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Eating his own or other animal feces

While it has not been thoroughly researched why dogs eat their own or other animals' feces, it is not uncommon. Many of the dogs that are involved in this habit are thought to be timid or submissive, indicating a lack of maturity. No matter, this habit can be very annoying. There are several possible causes and corrections.

A dog may eat feces simply because he is hungry and has no alternative source of food. The solution is simple. Try feeding him more and get him to a veterinarian for a check-up.

A dog that is fed an inexpensive, generic dog food has to eat more of it in order to satisfy his nutrient requirements. Much of this food passes through the system undigested, leaving a stool that looks and smells much like what was originally eaten. Feeding a high quality food would solve this stool-eating problem.

Dogs that are punished for having an accident in the house may eat their own stool as a way of hiking the evidence and avoiding the punishment. Punishment for doing something as natural as eliminating makes no sense at all. Housetrain him properly.

A dog that is locked in a kennel, chained, or restricted to a small backyard may eat his own feces as a way of relieving boredom. It is something to do in a restrictive, boring world. This dog needs to be exercised and played with several times a day.

Some breeds have a great need to carry things in their mouths. Picking up feces and carrying it around is usually a sign of an under-exercised dog. This dog needs to play a lot of retrieval games.

A kennel or yard where feces are allowed to pile up may cause a dog to clean up his living space by eating his stools. Keep a dog's living area clean!

The emotional stress of being left alone or restricted to a small area for long periods of time without the companionship of the caregiver can result, for some dogs, in the eating of his own feces.

Check with your veterinarian for internal parasites which may be leaching nutrients from your dog's system, causing an unusual appetite.

The way to eliminate this habit is to feed a complete and balanced diet, provide lots of exercise and playtime, keep the kennel or yard clean, avoid restricting him for long periods of time, and take him to your veterinarian for a health check-up. Your veterinarian may also be able to prescribe a chemical additive to his food which will make the stools taste terrible. There are products that can be applied directly to any animal's stool which will discourage your dog from consuming it.