Why do dogs eat poo?
The vast majority of dogs that eat poo do so because they enjoy the taste, not because of a health problem or deficiency. However, if the habit is out of character for your dog or you’re worried, contact your vet. Keep an eye out for other symptoms such as weight loss, poor coat condition and diarrhoea. If your dog exclusively eats poo from one particular dog, it would be sensible to have that dog checked as well.
Mother and puppies eating poo
Mother dogs eat their own puppies’ poo; this is completely normal behaviour and should never be discouraged. Puppies sometimes eat their own poo (or their littermates’ poo) out of curiosity, but this habit usually passes with age.
Is your dog getting enough food? Are they in good shape? Some dogs eat poo because they are hungry or because they have a very large appetite. Some medications increase appetite – let your vet know if your dog has suddenly started eating poo after being prescribed a new medicine.
Boredom, stress or anxiety
Has anything stressful happened recently? Is your dog easily bored or anxious? Do you have to leave them for long periods? Some dogs eat poo as a response to boredom, stress or anxiety. Your dog may have learnt that eating poo attracts your attention – for some, even negative attention is better than none!
Some dogs develop a poo-eating behaviour from a young age and never stop – especially if they have spent time bored or underfed as a puppy.