Why do dogs eat faeces? - Definition of Coprophagia

Coprophagia is the ingestion of faeces that is neither accidental nor incidental. It is intentional and habitual.

Below are 14 reasons why dogs eat faeces. This article will hopefully help you understand exactly why dogs eat faeces so that you can solve the problem or take some action to improve the situation.

1. Your dog might be hungry. If your dog doesn't have access to food, he/she might eat faeces.

2. Some dogs will eat faeces to clean up an area like a housekeeper. This is most likely if your dog is confined to a crate or kennel or when chained up or otherwise restricted.

3. Your dog might be eating faeces because of parasites or worms. They can suck nutrients out of your dog, driving him/her to eat faeces to make up for any deficiencies.

4. Your dog might be eating other animal faeces to get key nutrients and minerals not available in his/her own food.

5. Some dogs will simply eat faeces to pass the time. Dogs will eat poop because they are bored or lonely. It can be a sign of neglect.

6. Your dog might eat faeces because he's anxious, nervous or otherwise upset. Stress will drive animals to do odd things.

7. Some dogs will eat faeces to hide the evidence. If you chastise your dog for pooping, he might eat it to stop you from getting angry.

8. If your dog has puppies, she might eat puppy faeces. This is an instinct to hide the faeces from predators to keep her puppies safe. Predators will locate her puppies if not by the smell of the faeces.

9. If your dog watches you pick up faeces, he/she might learn to do the same. This is called allelomimetic behaviour. Your dog observes you and learns from you, by putting faeces in their mouth, as you would put faeces in a bag.

10. Your dog might see others dogs eating faeces. From this, they learn to eat faeces too.

11. Many dogs simply like the taste of faeces.

12. Some dogs will eat faeces to gain attention. Many dog owners get very upset when their dog eats faeces, which means the dog gets attention. This is a wonderful opportunity for your dog to interact with you, even though the attention they are getting is negative attention.

13. It is possible that your dog wants to eat more than one time per day. If you only feed your dog once per day, and your dog eats faeces, it could be an indication they want to eat more frequently.

14. Dogs are curious and will try to eat almost anything, including faeces. Dogs explore the world through taste and smell, much more than humans do.