Eating Poop (Coprophagy)
Dogs often find cat, horse, and rabbit
feces enjoyable to eat and this is a normal behavior, although we find it discussing.
These examples are much easier to manage by simply removing the cat's litter
pan from reach, and distracting or verbally correcting the dog when they look
as though they are about to eat the feces they find.
It is a normal behavior for a female dog
to keep the whelping area clean by consuming the dropping of her pups the first
few weeks of their life.
Dogs that consume feces are subject to
ingesting parasites that can be contained in the feces they find. For this
reason alone, it is a good idea to prevent this behavior.
A common question by dog owners is why their
dog is eating its own feces or those of other dogs.
There are several possible reasons that
a dog might engage in this behavior.
They get attention, in much the same way as when they grab one of your shoes
- Raised in confinement
- Attention seeking behavior
- Confined with little human interaction
- Dietary imbalance
- It tastes good
It is most often thought of as an
attention seeking behavior, or out of boredom due to a lack of stimulation in
the dog's environment.
What to do
- Feed a high quality diet
- Feed twice a day
- Keep the area where the dog eliminates
clean of any feces
- Increase your social interactions with
- Enrich your dog's environment
As a last resort the feces can be laced
with cayenne pepper sauce to make eating feces unattractive. But this requires
someone to be present to lace any fresh feces, so it is best to determine why
your dog is eating and eliminate the need for them to do so.