Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Dogs are our faithful companions, and they can bring us endless joy and happiness. However, they can also exhibit some undesirable behaviors, such as eating poop. This behavior, also known as coprophagia, can be alarming and gross for dog owners. But why do dogs eat poop? In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons behind this behavior.

Instinctual Behavior

Dogs are scavengers by nature, and they have evolved to survive in the wild by eating whatever they can find. In the wild, eating poop could provide essential nutrients that they may not be getting from their diet. This instinctual behavior may still be present in domesticated dogs, even though they have access to high-quality dog food.

Medical Issues

Sometimes, dogs may eat poop due to underlying medical issues, such as malabsorption or pancreatic insufficiency. These conditions can make it difficult for dogs to absorb nutrients from their food, leading to a deficiency in essential vitamins and minerals. As a result, they may try to obtain these nutrients by eating poop.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Dogs are social animals and crave attention and affection from their owners. According to American Kennel Club, If they feel neglected or bored, they may engage in attention-seeking behavior, such as eating poop. This behavior can often get a strong reaction from their owners, which is what they are seeking.

Anxiety or Stress

Dogs may also eat poop as a coping mechanism when they are feeling anxious or stressed. This behavior may help them relieve their tension or anxiety temporarily.


Finally, dogs may eat poop simply because it has become a habit. Once they start eating poop, it can be challenging to break this behavior, even if the underlying cause has been addressed.

In conclusion, there are various reasons why dogs may eat poop, from instinctual behavior to medical issues, attention-seeking behavior, anxiety or stress, and habit. If you are concerned about your dog’s coprophagia, it is essential to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions. With patience and consistency, you can help your dog overcome this behavior and live a happy, healthy life. Check out our other post on how to stop a dog from eating poop.