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Why do dogs eat poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

It’s a question that has baffled dog owners for years – why do some dogs eat poop? While this behavior is not ideal, it’s actually quite common in dogs. In fact, up to one-third of dogs have been observed eating poop at some point in their lives [1]. So, what causes this behavior?

Firstly, it’s important to note that not all dogs who eat poop are doing so for the same reason. Some dogs may do it because they are curious, while others may do it as a result of a nutritional deficiency. In some cases, it may be a sign of underlying health issues such as malabsorption diseases or intestinal tract infections [2].

Another reason why dogs may eat poop is due to anxiety or attention-seeking behavior. Dogs who are left alone for long periods of time or who are not receiving enough attention may turn to this behavior as a way to cope [1].

Owners can help discourage their dogs from eating poop by providing them with a healthy and balanced diet, ensuring they have plenty of attention and exercise, and controlling their access to poop during housetraining [1]. If an adult dog suddenly develops the poop-eating habit, owners should see a vet to investigate the possibility of underlying medical problems [1].

In conclusion, while it may seem disgusting and strange, there are a variety of reasons why dogs may eat poop. By understanding these reasons and taking steps to address them, owners can help their furry family members kick this not-so-ideal habit.


  1. WebMD. “Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?”
  2. American Kennel Club. “Why Do Dogs Eat Poop and How to Stop It.”

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