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How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop

Stool eating, also known as coprophagia or coprophagy, is something that none of us want to think about. It's disgusting and frustrating when you see your dog eating poop. Unfortunately, many dogs eat poop at some point. In fact, it's estimated that 24% of dogs have been observed eating feces at least once. Why do dogs eat poop? And how can pet owners stop stool eating in dogs? Thomas Labs® is here to help answer your questions!

Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop?

To stop your dog from eating poop, it's important to know what causes stool eating and how to discourage the habit. Stool eating can be caused by a number of different factors, including natural instinct, behavioral problems, stress, digestive/nutritional issues, or health conditions.

Natural Instinct

Dogs may have started eating poop because of natural instinct. In fact, stool eating is quite normal for mother dogs and their puppies. Momma dogs will eat their puppies’ poop to keep the area clean and to protect her puppies from predators. This is all a part of natural instinct. Because of natural behavior and curiosity, puppies will also start eating their own poop. Puppies are eager to explore the world around them and put everything in their mouths. 

Behavior and Stress

Dogs may eat poop if they are anxious, bored, or stressed. Certain methods of housetraining can cause anxiety and prompt a dog to eat its own stool. If a dog is punished too harshly when he has an accident in the house, he may eat the stool to hide the evidence. It’s important not to punish or scare your pet for eating poop. This will only cause more stress and confusion. Sometimes dogs eat their poop simply to get attention from their owners. In this situation, it’s best not to overreact or the behavior will likely continue. 

Health Conditions

There are a few health conditions that can cause a dog to eat its own stool. These include diabetes, pancreatic or intestinal disorders, thyroid disease, Cushing’s disease, malnutrition from intestinal parasites, and more. It is best to rule out medical problems by having your dog examined by a veterinarian. 

Digestive Issues or Nutritional Deficiencies

Many people think that dogs eat stool because their food is difficult to digest or doesn't contain enough nutrients. It's true that enzyme deficiencies can cause stool eating. Many cheap pet foods contain ingredients that are difficult to digest, and a dog's body simply doesn't make enough digestive enzymes to complete the digestive process. Therefore, these ingredients often come out of the other end undigested. This causes your dog's poop to smell and taste similar to the food, and many dogs find this appealing and may even find that it tastes good.

If this is the issue, it may help to feed your pet a higher quality dog food that is easier to digest and contains more nutrients. Giving your dog a digestive enzyme supplement may also help. If your dog is eating the poop of another pet, then you would give the digestive enzyme to that pet, as well. 

Enzyme supplementation will help ensure that food is completely digested and all nutrients from the food are absorbed. In the end, the stool will contain fewer nutrients and ingredients, so it won’t taste and smell as appealing to your dog. 

How to Stop Coprophagia in Dogs

One way to stop your dog from eating poop is through training him and managing his environment. Keep your yard and your pet’s living area free of poop, and clean up poop immediately after your dog goes. Be sure to clean up other pets’ poop, as well, including the cat’s litter box if you have one. 

You can also use positive reinforcement by training your dog to come for a treat after he goes, so he won’t be tempted to eat the stool instead. Putting your pet on a leash and distracting him after he goes may help too.

Taste-aversion products or food additives can also be very helpful when it comes to stool eating. These products generally include a variety of ingredients that make the stool taste bad and smell disgusting to the dog.  Stop Stool Eating from Thomas Pet was formulated to do just this.

Stop Stool Eating

This stool-eating deterrent for dogs helps discourage the nasty habit of eating poop. This supplement contains a special blend of ingredients that adds a bitter taste to the stool and helps deter dogs from eating the feces. 

The addition of peppermint and parsley leaf helps keep breath smelling fresh, while yucca reduces the odor of the stool. These easy-to-administer tablets help make the poop less appealing, which deters dogs from eating their own waste. Plus, it helps support the digestive process and tract.

If your dog has a stool-eating habit, try to determine the cause of why your pet is eating poop and stop the habit as soon as possible. Remember to be patient! Breaking a habit takes time and dedication.


The materials and information provided on this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian if you have medical questions concerning diagnosis, treatment, therapy, or medical attention.

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