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Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

Catherine Forman
Category Advice

This can be a terribly disgusting and frustrating experience for a pet owner. The last thing you want to see is your sweet pup taking a "Tootsie Roll" out of the cat's litterbox and chowing down and then coming over for some slobbery kisses!


Try to keep in mind that for your dog, this is perfectly natural and normal.

A dog's taste buds aren't quite as diverse of developed as human taste buds. We can tell sweet from salty and bitter from sour. Dogs can basically tell good, bad, or mediocre. Their reactions to taste are much more general than ours, so their main pleasure is derived from smell and texture instead. So to a dog, picking up poop -- be it from another dog or a cat, a rabbit or even a horse -- is an amazing treat for the nose and mouth.

Or, think of it this way: poop is like the doggy daily news. A pile of droppings can tell your dog a lot about the animal that left it behind: male or female, dominant or not, even the relative health and emotional state of the pooper! Better yet, it is news you can really sink your teeth into! (Ha ha, couldn't resist that one!)

Dogs can actually get nutrients and enzymes they need from snacking on poop every once in a while. Herbivore droppings especially can help ease digestive issues.

So how do you get your dog to stop eating poop? It all depends on why he's doing it. If the problem is a digestive issue, try adding more fruits and veggies to your pet's diet. Something like pineapple or pumpkin, which is chock full of healthy enzymes, can help your pet's digestive system work itself back to normal.

The best thing you can do is limit access to droppings. If your dog eats other dog droppings, be sure to pick up your yard daily, and be watchful when you are out walking. If he likes to snack from the litterbox, put it in a place where he can't get to it.

Your local pet store or online pet store will have different things you can add to your pets' food to make their droppings taste and smell less appealing. If the problem persists, ask your vet for help!

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June 7, 20060 found this helpful

Friends have told me this relates to his needing certain nutrients. Check w/your vet for specifics.

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June 7, 20060 found this helpful

This was just on Oprah! The dog whisperer was on talking about this. You could probably go to and search for the dog whisperer to find out more.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 8, 20060 found this helpful

There is a product called DISTASTE and it is sold at and it REALLY works.
It ferments the feces and the dog will not eat it.
You need to use the pills for a few weeks until the habit is broken. I'm sure glad I found the product.
My vet says they really don't know why dogs do that.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 15, 20080 found this helpful

You should try this website:

It had some great solutions. Including a product that Vets suggest.

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September 16, 20160 found this helpful

My daughter has 6 big greyhounds. When I was at her house I expected the back yard to be littered with poop with that many big dogs. There was literally none. I got to watching and all of them eat the poop of the other dogs as soon as they go. Almost disgusting. I mentioned it to my daughter and she said it was normal. YUK!

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