5 Steps to Take if Your Dog is Eating its Own Poop

Dogs aren't that discerning about what they eat, and many of them will actually ingest their own faeces if given the opportunity. This is naturally behaviour that owners will want to avoid, especially since it's not very healthy, but it is often hard to make them quit. If your dog seems intent on eating its own poop, try taking the 5 steps listed below.

1. Check Their Diet

Dogs often eat their own poop in order to receive essential nutrients that they aren't receiving from their regular diet, so make sure you check that you're feeding them the right food for their age, breed, and activity level. If necessary, you should feel free to contact your vet to get some professional advice.

2. Use Positive and Negative Reinforcement

Picking up immediately after your dog poops won't necessarily remove their desire to eat their next bowel movement. Instead, you need to be proactive in breaking the habit. Try dousing poop in hot sauce before your dog tries to eat it; they will hate the taste, but this won't actually do any damage. When your dog starts to approach their faeces, tell them no and then offer them praise when they walk away.

3. Provide Extra Playtime

It sounds odd, but some dogs will simply eat their own faeces out of boredom or a lack of attention, so make sure you provide plenty of stimulation. This can be particularly important for breeds that were bred to carry items in their mouth, such as Golden Retrievers. They may pick up faeces and carry it around if there is nothing else to do.

4. Avoid Strong Punishment for Going Inside

Dogs aren't stupid; they know when something they've done is likely to upset you. This means that many dogs will eat their faeces after defecating within the home in an attempt to hide the evidence. With this is mind, make sure you don't overly punish your dog for going inside, especially since they will usually only do so if they haven't been let out.

5. Visit the Vet

As stated above, you might need to have veterinary consultations about your dog's current diet, but it could also be a good idea to see them to check whether your dog's nasty eating habit is being caused by an underlying medical condition. Several issues can cause a dog to try and recover lost nutrients by eating their poop, including malabsorption problems and parasites.