Why do dogs eat poo?

I’ve avoided this subject as a blog for long enough – it’s time to address it.  Disgusting though the thought/sight of it may be to us, the fact of the matter is that some dogs eat poo.  I am gagging as I type!  But there are reasons for it.

  1. The poo is partially digested food, so is a meal to them.
  2. They are trying to “clean up” after themselves, as they’ve seen their mother do.
  3. They don’t want to draw attention to where they’ve been – so want to remove the scent.

What to do if your dog eats poo:

1. Address the diet

If it’s eating its own poo, then it might be worth reassessing your dog’s diet.  Are you feeding a brand that has a lot of additives in it, which are preserving the food throughout your dog’s digestive system, so when it comes out the other end, it’s time for seconds?

food aggression in dogs
Dogs eating poo: diet

If you aren’t sure, check the label, and consider moving to something much more natural.

You can also trying putting courgette or pineapple in your dogs bowl with their meal, as in some cases this will deter them from eating their poo.  It’s not a fail safe though, some dogs eat poo even if it contains courgette/pineapple remains.

2. Behaviour

Don’t tell your dog off for eating poo. If dogs eat poo and get attention, that is a reward, so they will continue to eat poo!  If you see your dog looking like they might be about to eat it, then call them to you with a reward for coming away from the poo instead.  If you are at home – praise, fuss and reward them and bring them inside so that you can then remove the offending item.

If you are on the walk – call them over, praise, fuss, treat, put them on the lead for a little while, then let them back off again later.

You don’t need to treat them forever, just to get them out of the habit and responding to you instead.

3. If all else fails

If your dogs eat poo regardless of what you are asking them to do, then they aren’t accepting your decisions and are going along with their own thoughts instead.  This means that your dog is not accepting you as the leader, and I would guess that you may have a couple of other problems as well.  This all needs to be addressed holistically and I would recommend that you read “The Dog Listener” by Jan Fennell to help you to understand and help your dog to relinquish their leadership role.  If you want dog training help 1-2-1 then get in touch!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.