30 January

Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop?

by Jon Katz

(WBTNAM, a community non-profit radio station, and the host for “Talking To Animals,” has just posted a new Amazon WBTN Wish List of things the station needs – all inexpensive, just three items. Take a look, your support is much appreciated, the station needs every single thing there is.)

On my radio show, Talking to Animals, I’ve gotten a lot of e-mailed questions relating to dogs eating their poop, and I’ve spent a lot of time researching the issue this week.

I see it’s important to people, and it’s important to me as well – border collies like to eat sheep feces when they are aroused, and Bud likes to eat poop in almost any form from any source. I was surprised to learn so much about it that I didn’t know and  have never heard before.

I’m taking up this question today on the radio show – on from one to three p.m. on WBTMAM1370. You can live stream it here or hear it on any free radio app – I use the Simple Radio app. You are also welcome to call me during the show  – 866 406-9286 or 802 442 1010.

You can also e-mail me at any time – jon@bedlamfarm.com – before, during or after the show and I will be happy to discuss your questions on the radio.

Starting tonight, the broadcast will be repeated ever Wednesday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. You can also hear the podcast on  WBTNAM.US.

The poop question is not simple, and I’ll write about it on the blog as well as talk about it on the air. It’s not fair for me to deprive people who can’t listen to “Talking To Animals” of this information, I am not kidding when I say it’s quite important to many people.

There is, of course, no consensus about why dogs do this or why it bugs people so much.

Scientists have found that many dogs – up to as many a 25 per cent – eat feces regularly or from time to time. Dogs eat poop when it is fresh, and biologists are increasingly coming to believe it is an inherited trait from wolves (wolves do it all the time) since all dogs are descended from wolves.

Generally speaking, it isn’t dangerous or unhealthy for dogs to eat their own poop, although there are risks to dogs eating the feces of other dogs and other animals.

There is  growing evidence that poop-eating is the result of dietary deficiencies relating to thyroid or enzymes. Changing diets frequently works to eliminate the habit. So do preventative measures like instant  removal of poop from the yard or strong “leave it” training.

Punishment does not work, neither does pineapple, as many vets recommend, thinking it causes the poop to be bitter.

I don’t have space or time to delve into this in detail right here and now, but I will be discussing it today and writing about it here on the blog and talking about it on the show. If you love dogs, sooner or later you will be talking about poop, it’s part of it.

E-mail me if you have questions, I check my e-mail during the show, one to three p.m. EDT U.S., or call 866 406 9286, or 802 442 1010. See you then. Please check out the new WBTNAM Amazon Wish List, the station is a non-profit community radio station. It needs to survive.)


  1. Thank you for addressing this subject! My dog only likes poopsicles – I think there is something appealing about the frozen texture. I’m never sure whether healthy frozen treats encourages or discouraged eating frozen poop.

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