They’re looking for attention.
Sometimes, a dog may engage in coprophagia as an attention-seeking behavior. In other words, your dog may eat poop if he knows you don’t like it and he wants to see how you’ll react. If your dog eats poop while you’re present, it could be his way of saying “Hey! Look at me!” It’s also possible that a dog with separation anxiety or boredom might do this when the owner is gone. It’s kind of like when you’re away on a work trip and come home to find your cat has peed on your favorite pair of shoes; she does it because she’s bored or anxious about being left alone for so long.
It’s a diet thing.
Your dog could be eating poop as a way to get nutrients. If your dog is eating poop that is from prey, this is a way to get nutrients from the prey.
Another reason why your dog might be eating poop is if they have a lack of nutrients in their diet, they could eat poop to try to get back on track.
If you are at all concerned with what and how much your dog eats, it’s best to talk with a vet or nutritionist who regularly works with dogs or other pets.
Stress can make dogs eat poop.
The good news is that, generally speaking, dogs don’t eat poop because they are sick or have a dietary deficiency. Most of the time, it’s purely behavioral—and it can usually be changed by providing the right environment for your pup. The first thing to do is examine the way your home operates. Is there plenty of room for your dog to exercise? Is he getting enough attention from you and other dogs in the family? Does he have a place that’s his own where he can escape from loud noises or too much chaos? If so, great! If not, consider making some changes to help your dog feel more comfortable.
Some dogs just do it out of habit.
If your dog is already eating poop, the first thing you’ll want to do is take them to the vet for a checkup. Sometimes dogs eat poop because there’s something missing in their diet and your vet will be able to tell you whether your dog needs more of a particular nutrient. That being said, if you’ve read this far, it’s likely that your dog’s poop consumption is a habit rather than a symptom of an underlying health condition.
This habit starts young. The majority of puppies learn to eat poop from their mothers and littermates—it’s simply how they were raised! In fact, mothers (and sometimes fathers) actually stimulate their newborns by licking their behinds before they’re even potty trained.
Dogs are also much more likely to make this mistake if they’re surrounded by piles of poop on a regular basis. If it’s everywhere, how can we expect them not to snack on it? Luckily, this problem usually solves itself over time as the newness of puppyhood wears off and the novelty of eating poo disappears with it!
Eating poop is something that nearly all dogs will do at some point, but it’s perfectly normal behavior.
Eating poop is something that nearly all dogs will do at some point, but it’s perfectly normal behavior. Contrary to popular belief, your dog doesn’t eat poop because she is lacking in the vitamin department or because you haven’t been feeding her enough. Your dog also doesn’t eat poop to spite you or because she thinks she’s the boss of the house.
Most dogs outgrow this behavior by adulthood and some never exhibit poopy-eating behaviors at all. It is most common in puppies and older dogs. If your adult dog suddenly starts eating poop out of nowhere, it could be a sign of illness so take him to see a vet!