Poo Eating (Coprophagia)

It's not always understood why some dogs eat their own poo, and the reasons will vary. Some dogs, especially those confined in kennels where poo is often available, may pick up the habit out of boredom. There may also be a vitamin deficiency - vitamin B has been suggested. Get a vet check just in case there is a clear medical cause. It's worth asking about the correct dosage for your dog of yeast tablets and fish oil supplements, which some owners have found can help. Owners have also sucessfully reduced the attractiveness of poo by adding liver, carrots and green beans to the dog's diet; they seem to make the poo less attractive. There is no guarantee that supplements and diet changes will work, but they may work, and are unlikely to harm your dog, so long as you check with your vet on the correct dosage of supplements.


If the dog eats poo in your garden, the solution is simple: clean it up before the dog has a chance to eat it. Take the dog out to poo on a lead, so you have more chance of getting to the poo first, and pick up the poo immediately with a poo bag, rather than leaving the dog loose in the garden with access to poo. Keep the dog focused on you on walks, so he doesn't notice any poo on the ground. You need to be really on the ball, because some dogs will try to zip in there and eat their steamy fresh offering before you can blink an eye.

You can try training a dog to avoid poo by teaching 'leave', and by saying 'chsst' when a dog approaches poo, or using a can with coins if that doesn't work. You can set up a training field with a collection of offerings, at the same time, putting out edible offerings for the dog to focus on instead of the poo, so the dog learns that poo is not very attractive compared with alternatives.

Rabbit, horse and sheep poo is considered a treat by many dogs, and doesn't appear to harm them, though if they eat poo of any kind it is especially important not to forget their worming treatments.