Coprophagy, puppies and dogs eating their own stool

Coprophagy, one who eats stool is a common condition in dogs and especially in puppies. Some dogs eat their own stool, other animals stool, or both. Disgusting? Absolutely! There is nothing like being licked on the face by a dog whose breath smells like the stool he just ate! GROSS!! No one knows for sure why dogs will eat stool. Coprophagy does not usually cause problems in the canines, but sometimes they can pick up an internal parasite, bacteria, or viral infection. The pup may develop diarrhea from eating the stool. If you catch your pup eating stool, see your veterinarian.

Reasons why puppies/dogs will eat stool:

Maternal: It is normal for a mother dog to lick the pups to stimulate urination and defecation and to clean up the pups.

Medical problems



Missing nutrients in his diet

Attention seeking




How to stop a puppy/dog from eating stool:

Pay your veterinarian a visit.

Feed your dog a good quality dog food.

Take your dog out to potty on a leash so you can prevent the behavior as it is happening.

Clean up the potty area immediately after the puppy goes potty.

Use a muzzle while out on walks until the dog not longer has the problem.

Place litter boxes where the pup can’t get to them.

Do not underfeed, feed a grown dog 2 xs per day and a young puppy 3-4.

Teach the pup to potty on command: use the same word such as potty when going outside and while the dog is going potty. Positive reinforcement: give the pup a treat after he goes potty to distract from turning around and eating the stool.

Scolding and punishing rarely works for this problem. Distracting while in the process works much better.