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November 2023

We Need to Talk About…Why Dogs Eat Poo

General Advice

It might be the most baffling of all habits. And the most stomach churning. But when you hear the real reason why dogs eat poo it’ll almost starts to make sense. Almost!

Here’s what it is…

Why Do Dogs Eat Poo?

No matter whether your mate is an occasional consumer or a true connoisseur, eating poo isn’t the most pleasant part of dog life! Not to mention the fact that it puts them on a blacklist for kisses for the next day at least. But if you dig into it, the answer might land as being surprisingly logical… honestly!

So there are actually two main reasons for a bit of PE (poo-eating)…or coprophagy. But hey…let’s stick with PE for now…

Reasons Why Dogs Eat Poo

Reason 1: The Copycat

Age: Most likely younger than one year

Watch a litter of puppies and their poos have barely hit the ground before their mum has quite literally gobbled them up. She wants to not only keep them clean but also ensure their ‘business’ doesn’t attract predators and parasites. Pups see this and consider it completely normal. So, when they go to their homes, they simply follow in their mum’s footsteps and perform some PE of their own.

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How to Stop Puppies Eating Poo

For these copycats, adding a small amount of paw paw to their food will help. The enzyme in this will make their poo taste repulsive to these young pups. I obviously haven’t tried it personally, but I’m told by many dogs it’s true…

Reason 2: The search for something more

Age: Most likely older than one year

Our furry family member’s senses are super skilled. And they can sense an opportunity. So, for dogs lacking in particular gut bacteria, enzymes or even vitamins and minerals, they can often find what they need in that neat little package of poo.

And it’s not so crazy when you consider that lots of animals (guinea pigs, rabbits, koalas) regularly eat their own poo for the nutritional hit. Even for humans, a ‘faecal transplant’ in a pill is a commonly used treatment to get their digestion back in balance. Having that gut balance right is so crucial for their health – and our dogs really seem to know it.

How to Stop Dogs Eating Poo

When it’s a healthy balance of gut bacteria they're after, consider giving them a much-needed boost of prebiotics as well as vitamins and minerals to fine tune their digestion.

Keen to know more about dog training and behaviour? Keep reading the Pet Smarts blog for everything dogs and puppies.