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How to Stop a Dog from Eating Poop: Home Remedies

Eating poop, also called coprophagia, is a surprisingly common behavior in canines. One in four dogs has done it at least once. It can involve eating their own feces or the feces of other dogs. Eating other animals’ feces can be dangerous as it can expose your dog to germs and diseases. Eating their own poop is relatively harmless, but it can leave pet owners feeling disgusted, especially if the dog moves in to lick their face soon after eating poop!

Interestingly, dogs rarely eat diarrhea (liquid or poorly formed stool) and are attracted mainly to formed or hard stool. Nine out of ten dogs will eat fresh poop that is no older than 1-2 days old. Eating poop from other dogs is far more common than eating their own poop. Female dogs are more likely to eat poop than males.

If you have felt uneasy or outright repulsed at the sight of your dog eating poop, read on. We’ll tell why it’s happening and what you can do about it.

Why is my dog eating poop?

There could be a handful of different reasons that are causing your dog to eat poop.


Some veterinarians say eating poop is an inherent instinct that is in a dog’s DNA. Dogs in the wild sometimes eat another animal’s poop to mark their territory. They may their own poop to prevent potential predators from locating them. It may even be a survival behavior where wild dogs eat their feces in times of limited food supply to fend off starvation. In domesticated dogs though, eating poop is a bad habit that needs to be discouraged.

Nutritional deficiencies and health problems

The other theory is that your dog may be eating poop because there may be an imbalance in the types of foods he or she is being fed. However, this is debatable. Some people believe that dogs eat poop simply because they think it’s a tasty snack or delicacy.

Your dog may have digestive issues that leaves some foods undigested. If this is the case, your dog may be eating poop because they mistake the stool for food. Other health problems that can cause this behavior include parasites, diabetes, thyroid disease, and drug side effects that cause an increased appetite.

Behavioral problems

Thirdly, there could be behavioral reasons for your dog eating poop. Pets that are confined to small spaces or left unattended for long periods of time are more likely to eat poop. If you freaked out the first time you found your dog eating poop, she may be doing it again and again to get your attention. Dogs who have the habit of stealing food off tables are more likely to be poop eaters.

Another behavior issue could be copycat behavior, where puppies pick up the habit from their mother. Studies have also found that stool eating behaviors are more common in multi-dog households.

Genetic predisposition

Lastly, there may be a genetic component to it. Dogs whose parents were poop eaters are more likely to do so themselves.

What is a natural remedy to stop dogs from eating poop?

Here are some inexpensive, easily available, and convenient home remedies if your dog is eating poop.


The first thing you should do if your dog has developed the bad habit of eating feces is to step up your hygiene game. Don’t leave stool lying around in the yard. Scoop the poop so that your dog doesn’t get the chance to eat it.

Keep your dog’s living area clean. If your dog is pooping in the house, she probably needs additional training and behavior modification.

While out on walks, give your dog a treat as soon as she has pooped. This will distract her from eating poop and learn to pay attention to you for a sweet treat instead of going for the poop.


Dogs that are confined or bored are more likely to eat poop. Keep your dog mentally stimulated to prevent coprophagia related to boredom. This is especially true for dogs that are left alone for long hours while the owners are away at work.

Meat tenderizer

One of the most common tricks employed by pet owners who are dealing with a poop-eating dog is to add meat tenderizer to the dog’s food. This is a type of taste aversion technique that makes the poop unappealing and unpalatable to the dog. Meat tenderizers contain enzymes that don’t alter the taste of dog food but change the taste of the stool.

Always check with your veterinarian before using food additives or trying home remedies for a dog eating poop. Make sure the meat tenderizer doesn’t contain garlic powder (some human foods can be harmful to dogs). Also, start by using a small amount (a light sprinkle) and checking for any side effects.

Pineapple snacks

Pineapple contains substances that make dog poop acidic and unappetizing. Try giving your dog pineapple snacks or treats to see if deters her from eating poop.


Pumpkin tastes great in dog food and is very healthy for your pooch, but it gives a disgusting taste to dog poop. Some pet owners find that adding a tablespoon or two of pumpkin puree to dog food does the trick and prevents their dog from eating feces.

OTC products

There are some over-the-counter products such as Deter, Forbid, Coprevent, and Potty Mouth that can make your dog’s poop taste really bad and prevent her from eating her own feces.

What vitamin can I give my dog to stop eating poop?

Many people believe that dogs eat poop because they lack nutrients in their diet. If you suspect this is the case, you can try a dog multivitamin or supplement to fill any dietary gaps. Also, talk to your veterinarian about the different types of dog foods and which one might be best for your dog’s breed, size, and nutritional status.


We haven’t run a poll, but a dog eating poop has got to be one of the most disgusting canine habits that pet owners have to deal with. It has to be right up there with dogs rolling in poop, dogs eating cat poop, and dogs rolling in dead animals.

Finding out the cause of the poop eating behavior in your dog is the first step to finding a solution to this gross habit. Once you know the cause, address it and use these home remedies to stop your dog eating poop.

15 February, 2024