If you ever catch your dog eating poop, you are not alone. Whether it’s your own dog’s, another dog’s, or even your cat’s poop from the litter box, dogs eating poop is more common than you realize. In fact, there is even a medical term for this behavior, called “coprophagia.” While we understand it’s really gross, don’t be too alarmed if your dog or puppy engages in this behavior, as it’s actually pretty normal. If you ever wonder “Why do some dogs eat poop?” keep reading to find out the causes of this behavior and learn tips to stop it.

Health Reasons

It is unlikely that there is an underlying health condition causing your dog to eat poop. However, it has been discovered that this behavior can be caused by nutrient deficiencies in a dog’s diet. If your dog isn’t receiving proper nutrition, they could be eating poop to make up for the lost nutrients. If you are feeding your dog a proper diet and have received a clean bill of health from your veterinarian, you can probably rule this one out. However, always seek advice from a professional if you have serious concerns about your dog’s behavior, especially if it is sudden and onset. It is important to rule out any illnesses.

Taste

There’s a possibility your dog is eating poop just because it tastes good. If animals haven’t properly digested their food, there are often traces of it still present in their poop, which could appeal to your dog. Cat food is known to have a high protein content which makes their poop tasty to dogs. If you catch your dog eating your cat’s poop, try to move the litter box in a place that is inaccessible to your dog, or get a litter box with a top that your dog cannot fit into.

Curiosity or Boredom

Puppies are playful and curious creatures who love to explore their surroundings. If you leave them alone outside for too long unsupervised and without anything to do, they just might find the nearest pile of poop to investigate. If you notice that boredom seems to be the cause of your dog’s poop-eating behavior, try to keep your dog occupied with toys or make sure they are not left outside too long without someone watching them and keeping them company.

Stress

If a dog is under a lot of stress, they may resort to eating their own poop. Eating their poop may help them to relieve stress and comfort themselves. Try to eliminate any major stress factors in your pup’s life. Make sure you are not punishing them or yelling at them too much. Don’t keep them locked in a crate all day. Try to give them a comfortable living situation as best you can.

Natural Instincts

A puppy may eat poop out of instinct. It is common for a mother dog to eat her puppies’ poop in an effort to keep them and their environment clean. They have also been known to eat their puppies’ poop to eliminate their scent in hopes of warding off predators. In any manner, dogs or puppies may have this natural instinct that causes them to eat poop.

Prevent Your Dog From Eating Poop

In most cases, catching your dog eating poop shouldn’t be too much cause for concern. Make sure you clean up your dog’s poop and your other pets’ poop as soon as possible before your dog can get to it. Put the litter box in an out-of-reach area for your dog. Make sure your dog isn’t under too much stress. Keep your dog occupied and don’t let him get too bored. At the end of the day, dogs just eat poop sometimes, no matter how much you try to prevent it. Try not to scold your pup too much for this, because sometimes it’s just dogs being dogs.