Sir Nigel asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Is it normal for dogs to eat their own poop?

My German Shepherd gets two meals a day, around 9 and 6. He's about 20 pounds overweight, and we are trying to slim down his weight. However, in the early morning or middle of the day, he eats his own poop.

We give him a full bowl of food of Iams that he loves each time, yet for some reason he eats his feces. Is this normal? And why is he doing this?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    There are many reasons for eating their own poop but Iams is one of the crapiest foods to give your pet. You need to find something with no grains...something more species appropriate.

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

    2. Some dogs will eat poop to clean up an area like a housekeeper. This is most likely if your dog is confined to a crate or kennel, or when he's chained up or otherwise restricted. He's taking care of his space.

    3. If your dog likes to carry poop, and then eat it, it could be genetics. Some dogs have instincts to carry stuff in their mouths.

    4. Your dog might be eating poop because of parasites or worms. They can suck nutrients out of your dog, driving him to eat poop. It might also leave him extra hungry because of the lack of proper fuel.

    5. Your dog might be eating cat poop or other animal poop to get key nutrients and minerals not available in his own food.

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

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

    8. Some dogs will eat poop to hide the evidence. If you punish your dog for pooping, he might eat it to stop you from getting angry.

    9. If your dog has puppies, she might eat puppy poop. This is an instinct to hide the poop from predators. Poop is evidence. Getting ride of it keeps her puppies safe.

    10. Some young dogs and puppies will eat poop as a novelty. That is, they'll eat poop as an experiment. They don't know better.

    11. If your dog watches you pick up poop, he might learn to do the same. This is called allelomimetic behavior. Your dog observes you and learns from you, by putting the poop in his mouth you put poop in a bag.

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

    13. Many dogs simply like the taste of poop. This obviously doesn't make sense to dog owners but that's irrelevant. Some dog like to eat it and that's that. It's warm, moist, and very much like what your dog was given as a very young puppy.

    14. If your dog food lacks key nutrients, he might eat poop. Your dog is trying to get "food" with nutrients any way possible, even from his own poop.

    15. Sometimes dog poop seems like dog food. This can happen when dog food is low quality and includes materials that are easily passed and not absorbed by your dog. When the dog poops, it seems to be very much like the food he just consumed!

    16. In some cases, dogs will eat poop if they are given too much food. This is especially true if your dog's diet is high in fat.

    17. Some dogs will eat poop to gain attention. Many dog owners get very upset when their dog eats poop, which means the dog gets attention. This is a wonderful opportunity for your dog to interact with you, although it is because of negative attention.

    18. It is possible that some dogs will eat the poop of other, more dominant dogs. Your dog might be more submissive than other dogs, resulting in strange poop eating behavior. This seems to occur more in households with multiple dogs where dominance and submission is a factor. Obviously this doesn't explain much about dogs eating cat poop or other animal poop.

    19. 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 poop, it could be an indication they want to eat more frequently.

    20. In some cases, your dog will eat poop by accident. Dogs are curious and will try to eat almost anything, including poop. Dogs explore the world through taste and smell, much more than humans.

    Summarization: Why Dogs Eat Poop

    So, now you have seen 20 reasons why dogs eat poop. It could be a signal for higher quality food, more food, less food, or more frequent meals. It could be related to your dog’s desire for more attention and interaction. Your dog might be eating poop out of instinct whereas in other cases it might a learned behavior from you or by watching other dogs.

  • Paige
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Well, normally when a dog eats it's own poop it means the animal is laking some kind of vitamines in it food that it needs. If her food has a lot of fillers, or if corn, wheat, ect. is the first ingredient in the dogs food, that would be your problem. On the other hand, dogs are weird and sometimes they do just eat their poop. You can get a product called Deter and it helps with this problem. Although I do know that this product works, I recommend you take your dog for a vet visit before you give any over the counter meds just to assure there isn't any other underlying problems. (This would just be for the safty of your pooch.) Have a great day and I hope I've helped!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    He is trying to get the nutrients that he isn't getting through lams, one of the worst dog foods. I feed my dog Royal Canine. This food may be expensive, but it lasts a long time and is healthy for her. She is all muscle and adores the food. Whatever she doesn't eat we put back in the bag. It gives her energy, which your dog may be lacking in, keeps her stool scent down, and she has 'healthy poops' as the vet tech said when she dropped a load at the vet's. To help him lose weight, feed him this food and take him for long walks everyday. German Shepard's need a lot of exercise. Play fetch in the house if you can or play a game of 'hide and seek'. What you do is let him smell a dog treat that he loves (my dog loves the liver dog treats, but she also loves peanuts, cashews, and cheese so i might hide cashews) and hide the treats somewhere in the house that he can still get it. Tell him to go find it and help him find it. This trains the dog and may help him lose some weight since he is searching for the treat. Hope that i helped!! =)

  • 1 decade ago

    Its not an unusual behavior, but it is abnormal. I recommend limiting your dog's access to his own delicious poos (i.e. time to poop scoop your yard). Its a hard-to-break habit, so its really just easier to prevent it.

    On the subject of what your dog is eating, I suggest that you switch dog foods to something that is corn-free and free of meat by-products. Iams uses lots of gross and unhealthy fillers that may be affecting your dog's health. I think you'll have much better results with the weight loss if you cut out all of the low-quality ingredients. Many of the "weight-loss" formulas are just different packaging and more filler, its not something magic or particularly more healthy. Increasing exercise and decreasing the amount of food is the best way to achieve the results you want. You might have to find a specialty pet store to find the really good brands, but its worth it. Keep an eye out for Canidae (my personal favorite), Merrick, Wellness, Solid Gold, Natural Balance, and Innova are all excellent foods with only high-quality ingredients. Good luck with the weight loss, your dog will thank you for it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not sure if it is considered 'normal' but I used to have a dog that did it too. My sister (registered vet tech) said that their clinic recommends adding meat tenderizer to the food since it's supposed to make the stool taste bad - worse than it already does ;-)

    I never did it, so I'm not sure how well it works or how much is supposed to be added - sorry. You can try calling your vet though to see if they can tell you over the phone.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is a disease that some animals have and it is almost impossible to break them from doing it.There are several remedies on the market to help out but the best thing is to clean up quickly and keep from any area containing the poop.

    Good luck

  • 1 decade ago

    Unfortunately yes, dogs can and will eat their feces and cat feces, anything they can reach.

    Talk to your vet, there's a powder you can put on the dog's food that makes the poop taste awful so he stops eating it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Dogs do it all the time. Ours did. All you have to do is take the dog to the vet, and the vet will give you meds for your dog so his poop tastes bad to him and so he won't eat it.

    (btw, its a health risk too.)

  • 1 decade ago

    Dogs do it. Although very gross, it doesnt hurt him. He could be lacking what he needs nutritionally so, i'd take him to the vet and make sure he isnt getting sick or anything or if he needs suppliments

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    sometimes my puppy does it it is gross so dont whatever you do let it lick any part of your body untill it drinks a lot of water to wash out its mouth and if it doesnt have all its shots dont let it eat cats poop or other dogs poop!!!!!!!!!!!! it could get a dissease......

  • 1 decade ago

    somehow this is normal you can get at the pet shop kind of tablets that you will put in his **** and he will eat it something happen that will never do it again

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