Dog ? My Wits End. This Is Gross....

Updated on February 11, 2013
M.A. asks from Island Lake, IL
19 answers

my 1 yr terrier mix whom I have had for 5 months, is eating Frozen POOP from outside, I don't think it needs to be frozen, seen him eat it right out of my other dogs butt.

suggestions????? short of going out each time they go to pick up (not always an option.I have two little kids) I am considering a kennel for pooping purposes only. because I can't always catch him when I see him. clearly this wont work the way I want so not doing this.
Yes, I pick up my poop, yes, he has high protein diet,he eats twice a day 1-4 cup and does not graze. very high energy dog. I did feed a higher protein but it made him poop more!

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answers from Baton Rouge on

According to my vet, there is nothing proven to stop coprophagy in dogs. Dogs eat feces because they like it. I asked him about it when I had one dog eating out of the cat box and another cleaning up the yard behind the other dogs. He said it has nothing to do with the quality of the dog's regular diet - he has seen dogs do it while being fed every kind of dog food from Ol Roy to Science Diet. He told me that meat tenderizer isn't a good idea- too much salt and other spices that can cause digestive issues. I broke my dogs of the habit using a Listerine pocket spray. I kept it on my person at all times and every time I caught them in the act (and it ONLY works when you catch them in the act), I sprayed their mouths. They didn't like the taste, and it was an immediate negative consequence. Plus it had the added benefit of making their breath not smell like a dirty diaper.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My parents have 3 farm dogs. The two brothers are about 7 years old. The female is 9 years old.

They eat their own poop, each other's poop, the cows poop... It doesn't matter. They have always done this. They live on a big farm. The poop doesn't get picked up (It's very rare that they poop in the yard, they usually go out to one of the cow fields and poop there). We just accept that they are poop eaters and don't let them give us kisses, Lol.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Columbia on

Change their food to a higher quality, high protein food. Dogs primarily eat poop because it's only partially digested. Higher quality foods are fully digested, and you can feed less. Be sure to follow the feeding guidelines.

IF that doesn't work, there are powders you can sprinkle on their food that make the poo taste bad, which will discourage the behavior.

I'm not sure what you mean by "a kennel for pooping purposes only." Please explain.

ETA: Also, if you're overfeeding your dog (even if you're feeding "good" food), they cannot digest it all fully. So figure out, based upon your dog's age, weight, and metabolism, how much they need to eat. A good rule of thumb is to feed them what they'll eat in 10 minutes, and then pick up the bowl. If they walk away, pick up the bowl...they're done until dinner. Don't leave food out for them to "graze." Grazing is not natural behavior for canines and leads to obesity and bad eating habits.

ETA2: Regarding a kennel for "pooping only:" That won't work. Dogs will not poop in confined spaces. They consider confined spaces to be a like a den...animals will not soil their den. Forcing an animal to do so is cruel. It goes against natural instinct.

Consider trying the meat tenderizer as suggested by another mom.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You might want to add the cautionary word "Gross" to the subject line of your post, so that nauseated pregnant women like me are forewarned. ;-)

That's just about the nastiest thing I've heard in months! :-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

My, this is a new one on me. Guinea pigs eat their own poop, but there's a reason and it's normal. I don't think it's normal for dogs. However, my question is, have you talked to your vet? If anybody knows this stuff, your vet does. I would think your dog is missing something in his diet, and that's something you need to know.

Good luck. I don't think I could stomach my dog doing this, especially in regards to your other dog! Ugh...


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

A friend once said that her vet told her to put pumpkin in her dog's food to avoid this. Not sure if it worked since I never had to do this with my dog, but worth a try.

She just had a can of pumpkin (pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie stuff with added ingredients) and put a few spoonfuls over his food.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Dogs eat their own poop. We tried all sorts of things that our vet suggested, none of it worked. The only thing that worked was scooping it or going out with her every time and making sure she didn't have a snack.

I don't understand a kennel for pooping purposes. Do you want him to poop in the kennel? Gross.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Have you asked your vet?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from El Paso on

It IS really gross, but it's pretty normal. Some dogs just like it (even more gross, I know!!) It won't hurt him, so I wouldn't worry about it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

it's called coprophagia.
There are pills you can give them to make it not attractive for them to eat. Taking them out side on leashes to potty might also help, catch him doing it tell him NO. Giving him a higher quality food will help too. Grains don't digest so poop still smells like food.
here's some information on it

Dogs don't poop in their living area , pooping in a kennel won't work.



answers from Green Bay on

A few possibilities - and these are things our vet told us when our other dog ate poop...
1) Your dog could not be digesting food properly and therefore the poop still "smells" like their food - hence, the desire to eat, you could try another brand of food.
2) There is a medicine you can give your dog - the vet gave us some, but you can also just get it OTC at a pet store (we found some at PetCo). It worked okay...
3) Some dogs are just more prone to eat their poop. You say your dog is "high energy" - it could be that the dog doesn't have enough exercise. Or, another thing our vet told us (our dog seemed to do it more in the winter) was that the dog just liked the "poopsicle"...but, also, could have been lack of exercise too, because our dog didn't get as much exercise in the winter.

It's gross, but dogs are not humans. It is not gross to them. Something about the poop is appealing to the dog and dogs eat things that are appealing.



answers from San Francisco on

Dogs do that. One of the reasons I'm glad I'm not a dog. It won't hurt him.


answers from Boston on

Some good suggestions here about diet changes. I can't imagine why you would want the dog to poop in a kennel - how does that solve your problem if you confine the dog with its own poop? Terriers can be tough to housebreak anyway, so teaching yours to poop indoors is problematic. I can only add that, if the dog is on a leash you can pull him away from it. Also, every town has a pooper scooper law (dog poop is full of E. coli and other bacteria) so you should be bagging the poop as soon as the dog defecates. There are little bag attachments you can put on the leash handle - just remove a bag, unfold it over your hand, pick up the poop, tie a knot in the bag, and put it in the trash. Your dogs need to learn that you are the boss and that they can't just run loose, even if it's in your own yard, since you are having these problems.


answers from Milwaukee on

Be very careful with some of the advice you have been given!

1. Meat Tenderizer - is very high in salt. Some dogs are very sensitive to such a change in their diet & will have increased thirst/urination. I know someone whose dog couldn't hold their urine 30 minutes because they were drinking so much due to the additive. I recommend against it.

2. Coprophagia tablets - I tried this once. That was enough to find out that some dogs are sensitive to the ingredients in it, & after cleaning up liquid poop accidents for 3 days inside my house, decided a dog that ate poop wasn't the worst thing in the world.

3. Pumpkin/pineapple - safe remedies. The key here is a spoonful, not a ton, added to the meals. Works for some, doesn't work for others. Make sure it is pure pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling.

4. Diet change - I had some moderate success switching to a more naturally based kibble (was feeding Pedigree, switched to Nutro/Fromms). Theory behind that is the dog is able to more completely digest what they eat, & therefore what comes out is less appealing.

5. BEST option - clean it up immediately. I open the door, tell my dogs to "go now", watch them poop, bring them back in & then go out for the 30seconds to pick it up. If you can't do that immediately, at least you saw where your dog went, & can go get it when you have a chance. Bring your dog in when he is done pooping.

6. A kennel/designated area for pooping is fine, provided you are putting your dog in it to poop & then removing him from it once he is done. Otherwise, you are just giving him enclosed access to his poop. This still needs to be cleaned on a regular basis (every time or every day)

Finally, most people notice dogs increasing their interest in poop during the winter. Two theories behind this - #1 poop-sicles are something dogs can really sink their teeth into. #2 in cold weather, the aroma is stronger & catches the dogs interest more.

Best of luck. Many people have dogs with this habit & are never able to break it. Truly, best bet is to find a way to pick it up immediately.

T. - Breeder of Rhodesian Ridgebacks since 2000



answers from Dallas on

You can add a tablespoon of pumpkin to your dog's food to make doing this less appealing to them. Another option is to add some crushed pineapple. The pumpkin worked for my dog, and she considered the pumpkin to be a treat. The pet stores also sell some supplements that you can feed them to supposedly stop this. However, pumpkin or pineapple may be a less expensive and effective option.



answers from Los Angeles on

Not all dogs eat their own poop. Ours never did but a lot of my friend's
have dogs that do.

I would not kennel him. That won't fix it nor will he understand why he's
in there.

Make sure he's getting enough food to eat. As far as what to do when he eats it, distract him if you see him do it. Pick up the poop in the yard as
often as you can. I know it's hard w/kids but I "steal out of the house" to p/u poop quickly. I have a shovel & bag ready & do it fast..

Maybe you should leave out a bowl of dry dog food to see if he will graze a bit (just don't over fill the bowl w/too much dry dog food), see if he will occasionally eat some & he stops eating his poop.

In my experience, dogs that weren't fed enought at their poop. Try that.



answers from Houston on

Our dog did it when he was a pup and quit. I read to put pineapple or pineapple juice in with the food because it makes the poo taste bad. I would try some of the ideas here before buying a kennel.


answers from Lakeland on

This is very common for puppies. Add some meat tenderizer to it's food and your puppy wont want to eat it's poop anymore.

Or clean it up right after the puppy goes.

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