Why do Poodles Eat Feces?(and How to Stop It)


There aren’t many things more horrifying than finding your poodle snacking on his stool. Even more terrifying is when he comes trotting over to give you a big kiss on your face right after his heinous deed. No, thanks! While this may be downright disgusting, you will be glad to know it’s likely normal, and there are simple ways to stop this from happening.

So, why is your poodle eating his feces, and how can you stop it? There are several reasons why poodles eat feces (also known as coprophagia) and many ways that you can stop it. The reasons and solutions include:

Possible Reasons for CoprophagiaSolutions You Can Try
1) Your poodles diet lacks nutrition1) Change his diet
2) He is bored2) Make sure his area is clean.
3) He is stressed3) Spend more time with him.
4) He thinks it’s a good thing.4) Don’t make it a game.
5) He is trying to dispose of the evidence.5) Train him with the “leave it” command.
6) She is protecting her puppies.6) Use natural dietary supplements like apple cider vinegar, Pineapples, pumpkin, and other supplements specifically formulated to stop coprophagia.
7) He is mimicking his mother.
8) He is experiencing medical issues, such as anemia, diabetes, parasites, or thyroid problems.
9) Your poodle is lacking probiotics.

If you want to stop your poodle from munching on poop, then you need to find the root of the problem. This article will discuss all the possible reasons that can cause your dog to eat feces and what you can do to stop it. Luckily, most of the problems and solutions are simple fixes that aren’t related to severe medical conditions.

Why Poodles Eat Feces

A poodle of any type and age may start eating his poop, which is known as ‘coprophagia.’ While coprophagia is mostly normal, owners still need to find the root of the problem associated with his poop eating. By doing so, the owner can then find the right way to deal with the problem and reduce or completely stop the act of eating stool.

So, what are some of the main driving factors behind a poodle eating poop?

1.   Your Poodle’s Diet Lacks Nutrition

If your poodle is eating his poop, it may be because he is not getting enough nutrients in his diet. Without proper nutrition, your poodle will still be hungry even after mealtimes, which will lead him to scavenge for the right nutrients to fill the void in his belly.

Now, this may be confusing to the pet owner who regularly feeds his poodle two times a day and watches his furry friend eat all of it. How could he possibly be hungry? Well, look at the food you are feeding your poodle. Is it rich in nutrients, or is it jam-packed with fillers?

Unfortunately, many top brands in the dog food market load their products up with fillers. These fillers are cheap for the company, which makes them less expensive for the consumer. But cheaper does not always mean better, and that statement is true when it comes to your dog’s food.

Fillers are empty ingredients that are used to give dog food a bulked-up appearance. However, they have little to no nutritional value. Can you believe that most dog foods consist of ¼ to ½ fillers? That means that even after your dog has eaten an entire bowl of the dog food, he is still going to be craving actual nutrients.

Low-Quality Dog Food Is Less Likely to be Fully Digested, Too

It’s not only a lack of nutrients from low-quality dog food that is affecting your pup and making him eyeball his feces for nutrition purposes. Low-quality dog food may be indigestible. This means that there is likely going to be some leftover chunks of undigested food found in his stool. Your dog sees this and sees another tasty meal.

Watch this video to find the 6 best dog foods for your poodle according to review tube:

2. Your poodle may be Bored

Any time a dog is left alone for long periods, they will start acting out. Why wouldn’t they? They have already played with all their toys, and they have thoroughly sniffed out the area and taken a few naps in between all their small adventures. What now? Boredom leads to a plethora of behavioral problems, including coprophagia.

If your furry friend has nothing better to do, then he might start looking at his poop as something to be enjoyed. While this may seem atrocious to a human, it is typical behavior in the dog world. After all, they can’t play video games or call up a friend – their options are limited!

I recently wrote a guide to the best toys for poodles. I discuss behavioral topics such as boredom and separation anxiety, as well as the best toys to help curb these behaviors. You can learn more here.

3.  Your poodle may be Stressed

Humans aren’t the only animal that can feel stress. As explained in “5 Signs Your Dog is Stressed” from PetMD, anxiety in dogs is more common than you think. Stress can lead to several different health issues with your canine, one of which is coprophagia (along with other digestive problems).

Poodles are likely to feel the most stress when they are left alone for long periods. This brings about separation anxiety, which will eventually lead to behavioral problems. While some dogs may opt for barking, whining, or ripping items to shreds, others may choose to eat their poop to calm themselves down.

If you would like to learn more about behavior issues that can result from poodles being left alone, I wrote an article detailing some problems and solutions here.

4.   He Thinks It’s a Good Thing

Some poodles might get confused and think that eating their stool is a good thing to do. As discussed in “When a Poodle Eats Feces” by AllPoodleInfo.com, if you rush to grab his poop off the floor and run and yell during the process, your poodle might start to think it is a game. This game is known as the ‘grab’ game.

Your poodle watches you go crazy trying to get the poop off the floor. In turn, he thinks it is something to become excited about and chase after. He then might start to believe that he should get to his poop before you do and consume it in the process.

Less Likely Causes of Poodles Eating Their Feces

While the above issues are the most likely behavioral causes of your poodle eating his stool; however, there are some less common behavioral causes of coprophagia, as well.

5.    He is Trying to Dispose of the Evidence

For the most part, any puppy who lives in a healthy, happy, and loving home will not need to try and hide the evidence of his poop. However, puppies who are potty training and have accidents might feel a great deal of guilt and try to hide it for that reason. Sometimes dogs will eat their poop, especially if it ended up somewhere it wasn’t supposed to be.

6.    She is Protecting Her Puppies

A new doggy mother will have a maternal instinct to eat her newborn’s poop. This all goes back to the days when she needed to stave off the scent of her newborn from potential prey. She will likely continue to do this, even when she is in the comfort of your home.

If your poodle has just given birth to her tiny puppies, don’t be alarmed if she eats the newborn’s stool. She is merely acting on instinct to protect her puppies and keep them out of harm’s way. This will stop once the puppies get a little bit older and don’t rely on her as much.

7.    He is Mimicking His Mother

This is not the most probable of possibilities, but it’s not wholly impossible. Some pet owners believe that their puppies are only eating their poop because they have watched their mother do it. They are learning the ways of life and rely on their mother for everything. Why wouldn’t they want to do precisely what mom is doing?

A good behavioral training course can really help with coprophagia. I found an amazing training system called Brain Training for Dogs. In just a few weeks, I saw a significant difference in my dog’s anxiety level. I would highly recommend this course! Check it out here

Possible Medical Conditions That Can cause Your Poodle to Eat His Poop

As you can see, many of the reasons why a poodle may eat feces are entirely reasonable. Most of the time, it’s because of a lack of proper diet and boredom or stress. However, there are times when a medical condition is to blame for stool consumption. These health conditions and illnesses will need to be diagnosed and handled by a veterinarian:

Anemia

Anemia can be caused by a lack of proper nutrition, although sometimes that is not the culprit. Anemia is simply a deficiency of iron in the body and causes your poodle to eat his poop. He may also be more sluggish than usual, and his gums may appear paler.

Diabetes

A major culprit of health-related poop eating is diabetes. Diabetes is common in many dog breeds, including poodles, and may cause your dog to eat his poop. He may also be thirsty, urinate more often, and experience a sudden weight loss.

Parasites

Parasites will suck much the nutrients out of your dog, leaving him hungry and searching for something to fill his empty tummy. He may turn to his stools to get the vitamins and minerals he is lacking.

Thyroid Problems

Finally, your poodle’s thyroid may be to blame for feces consumption. Your poodle will also likely have several different issues with his coat, including dullness, drying, peeling, and excessive shedding.

He is Lacking Probiotics

Not having enough probiotics can be harmful to your poodle’s health, especially when it comes to his digestive system. If he is not digesting his food correctly or he is experiencing some tummy distress, then eating his feces may seem like the best option for combating the pain of finding the right nutrients to keep his stomach happy.

If you suspect that this is the reason your dog is eating his feces, you should consider adding a probiotic to your dog’s diet. This will ensure that he won’t have any digestive issues in the future, and it may lead to less poop-eating as well. I highly recommend Zesty Paws Probiotic for Dogs for several different reasons, including:

  • The bites contain over 3 billion CFU of prebiotics and probiotics. With so many prebiotics and probiotics, you can rest assured that your poodle will never suffer from tummy troubles such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
  • Includes GanedenBC30. This specific probiotic can withstand the acidity of the stomach and aids with overall digestion, which means your dog will have an easier time digesting his food and consuming the much-needed nutrients.
  • Contains papaya and pumpkin. Both ingredients are excellent for gut help and digestion, but the best part is they work together to make the poodle’s stool taste terrible. This can certainly help with the poop eating problem.
  • Supports poodles suffering from allergies. This is the ideal supplement for any dog struggling with allergies or an overall weak immune system.

How to Stop Your Poodle from Eating Poop

Now that you know the reasons your poodle is eating his stool, you can begin to correct it. Make sure you know the root of the problem first, though, since some of these techniques will only work in certain situations. If your poodle is eating poop due to a medical reason, take him to the veterinarian right away.

DIY Suggestions to Help Stop Your Poodle from Eating Poop

There are many simple things you can do to deter your pet poodle from devouring his stool. We are going to look at the top 4 do-it-yourself suggestions to help stop your poodle from eating poop, all of which can be done right now!

1.    Change His Diet

The first thing you should do is check your poodle’s diet. Are there lots of fillers in his dog food? The most common dog food fillers include:

  • Corn Bran
  • Rice Bran
  • Oat Hulls
  • Cereal By-Products
  • Feathers
  • Soybean Hulls
  • Peanut Hulls
  • Rice Hulls
  • Wheat Mill
  • Citrus Pulp
  • Modified Corn Starch
  • Straw

If you see any of these ingredients in your dog food, especially if they are listed in the first three ingredients, you want to throw it out right away. This type of low-quality dog food is not giving your poodle the proper amount of nutrients, which may be causing his desire to consume his poop.

If you need to switch, we highly recommend Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food. What we love about this high-quality dog food is meat is always the first ingredient, so you know your poodle is getting the right amount of protein to help him grow big and strong.

Other ingredients, including brown rice, cranberries, blueberries, flaxseed, and sweet potato, all work together to provide your dog with the right number of vitamins and minerals to thrive. Dogs love this food because it tastes great and keeps their tummies happy, which will undoubtedly make his poop look less attractive.

2.    Make Sure His Area is Clean

If your dog is eating his poop often, the best thing to do is get rid of the temptation. Think about it – if he can’t see his poop, then he won’t be able to eat it. Make sure that his area is clean. When he goes to the bathroom, clean it right away. This will be more challenging if he is left alone for extended periods, such as when you are at work, but do the best you can.

3.    Spend Enough Time with Him

One of the biggest reasons a poodle might end up eating his poop is because he is bored or suffering from anxiety and stress. Especially when there is a lack of bonding with his owner. The solution to this problem is simple, but it’s one that the owner must act on.

First and foremost, make sure your poodle is getting enough exercise and playtime. Every dog loves playing a round of fetch or tug-of-war with their owner or going around the block for a walk and enjoying the scenery. These small experiences are important for your poodle and will help him to stay out of trouble and away from his poo.

You should also make sure that you are showing your dog enough love. This is especially true if you work or are away from your poodle for more extended periods. Being left alone can bring about anxiety in your dog, and the best way to combat that is to show your poodle plenty of love when you are there.

Lastly, always make sure your poodle has enough toys to keep him occupied. Don’t settle for just a few balls and bones. Although these are enjoyable for your poodle, you should consider getting toys that make him use his brain.

I especially recommend the MULTIPET Look Who is Talking toy. When they are squeezed, the toy comes to life in such a realistic manner that your dog might think it is the real deal. From parrots to monkeys to goldfish, your poodle is likely to spend hours trying to figure this toy out and enjoying every sound that’s emitted from the toy.

4.    Don’t Make it a Game

Think about how you are handling the situation when it comes to your dog pooping. Do you get hyped up and run to grab it up? Do you find yourself yelling and exaggerating the situation? Your dog might mistake your intensity as a good thing, rather than an owner just trying to get rid of the poop before it smells up the house.

Your poodle might start to think it is a game. He sees you running to pick it up, so he might begin to believe that is what he is supposed to do. He will start to run for his poop the second he is finished with his business and pick it up by eating it.

If this is the case, then you need to stop overreacting to his poop immediately. The first step is to calm down. The second step is to help your dog understand that it is not a game, which can be done with a little bit of training and reassurance.

Training Your Poodle Not to Eat Poop

If you are struggling with a poop-eating poodle and the above reasons are not to blame, then he may tend to find it delicious and not want to stop. Luckily, though, you can train your poodle to stop eating his poop. It may be a bit of a challenge and take up to 3 weeks to be successful, but it’s certainly worth the time and effort. Just make sure you stay consistent.

The most common way to train a poodle, as described in “How to Train Your Dog to Not Eat Poop” by WagWalking.com, to stop eating his poop is by using the ‘Leave It’ command.

To successfully train your poodle with the “Leave It” command, you will need to do the following:

  • Place a treat in your hand and hold it tightly.
  • Let your dog sniff and lick your hand to get the treat.
  • Continue to say ‘Leave It’ in a calm but confident tone.
  • Once your dog has stopped investigating the treat and sits down, you can then say ‘Yes’ and give him the treat.
  • Once this step is mastered, start to place a piece of dog food on the floor and tell him to leave it. When he does, you may reward him with a better treat for listening.
  • Start placing pieces of dog food throughout the inside and outside of the home, practicing the leave it command. If he is successful, switch to praise rather than treats.
  • Begin to use the leave it command when your dog approaches his feces or the feces of other animals.
  • Make sure you continue to praise him when he successfully obeys the leave it command.

As you can see, this is a relatively simple command that can be taught in the comfort of your home. The key is to stay consistent. It could take as long as three weeks before your poodle is ready to obey the “Leave It” command, but with consistency and confidence, he should succeed.

How to Stop Your Poodle from Eating Poop Naturally

Still in need of some help when it comes to your poodle eating his feces? There are many natural solutions you can use at home to help with this problem. Here is a list of the top 4 natural ways to help your dog stop eating his poop, according to “7 Natural Ways to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Poop.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar. A deficiency in hydrochloric acid may be to blame for your dog’s affinity for eating his poop. Adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar can help. You can also opt for a bit of zucchini in their food or meat tenderizer, which is also believed to make poop taste awful.
  • Pineapples. When your dog eats pineapple, it will change the flavor of his poop and make it more acidic. It will taste bad, and your dog won’t want to eat it anymore.
  • Pumpkin. Pumpkin is a great way to keep his tummy full for a more extended period while also enhancing his digestive system. It will also make his stool taste awful.
  • Supplements. There are many supplements on the market that are designed to treat coprophagia. Supplements like Forbid, Deter, Potty Mouth, and NaturVet Coprophagia Deterrent Soft Chews all have essential vitamins and minerals to help your dog lay off the poop eating.

Note: Some blogs and pet owners suggest adding hot sauce to your dog’s food to get them to stop eating their feces, but the hot sauce should never be given to your dog. Several different things can occur, from your dog’s mouth being burned to making them afraid of their food dish. How awful is that?

If you are going to use hot sauce, it is suggested that you place it on top of the poop so that when your dog goes to eat it, it will act as a deterrent, and he will not want to try it again. This, of course, is an unethical and mean way of training your dog. It is best to use other methods.

Is it Harmful for a Dog to Eat Poop?

For the most part, a dog eating his poop is normal and isn’t incredibly harmful. However, some circumstances can make this dangerous to your poodle.

  • Your dog can get sick from eating his feces. While it’s relatively unlikely, the biggest concern is when the dog has been recently dewormed, and he goes to eat his poop that still has worms and eggs inside. Of course, this will lead to reinfection that requires more medication to handle.The other issue is that when your poodle consumes his stool too often, it can lead to upset stomach and digestive problems. This is especially true if your dog eats his poop, regurgitates it, then ingests the throw-up.
  • Your dog can get sick from eating the feces of other animals. It becomes a much more harmful experience when your poodle starts to consume the stool of other dogs and animals. Some of the biggest dangers include contracting whipworm, hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, salmonellosis, cryptosporidiosis, and campylobacteriosis.

As you can see, the biggest issue is when your poodle begins to consume the feces of other animals around him. If you are struggling with this with your poodle, the best option is to teach the ‘Leave It’ command and always make sure his area is clean of all poop, whether it’s his or not.

Conclusion

While humans may find poop repulsive, many dogs will eat their feces at some point or another. There are, however, many reasons connected to poop eating. The best thing is to find the root cause of the coprophagia and handle it properly. For some, it will mean switching to a new, higher quality dog food, while others may need to be specially trained to ‘Leave It.’

Brent Hartman

I'm Brent Hartman. I've been a dog lover my entire life and have owned many animals over the years. When my black lab Angus passed away, I was looking for another friend to share my life with. As a result of my research, I've come to love poodles and wanted to share some of what I've learned with you. Whether you're looking to adopt a poodle, or already own one, I created Poodle report to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

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