How to Stop a Dog From Eating Poop: Home Remedies
Dogs and humans often have very different ideas about what’s OK to eat - including poop. While nearly 1 in 6 dogs frequently eats feces, most humans would agree it’s a pretty nasty habit and are desperate to find out how to stop a dog from eating poop.
You may need to do some investigating to discover why your dog is drawn to eating excrement, but there are things you can do (or add to their food) to help discourage this behavior. Let’s look at some of the reasons dogs eat poop and how to get them to stop.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
Poop-eating, known as coprophagia, has various causes that generally fall into two categories: behavioral reasons and medical reasons.
Behavioral Reasons Dogs Eat Poop
Coprophagia is often a behavioral issue. Your dog may be eating poop due to:
•“Cleaning up evidence” after pooping in the house
•Copying the behavior from another dog
•Mother dog cleaning up after her puppies
•Trying to keep their environment clean
Medical Reasons Dogs Eat Poop
Since medical issues are a common reason for dogs to eat poop, it’s a good idea to take your dog to see the vet, especially if eating feces is a new behavior. Potential medical reasons for coprophagia include:
•Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)
•Over- or under-feeding
•Nutritional deficiencies (more common in kibble-fed dogs)
Surprising Statistics on Which Dogs Eat Poop
One study found that 16% of dogs (nearly 1 in 6) had been seen eating stool at least 6 times. It also found that:
•92% of dogs prefer feces that’s less than 2 days old
•Intact male dogs were the least likely to eat stool
•Female dogs are the most likely to eat poop
•Dogs are most attracted to firm or even frozen feces (“poopsicles,” anybody?)
•Dogs who take food from tables also tend to eat excrement
•Coprophagia is more common in multi-dog households
•85% of poop-eaters only eat other dogs’ feces rather than their own
How to Stop a Dog from Eating Poop
The way to stop your dog from eating feces will depend on why they’re doing it. Since it’s often difficult to know why dogs do what they do, you may have to try several different methods before you see an end to the disgusting behavior.
That said, kibble-fed dogs digest less of their food and produce more waste than raw-fed dogs, making them more likely to eat poop. Pups who eat raw dog food get more nutrition from their food, poop less, and don’t usually want to seek out additional nutrients from poop, so switching your pooch’s diet may be the best way to stop their poop-eating behavior.
Feed Your Dog High-Quality Food
Since various types of nutritional deficiencies are some of the most common reasons for dogs to eat poop, feeding them the most nutritious, high-quality, and species-appropriate food you can may be the best way to stop your pup from trying to find additional nutrition in their feces.
Dogs were meant to eat raw meat. A Chihuahua’s digestive system is remarkably similar to a wolf’s. Kibble has only been around for about 100 years, and it was created for the convenience of humans—not to give dogs the best nutrition possible.
Take our quiz now to find out how much it would cost to get your pooch started on easy-to-feed, delicious, and nutritious We Feed Raw.
Walk Your Dog on a Leash
By walking your dog on a leash, you can have more control over where they walk and keep them away from poop and other things you don’t want them to eat.
Immediately Pick Up After Your Dog
On or off the leash, picking up your dog’s feces right away prevents them from eating it and helps keep the area more sanitary for everybody. Simply scooping the yard once a week is like leaving a poop buffet outside for your dog to snack from.
Teach Your Dog to “Leave it”
After “sit” and “stay,” “leave it” is one of the most useful commands you can give your dog. Beyond poop, you never know what you might come across that you don’t want your dog to pick up or try to eat.
Try Adding One or More of These to Your Dog’s Diet
You may be able to add things to your dog’s food to help “cure them” of their desire to eat poop, one way or another.
•Canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix) has tons of fiber and other nutrients which will help your pup feel full longer and may treat certain minor nutritional deficiencies.
•Apple cider vinegar (1 teaspoon per 25 pounds of your dog’s weight, given with food) has the perfect amount of acidity to help your dog digest their meal while also adding a smell to their waste that may make your dog less likely to eat it.
•Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that naturally live in your dog’s gut. If your dog is instinctively eating poop to ingest more helpful bacteria, probiotics (available in liquid, powder, capsule, and other forms) may help. There is also an enzymatically activated superfood that is nutrient-dense with naturally derived probiotics through fermentation called Gussy’s Gut.
•Digestive enzyme supplements, typically found in liquid or powder form, help your dog break down their food so they absorb more nutrients and don’t pass large pieces of undigested food into their feces.
•Steamed and finely chopped green vegetables have a high fiber content that helps your dog feel full while also mimicking the texture of fresh poop if that’s what they enjoy.
•Raw (NOT canned) pineapple tastes delicious and contains the enzyme bromelain, which helps break down protein and changes the taste of a dog’s poop. Just a few small chunks are enough - pineapple is high in sugar, so don’t overdo it.
•Coconut oil (¼ teaspoon per 15 pounds of body weight) can satiate a dog’s fat craving if that’s the reason they’re seeking out excrement as a food item.
•Citrus fruits are tasty and healthy for your dog to eat, and citric acid will make their poop taste unpleasant.
Switch to We Feed Raw
Did you know dogs fed a raw diet have smaller, firmer poop than dogs that eat other types of food? Since your dog is able to better digest all the ingredients in We Feed Raw, they may be less likely to crave nutrients they had been searching for in poop.
We Feed Raw provides many other benefits, as well. Your pup could experience fewer allergy symptoms, better weight control, healthier skin and coat, improved digestion, increased energy, whiter teeth, and much more.
At We Feed Raw, we formulate how much to feed your dog each day based on things like their age, breed, weight, activity level, and whether they’ve been fixed so you can provide your pup with the perfect portions to see them thrive.