) does not help because she will not understand what she is being scolded for.

Just like potty training, we want to be there while our dog is doing it, non-mark the behavior (ack-ack), and then stop her from doing it by bringing her away from the poop.

Every time my dog goes near her own poop, I non-mark her (Ack-ack) and bring her away before she can eat it. Sometimes, when I non-mark her, she moves away on her own. If she does this, I make sure to reward her for that really good behavior.

"Not sure why she got so much poo as well, it okay for dogs to poo 3-4 times a day?"

My puppy poops about 3-4 times in a day. My adult dogs poop once or twice. Puppies eat a lot more so they also poop more.

In general, frequency of poop depends on the dog, what we feed her (high fiber diets or indigestible ingredients will generally result in more poop), and how much we feed her.

Is your dog's poop solid and well-formed?

Lin 5 years ago

Hi, my dog is 2 yrs old and is always eating her poop at night when we are all in bed. She do her business on pee tray and in the day n after dinner time she wont eat the poop, only during midnight then she eats. Not sure why she got so much poo as well, it okay for dogs to poo 3-4 times a day?

I feed her twice a day on Wellness dry kibbles for 2months alr which I suppose it's good but the poop eating habit is still there so I'm really at a lost what to do! Scolded her for eating so many times but she still doesn't get it. Help me out! I'm afraid it's bad for her health.

dona 5 years ago

My friend feeds her dog human food all the time and her dog eats poop all the time. Maybe the poop tastes like all the mc donalds she feeds it.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Danielle,

It can be difficult to tell why a dog is eating poop especially since I do not know her temperament and routine.

It could be that she started eating poop as a puppy out of curiosity, and then just continued from there.

It could also be out of boredom - in which case she may also be playing with her poop in addition to eating it.

Also, eating poop is natural dog behavior.

"Eating garbage and human feces is thought to be one function of dogs during their early domestication, some 12,000 to 15,000 years ago."

As a result, stopping this behavior may require some amount of supervision as well as training.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Summer,

You could try looking at the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS).

Another possibility is to look up the dog daycare places around you.

Danielle 5 years ago

Hi .I have a6 year old rottweiler on a premuim vet diet who eats her own and the other dogs poo. It is annoying because I have a baby and she licking us when she is around us. It is frustrating to say the least. Is it boredom do u think. Otherwise she is a happy dog with a huge apetite and has had this since a pup. Thanks :0

summer 5 years ago

please answer my last question, where can I find any dogsitters who are very nice to puppies? I know this isn't about poop but I'm just a little bit curious if my family goes on vacation.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Summer,

It is no bother at all. :)

In general, I don't feed my dogs any "people food". This is because "people food" tend to be very rich and may contain ingredients that are poisonous to dogs such a onions or raisins.

Here is a list of some of the foods that may be dangerous to dogs -

In general, it is best to feed dogs dry food (kibble) or wet food that is already specially prepared for them.

summer 5 years ago

hi summer back, is my puppy allowed to eat eggs or fried rice ?? don't mean to bother u. please answer :-)

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Summer,

Yeah, puppies are curious and they may eat poop just out of curiosity.

They may also see other members of their pack cleaning up their poop, and mimic that behavior. From their point of view, they are helping out with cleaning up the den. :)

As far as I know eating their own poop will not cause serious illness. It may cause some digestive issues.

However, eating outside poop may cause sickness if the poop is from an animal that is infected with worms, parvo, giardia, etc.

summer 5 years ago

I recently bought a puppy that is now 11 weeks old. My brother was taking care of him when he went to the bathroom and left the dog alone in the living room. He pooped while my brother was in the bathroom. When my brother came out he grabbed a little bag in the kitchen. when he came back the poop was gone. Is it normal to eat his poop? Will he become sick? please reply

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Pam,

I would definitely consult with the vet since you are preparing a special diet under his guidance. Each dog is a bit different when it comes to dietary conditions, so he may need to tweak things a bit.

Here are some of the things that I do with my pup when I take her to puppy playgroups. It is not exactly the same situation, but it may have some similarities -

1. I first take her into the play area on lead. This allows me to check and make sure there are no poop piles around.

2. Then I take her off lead and let her roam and play.

3. As soon as I notice another puppy pooping, I call my pup to me and put her lead back on. I don't let her go again until the poop is cleaned up.

shibashake profile image

shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Martina,

What dry food is your pup on? If you are getting the food under your vet's direction, then I would definitely discuss the poop issue with him. If it is something that is food related, he may have dealt with it before with other clients.

One thing that I do with my Sibe pup that seems to help is that I always follow her out when I think she needs to poop.

She always poops in the morning after she wakes up, and then she poops again after her breakfast, and then again in the evening. I have her on a very regular schedule so her poop schedule is also regular.

Once she is done with pooping, I call her to me right away. In this way I can reward her for pooping outside. At the same time, I get her away from her poop. Then I toss some kibble for her and while she is working on that, I go over and clean up her poop.

Another possibility is to bring puppy out on a leash and do some leash training exercises with puppy until she poops. In this way, I have total control and can quickly non-mark and stop puppy from eating her own poop. Then I can give her an alternate command and reward her with an interactive food toy. While she is busy with that, I can clean up her poop.

Pam 5 years ago

Hi. My 9mth old Labrador has just started eating fresh poops of my friends 2 labradors when we visit. They are 2 & 4 years old and she adores them. She has a beef allergy and is currently eating a kangaroo vegetable mix prepared at home under guidance from our vet. Any ideas?

martina burrowes 5 years ago

please help little pup has started to eat her poop.i know its not from bordom.she is always playing.she is also house trained.she is on dry food which we get from the vet.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Laura,

One way in which dogs learn is by observing what the adults in their pack do. If your Pit has seen you cleaning up poop, he may try to clean up after himself. He is only trying to help out with the chores. :)

As I said to Jennifer above, what has worked well for me in this case is to train my dogs to only go outside. I reward them very well when they go outside. When they try to go inside, I non-mark them, and calmly take them outside to finish their business.

In this way they learn that poop outside = affection and fun games; poop inside = not desirable.

Here are more of my potty training experiences -

shibashake profile image

shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Jennifer,

In terms of the poop in the house he may be trying to clean up after himself.

What has worked well for me in terms of this type of poop eating is to train the dog to only go outside.

I just got a Siberian Husky puppy not too long ago and I trained her to go outside by rewarding her well with treats, affection and play when she did her business outside. Very soon, she was very happy to only go outside.

laura 5 years ago

i have a 1 year old pit and he always poops in the corner of our living room but lately he hasent and then we realized he was eating it when we caught him a couple times . this is always when we are home though so i dont understand

any thoughts ?

and is this going to hurt him in the long run?

Jennifer 5 years ago

I have a 1yr old Chinese Crested he just started eating poop too. He will eat his & his brothers poop's. He wont eat the poop in the yard,it the poop's that happen in the house. I will smell someone did a "pile" I'll quicky go look & he is always running away licking his lips. I hear using pineapple? I have been giving them 2 nibbles a day,Maybe not enough? I was triing to us the natural way before going to Vet. What's your thoughts?

Nica 5 years ago

My puppy eats hers whenever I'm drawing and ignoring her :( i'm trying to teach her to get my attention.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Kat,

One thing that worked well for my Sibe is to keep her on-leash while she is out doing her business in the backyard. In this way, I can quickly stop her from turning around and eating anything. In the beginning, I only let her off-leash after she has done her business.

Also, my Sibe pup is hungry all the time. After I increased the number of feedings, she was a bit better in terms of not eating random stuff she sees on the ground. My breeder recommended at least 3 feedings for a puppy.

I also use interactive toys and frozen Kongs for all her feedings so she has fun and mental exercise while working for her food.

My Sibe puppy also had a really sensitive stomach and it took her a pretty long time to get used to her kibble. She was good on her old kibble (from breeder), probably because her mom had been eating the same thing. After I changed her kibble, her poop became wet for a while.

Changing to a bland diet helped us get puppy back to a better poop state, and we were able to identify that it was the wet food (used in frozen Kongs) that was causing her the most problems. After we changed that, things got better.

Kat 5 years ago

My 4month puppy didn't use to eat her poop. But the past 4-5 days, she's started to take interest with her own feces.

She's crate trained, eats twice a day at regular hours, gets to run around and play thrice a day and has an area for doing her business. Also, I feed her acana for puppies.

Mostly, I watch her as she's playing and doing her business. I've successfully stopped her a couple of times. But she's just too quick to turn around and starting eating.

Furthermore since she's started eating it, her poop times started to become irregular and wet the more she eats them. Now its almost coming out too watery! I dont know what to do?!

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

I also really like the Dog Food Project site -

But they mostly focus on dry food and wet food nutrition.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Nancy,

I don't do home-cooked meals for my dogs so I am not sure how much help I can be. From what I have read, the hardest part about preparing home-cooked meals is ensuring that it provides our dogs with the balanced nutrition that they need.

This article has some good information about preparing home cooked meals for pets.

They recommend the PetDiets site -

Good luck. Hope this helps.

nancy 5 years ago

my dog is 9 years old and just recently started eating her pooh.bordem could be part of the probleme.i home cook her food.i put chicken hearts,carottes,peas,corn,greenbeans,potatoes and i missing something important,when i run out of fresh food i give ceasar and she does not eat her pooh,what to do what to do

Jeanette 5 years ago

I don't really know why my dog eats feces but I have tried everything but a medicean what is a good medicean??

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Yeah, both my dogs used to enjoy goat poop as well. As you say, it is difficult to keep up with goat poop because it is small and pretty much everywhere. Luckily, now that they are older, they are not very interested in eating it anymore.

As far as I know, they never got sick from eating it, but that is probably also dependent on the health of the goats.

keola 5 years ago

My 5 month old brit mix eats the poop of the bigger dogs and the goats. I worry for her health. I keep the god poop cleaned up daily but the goat poop is to hard to keep up with. Will the goat poop make her sick?

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Susan,

Yeah sometimes puppies do that because they see their mom doing it. She probably sees the kennel as her den so she is cleaning up her den, just like her mom used to do.

Some things that may help -

1. Consider using a crate (with a divider if the crate is too large) instead of a larger enclosure. Dogs don't like pooping where they sleep so if she doesn't have a poop place, she will probably wake you up when she needs to poop rather than try to clean it up herself.

2. The fixed eating schedule really helps with my puppy. I also make sure to stop feeding her kibble after about 5pm. At night I use boiled chicken.

3. I try to make sure that puppy poops once in the evening. When she does that, she usually sleeps through the night. I feed her more, early on in the day, and cut down on food later in the day. I also give her a very rigorous play session in the evening, which is great for getting things moving.

4. Another possibility is to place a noise-sensitive pressure pad on her poop place (also called scat pad). When she tries to go, she will at the very least wake you up. You can non-mark her and take her out. This is an aversive technique though, so it is important to follow up by rewarding her well for pooping outside.

Definitely do not do (4) if puppy is very fearful of loud noises, as that may stress her out even more and cause her to poop.

claire 5 years ago

i would agree that they eat poop bc of lack of nutrition. my little doxie started to eat his own poop when i forgot to buy another bottle of vitamins for him and missed giving vitamins for a week.

Susan 5 years ago

Our 16 week old lab puppy doesn't eat poop any time other than when she is in her kennel at night sleeping. I wake in the mornings and find her poop place looking all cleaned up. I caught her doing it a couple times when I woke to see what she might be up to. She sleeps in her kennel beside our bed, seems to like being there. She plays until we are ready to sleep and only then goes into her "bedroom" (kennel) that has a clean towel inside it to nestle in upon. She goes in willingly and gets a little treat. No crying. I would love to stop her from eating her poop. And again, it's only when she poops in her kennel, almost every night. She is house trained and goes outside to poop all other times and doesn't eat it.

duncan 5 years ago

i think our dog eats poop out of boredom, and bc of a nonbalanced diet. we went on vacation and the sitter began giving him people food, i feel that could be part of the issue. he is crate trained, so he is in his crate most of the day when we are at work.

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stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

We used to have a little dog that always ate poop. I think it must have been because he was nervous. We were able to cut down the habit, but never fully broke him of it.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

In general, good kibble or wet food brands (e.g. Innova, Orijen, Wellness) provide a balanced set of ingredients and vitamins for our dogs.

Otherwise, it is best to consult our vet on how enhance our dog's existing diet.

tina 5 years ago

you say poop eating could be a difficiency in vitamin B1 but you dont say what to give to get this B1 into the dog

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