You’re out for a leisurely stroll with your pup when, all of a sudden, you see them stop and investigate something on the ground.

Before you can react, they start to gobble it up—and yes, it’s most likely poop. While it may seem strange that dogs eat their own or other animals’ waste, this behavior is actually quite common.

But why do dogs do this? Let’s take a closer look at why this behavior occurs in the first place.

The Medical Side of It

There could be an underlying medical cause behind this behavior. Dogs may eat feces to make up for missing nutrients or because they are dealing with digestive issues or malnourishment.

Dog owners should always consult a veterinarian if their pet is exhibiting any abnormal behaviors like eating feces as they may need to run some tests or start medication.

In addition, puppies may engage in coprophagia—or the act of consuming their own feces—as part of their weaning process since its normal for nursing mothers to consume their young’s stool as part of cleaning up after them.

If you have recently adopted an adult pet who exhibits these behaviors, then checking for signs of malnutrition or health concerns is always a good idea.

The Behavioral Aspects

In addition to medical causes, there could also be more behavioral reasons why your dog has taken up this habit like anxiety or boredom.

If your pup feels anxious about something like being left alone for too long or not getting enough attention from their owner(s), then eating things like poop might be an outlet where they can express themselves and find comfort in doing so.

Similarly, if they don’t have enough outlets for physical activity such as walks and playtime with other pups (or even people!), then they might resort to coping mechanisms such as eating feces out of boredom and lack of stimulation/activity.


While there may be medical and behavioral causes behind coprophagia—or why dogs eat poop—it’s important to remember that every dog is different and will exhibit different behaviors depending on their individual needs and experiences.

If you notice your pup exhibiting any unusual behaviors such as eating feces, it’s best to consult your veterinarian right away so that any underlying health concerns can be addressed quickly before the situation worsens over time.

With proper nutrition, exercise, and attention from their owners, dogs are sure to stay happy!