What to Put in Dog Food to Stop Eating Poop – Way Forward

A dog’s habit of eating poop can mean a lot of things. From behavioral to health complications that follow, you should not jump into conclusion. You need to understand why your dog indulges in such an awful habit as that will help you resolve the issue.

Let’s talk about dogs eating poop.

Dogs communicate with their owners non-verbally. This implies that a high level of attentiveness and sensitivity is required. You should keep tabs with the dog to know why it acts the way it does.

As canine parents, we encounter lots of behavioral issues with our furry companions. In our assessment, some attitudes are understandable. On the other hand, some behaviors are not what we bargained for. We just would not tolerate such.

High up on that list is poop eating. This is a major concern for lots of pet parents. For some, it is worse than eating cat food or toxic human meals such as chocolate.

Often, pet parents to such dogs ask questions that will help stop this habit. Mostly, they ask what to put in dog food to stop eating poop. But, let us examine why your dog indulges in that disgusting act. 

What exactly does poop eating mean for your dog?

How can you stop the habit?

For the most part, it takes strategic nutrition to keep your dogs off poop. Considering this, let us examine what to put in dog food to stop eating poop.

If you prefer a visual explanation of this article, below is a detailed and helpful video.

Video: What to Put in Dog Food to Stop Eating Poop (Way Forward)

What to Put in Dog Food to Stop Eating Poop

Addressing your dog’s nutrition should be the next point of call after contacting your vet. Your dog will likely benefit from a diet change.

You should feed such dogs with pet food products rich in the essential diet. These constituents should include the appropriate proportion of protein, fiber, carbohydrate, among others.

These meals are very likely to switch your dog’s interest from the irritating poop. Furthermore, you can make it a habit to make homemade meals for your dog. This will enable the dog to have contact with organic meals as against synthetically produced pet food.

The use of preservatives and other commercial substance is lacking in homemade meals. These meals are the closest to getting the ideal balanced diet for your dog.

Furthermore, as will be explained subsequently, use substances that your dog does not like. You can use bitter apple, cayenne pepper, pineapple juice, among others.

Naturally, these products are not appealing to your dog. When your dog encounters it in the poop, he is discouraged from feasting on the waste.

Also, there are some ready-made commercial products for this purpose. An example is with the product for-Bid. You use this product as with many others, by spreading generously on the poop. The smell and sight of the product is not something your dog is willing to deal with.

As a result, your dog will pass on feasting on the poop in question. When you consistently do this, there is a high chance your dog will get the motive behind this act of yours. 

Is There a Medical Term for the Habit

Yes of course. Science has answers to a myriad of issues and this is no exception. The habit of poop eating is medically termed coprophagia.

It is a habit that can be caused by a variety of factors. These factors range from behavioral, nutritional, to health-related complications.

Regardless of the motive behind this appalling act, coprophagia is a general term used to refer to the habit. 

What Are the Side Effects of Coprophagia

Ironic as it seems, there is no harm caused by this habit. But it is a disgusting habit and the chances of getting sick from eating their poop is minimal.

However, the act could be a cause for concern. It could be a pointer to terrible days ahead. This is because eating their stool might be due to nutritional deficiencies, health complications, or lack of appropriate training at the very least.

So, while the habit is harmless, the root cause might be something you should be worried about.  

Let’s subsequently examine the reasons for this behavior among our canine companions. Why do they find pleasure feasting on their excretion?

Various Reasons Dogs Eat Poop

Whether it is stopping them from eating their poop or another’s, there is no one size fits all approach. This is because there are various factors responsible for this awful behavior. To solve this problem, let us go over these factors.

Video: Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

Below is a video explaining why dogs eat poop

Medical Reasons

Among other resolutions, visiting the vet is imperative If your dog indulges in eating poop. For pet parents, it should be one of the first points of call when such happens.

On medical grounds, eating poop can be caused by disorders such as overfeeding, infections in the intestine, pancreatitis, Malabsorptive syndrome, among others.


This is very possible especially when your dog has had too much of some certain kinds of food. Meals that have excessive fat constituents are very likely to cause this habit.

First, you should understand that your dog does not view the act as you do. While you see the act as disgusting, he sees it as a means to get the right nutrients.

Considering your dog’s anatomical structure, he needs certain food constituents to live well. If this is constantly lacking in his meals, this drives him to eat poop. 

Consequently, appropriate nutrition is a viable way to help your dog stay away from this habit. Therefore, pet owners should realize that appropriate canine parenting is not just about feeding your dog. You should be cautious about the quantity and quality of your dog’s food intake.

Behavioral Issues

In the place of training, you have the privilege and ability to instill desired characters into your dog. Outside of this, your dog is not a human being. As a result, he does not think like one for the most part. If your dog must act appropriately according to human standards, you are to teach him to do so.

Let’s share a very basic contrast between canine and human parenting. When a child or puppy poos, the motherly figure cleans up the butt. In the case of humans, the mother could use a moist toilette or water to clean the butt. On the contrary, the canine uses his tongue to clean the puppies butt.

They both ensure that the child and puppy are hygienic, however, this is done in different ways. If the dog should desist from cleaning the poop with his tongue, he must be taught to do so. The bottom line remains that for dogs to conform to the human standard, they must be taught. 

Let’s move a step further in itemizing behavioral reasons for coprophagia. From the experience of other pet parents and qualified practitioners, deduced reasons for coprophagia include the following:

He Needs That Attention

Some dogs truly understand that poop consumption is not ideal. However, having tried various means to gain the attention of people around them, they resort to this habit. They believe that this will draw your attention.

Even when you show vivid displeasure in the various ways you can, they prefer that negative attention rather than getting no attention.

For such a category, the solution is spending quality time with your furry buddy. You can take him out for a walk, visit that nice spot together, go swimming (if he is not opposed to such), among others.

While some people simply ignore dogs with this tendency, this is a very terrible option. For one, such dogs can end up with separation anxiety. This can make them very aggressive and destructive. Considering this, you should not give in to ignoring such dogs.

Instead, you should address the issue by firmly frowning at the attitude but giving the required attention. Furthermore, you can make appropriate use of toys, conveniences, treats, among others. You can also hire a pet sitter or a specialized trainer.

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Exercising and generally burning off pent-up energy is crucial in helping such dogs stop this habit.

Accustomed Habit

Ever heard that bad company corrupts good manners? The saying is also true about dogs. Some dogs simply developed this awkward habit by observing other dogs do the same.

This is very possible with a large number of dogs in a given environment. For instance, many dogs in open shelters are likely to indulge in this habit. All it takes is one dog prone to acting in this manner. In a short while, other dogs will pick up the habit.

To deal with this tendency, be cautious about the canine buddies your dog has around him. When you take him to the park or for works, be observant of such tendencies. Showing prompt disapproval of this behavior is important in such cases.

Innocent Hygienic Intent

Dogs are very intelligent creatures. This is validated by their use in security setups, Red Cross, among others. Unfortunately, that brilliance can become their unbecoming.

Some dogs observe how their pet parents frequently and promptly clean up their poop. They get accustomed to the fact that the floor should always be clean. In their bid to reiterate the habit of the pet parents, they do the deed with their mouths.

As far as they are concerned, they are only acting in the manner of the pet parents. In this case, they should be constantly disapproved of doing this. Over time, they will get the idea. However, they should not be reproved physically. Rather, it should be done with a firm cool voice.

Maternal Responsibilities

Canine mothers are mostly given to taking care of their young ones. Sometimes they can be aggressive while doing this. Asides from some dogs eating poop, canine mothers use their tongue to clean their puppy’s butt.

This is usually done after the puppy poops. This action is not nutritionally inspired. Rather, it is an instinctive behavior aimed at keeping the puppy’s breeding area hygienic. This is majorly about adequate care for the dog.

In resolving this, a great deal of trust between the dog and human is required. This is because dogs are very protective of their children, especially after birth. Considering this, the dog needs to feel protected and able to trust the dog parent with the puppy. Human involvement is essential in helping the dog overcome this instinctive urge.

Lord of the Pack

One habit that cuts across animals (including humans) is the desire to be dominant. In a dog’s bid to take charge as the alpha dog, he might eat his poop, as well as that of others. This is a canine way if staking his claim to the position.

His position and stake are more pronounced if he can eat the other dog’s poop. This way he can intimidate them into forgoing their intent to be the alpha dog. 

Considering this, you should understand that for your dog, this is a canine behavior against an appalling one. While you see the act as demeaning and irritating, he sees it as his continuous swearing-in to his position as the alpha dog.    

This is a non-verbal way of intimidating other canine pals, declaring his position as the leader of the pack. You should understand that dogs are very protective of their environment.

This is a very common act in shelters and among dogs of a different family line. Over time, the newly grown dog is concerned about becoming the leader of the pack.

These dogs begin to see other dogs as a threat to their position of ruler and commander in a territory. In plain terms, feasting on poop is one of the ways they assert their dominance as the alpha dog. It is a sign of ruthlessness, supremacy, and personal high esteem.

How do you deal with this?

This is unlikely to occur among dogs who are raised as the only pet in a home. Such dogs feel secure and esteemed. They are not in the constant battle to become the leader of the pack. This is the benefit of raising one dog.

If your dog exhibits this tendency, you should frown at it. You should firmly show that you are not a part of such behavior. On the sidelines, you should use treats to reward your dog for staying away from poop.

Does Not Taste So Bad

First off, your dog is not you. This means he does not reason like you. Having gotten used to eating dog poop, he would likely see it as tasting great. Anytime he gets a chance to eat it again, he gets that feeling of delight which he wants to experience over again.

For dog parents, this is usually the most pathetic part of their dog eating poop. When a dog sees his poop or others as delightful, it takes more than the average effort to get him to stop.

This highlights why pet parents should be proactive about resolving this issue. Do not leave such dogs all be themselves. If you abandon such dogs thinking nature will take its course, they will eventually develop a craving for this habit.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Lack of adequate nutrition is a major reason dogs feast on poop. This habit might be triggered by a shortage or lack of the appropriate nutrients required for your canine’s growth. In his bid to find suitable alternatives, he may resort to eating poop.

Furthermore, one of the viable ways to address this problem is by strategic nutrition. This implies that you should deliberately feed your dog with the right and tasty meal. The food must be composed of all the nutrients he has been lacking and needing.

As a rider, treats are vital tools in helping readdress this issue. You should be willing and available to give treats when he stays away from poop. By this act, he comes to terms with the fact that poop is a no-go meal for him.

Pet parents of such dogs should stay away from low-quality dog meals. Preferably, they should opt for raw meals low in fat but rich in protein and vital constituents. The choice of regular meals should have a balanced diet, preferably recommended by the vet.

How To Stop Dogs from Eating Poop

There are various suggestions on how to deal with this disgusting habit. However, one stands out as a practical solution. Let’s go over these suggestions one after the other.

Be Prompt about Cleaning Up

This is about keeping the poop away from the dog. There has to be poop for the dog to feast on. If you are deliberate about promptly cleaning poop and keeping his surrounding clean, there will be nothing of such to feast on.

Over time, your dog might get the memo about your objection to such habits. This will get him accustomed to a clean and hygienic environment.

The Anti-Poop Ingredients

From experience, another way to combat this habit is by simply adding items your dog would not like. These items are added to make the dog shy away from eating the poop. Sometimes, it could be the smell, taste, or condition of the items added.

For instance, you could make use of pineapple fruit or juice. Also, some pet parents make use of hot sauce sprinkled on the poop. These alternatives make the poop unpalatable for the dog to consume.

Appropriate Training

This is the most effective way to deal with the situation. However, it is easier said than done. It takes a high level of persistence and effort on the pet parent’s part. The intent is to let the dog know the poop is not ideal for consumption.

Such dog owners are to train their canine buddies with the leave command. This is aimed at insisting that the dog stays off the poop.

For pet parents with a busy schedule or who are unable to perform this role, we recommend the services of a specialized pet trainer. At the very least, you can hire a pet sitter to help your dog stop this habit. Such personnel should be able to carry out the constant training, helping your dog stare clear of the poop.

Whenever you are chanced, it will be great that you are a part of the training process. This sends a signal to the dog, validating that you are in full support of the procedure.

Reward System

You should make rewards a vital part of the training process. The reward could be affirmative words of appraisal. Also, treats are great tools in this regard. For diabetic dogs, you should cut down or stay away from unhealthy treats.

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These rewards should be engaged anytime the dog successfully stays off the waste.

Other Reasons Dogs Should Stay Off Poop

For one, coprophagia poses no threat on its own. However, there is a great chance of the dog coming in contact with parasites. The chances are increased when the poop belongs to another dog or animal.

For entirely different animals, the poop can be very harmful. For instance, eating a cat’s poop can result in severe health complications for your dog. To prevent this, train and prevent your dog from eating the waste of any kind. 

Also, for lots of dog lovers and intimate families, we have proximity to our dogs. For some of us, we have no issues with our dogs licking our faces. As a result, we should be particular about what they consume with their mouth.

In the process, if such a dog comes in contact with parasites, the adverse consequences can be passed on to the owner. This certainly is a viable reason to keep dogs away from poop.


Very often, lack of the appropriate diet is the major reason dogs engage in eating poop. While this is a natural act for dogs, the disgusting habit can be readdressed.

To do this, you will need to expose them to the right diet. This might even require the use of supplements.

Furthermore, training the dog to stay off poop is very important. This is especially considering the times you would not be around. To do this, you could also hire a specialized dog trainer.