Ugh! My dog eats his own excrement... what can I do?

June 14, 2021

If your pet has a habit of eating its feces, there is an explanation... and solutions!

Are you totally disgusted by the fact that your pet eats its own droppings? You need to do something about it. But first, you have to try to understand the source of this strange habit.  

There are several possible explanations

There is in fact a specific name for the act of eating one’s own stool: “coprophagia.” Although this disorder is most likely to be observed when a dog is young, it is a behaviour that can occur at any time during its life. Obviously, coprophagia must be taken very seriously, as a dog’s feces may contain harmful bacteria. So, while it is best to consult your veterinarian for advice on your pet’s particular situation if you see them ingesting feces, there are a number of reasons for the behaviour, including:  

  • Your dog is still hungry and is making up for this by eating its excrement. If you suspect that this could be the reason for this behaviour, consult your vet to discuss your pet’s diet.
  • Because the food has not been sufficiently chewed, the smell of excrement attracts your pet’s taste buds. If this is the case, you will need to break this bad habit. Again, your vet is best placed to give you excellent advice. 
  • Your pet wants to hide its excrement from predators. We often forget that a dog is an animal with instincts dating from before its domestication.

Whatever the cause of coprophagia, rest assured that there are solutions. 


A simple “no” in a firm tone of voice will not be enough to stop this nasty habit. You will need to be patient to end this practice. To do so, you need to break the habit not only by stopping your companion from eating his own excrement, but also by praising him when he listens to you. You need to stop him quickly when he are about to eat his droppings. If your pet normally goes out without a leash, put one on him until the habit stops so that you are in a better position to pull him off away when his business is done. 

Also, be sure to pick up after your pet quickly so that she doesn’t have too much time to examine hits business. Also reward him for not touching his feces. 

In any case, a consultation with your veterinarian about your dog's situation can be very helpful.


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