why do pugs eat their own poop

Why Do Pugs Eat Their Own Poop? And How To Stop The Behavior

Why do Pugs eat their own poop? It’s not just your Pug, dogs are known to eat feces from cats, rabbits, deer, and etc. Today, we’re going to look at why your pooch is eating their own feces and why you need to take steps to stop them.

Why Do Pugs Eat Their Own Poop?

Dogs eat poop for several reasons, and that can be due to wanting attention, boredom, dominance behavior, neglect, avoiding punishment or health issues. 

The scientific name for your Pug eating poop is known as coprophagia, which generally refers to the ingestion of canine’s own poop or another animal.

It’s NEVER a good thing when you see your Pug eating their own feces or droppings they find on the ground. The great thing is that there are some things that you can do to stop this behavior, but first let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t just ignore it.

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Unfortunately, this isn’t just a Pug behavioral problem, but all dogs regardless of dog breed will eat poop.

Mindy went through this phase for a while and we used Coprovent Coprophagia. It is known to work for some dogs. I’ll share some more methods below that you can try below.

Related: What Do Pugs Eat?

What Is Coprophagia

Coprophagia is a scientific term that means consuming feces. This condition has been known to affect all types of animals, including your adorable Pug.

Even if you’ve read articles or watched videos on this condition, it’s still horrifying when you see your domesticated pooch consuming feces.

Is It Harmful for A Dog to Eat Poop?

pug pooping
While this is not harmful to dogs, it is a nasty behavior.

This behavior is usually harmless and will just make you want to stop letting your dog kiss you because their breath will stink like poop.

Before you just ignore it, it’s important to understand that the consumption of feces can spread infectious diseases or parasites to your pooch, which I discuss below.

Health Issues Related to Pug Eating Poop

This behavior can also cause gastroenteritis which will result in diarrhea or vomiting.

Intestinal Parasites: These parasites live inside the gastrointestinal tract, and consist of whipworms, tapeworms, worms, and protozoa.

These parasites are transmitted to your pooch when they ingest parasite eggs or spores that are usually found in feces, water, soil, or some types of food.

If your dog eats droppings, they have a bigger chance of acquiring an intestinal parasite. These types of parasites can cause vomiting, diarrhea, malnutrition and other health issues.

Basically, it can make your dog sick, and that’s why it’s important to take the necessary action to get your Pug to stop eating poop!

Don’t worry, I’ll share some things that you can try to get your Pug to stop eating poop, but first, let’s take a look at what causes this issue in the first place.

Why Is My Pug Eating His Poop All Of A Sudden: Possible Reasons

There are several reasons a dog eats poop and some of those reasons are explained below.

Wild Dogs

This belief is that domesticated dogs still have some of the wild survival instincts. Common wild behavior instincts include; dogs rolling in their own feces to cover their scent, and moving in circles before lying down (referred to as denning).

Wild dogs would have young pups in a den that were too young to leave the den, so they would defecate in the den.

The mother would consume the waste of her pups to prevent the smell from attracting predators.

Puppyhood

A puppy eating feces is NOT uncommon. In fact, it’s actually very common behavior in young puppies up to a year old of age, as they are naturally curious about everything they are exposed to, including poop.

This is usually a temporary stage, and most will outgrow the behavior on their own.

Neglect

A neglected dog that is doesn’t get enough food will consume their own poop to survive.

Coprophagia is commonly seen in dogs that have been abandoned.

Underfeeding

If your furbaby is not consuming enough calories, her health will suffer. Like us, dogs should have access to a few portioned meals per day (2-3). If they’re not getting enough to eat, they will start looking for elsewhere, including their own to curb their hunger.

Worms

If you’ve noticed that your dog’s appetite has suddenly increased for no reason, you need to get her checked for worms immediately. These intestinal parasites survive by stealing your dog’s nutrients, which leave your dog looking for ways to supplement them.

Health

If your Pug started eating their own poop or that of another dog’s or animals, it’s most likely their body is craving certain vitamins.

This can occur even if your Pug consumes their food and seems to be full, their body may still be lacking certain vitamins. Dogs on processed dry food diets will look for other sources of digestive enzyme deficiencies.

Several commercial dog foods contain unnecessary fillers that do not provide any nutritional value for your dog. It’s kind of like when we eat junk food. It can taste good, but it doesn’t provide the nutrients and vitamins we need.

Most likely Fido is missing consuming lower protein manufactured foods, they are in need of more vitamin B. This results in them eating their own stool because it contains a protein that hasn’t been fully digested.

Make sure that you’re feeding your Pug healthy food products, treats, and snacks. Just by feeding them high-quality food, you may be able to stop this bad behavior.

I’ve put together a list of great dog foods that contain all the nutrients vital to your Pug!

Stress or Boredom

Some people believe that puppies or dogs eat feces as a form of a coping mechanism when they are bored, stressed, or feeling isolated.

If your dog is home alone most of the day, you may want to give them a dog puzzle to help relieve boredom in dogs.

Shame

Some puppies will eat their own poop if they’ve been shamed for pooping in the house. This is why you NEVER want to rub your dog’s nose in their feces if they have an accident in the house.

Dominance

Studies have shown that dogs live in a hierarchical society, and there is always one dominant dog while others are submissive.

If you have more than one dog your Pug could be eating poop because they are submissive pack member of the family.

How To Stop Dogs From Eating Poop Home Remedy?

Whether your Pug has started eating feces due to a medical or behavioral problem, the great thing is that there are steps you can take to stop them from eating their own poo.

Their Food

The first place to look is their diet. If you’re feeding your pet low-quality food, this is most likely the culprit that is causing your dog to eat their own discharge or that of others.

Make sure your dog is eating high-quality dog food on a regular eating schedule.

Add Enzymes To Their Diet

You can also try a popular food additive to keep dogs from eating poop. You can try NaturVet Coprophagia Plus, or Forbid which are stool preventives for dogs.

These additives are available over the counter. If you’re unsure of what to give your pooch, check with your veterinary first.

Watch this video where Mercola Healthy Pets discusses some tips on how to improve your cat’s and dogs’ digestive health by using digestive enzymes.

Mineral Supplements

Stool consumption may be a sign of trace mineral deficiencies. There are several dog-friendly supplements such as kelp and bentonite to help supplement the minerals your dog is lacking.

Train Them

If you’re Pug is well-behaved and understands the common command of sit, stay and come. You should also teach your dog the “leave it” command so they don’t get to the poop before you have a chance to clean it up.

Clean It Up

Clean up your dog’s stool right after they take care of business. This prevents them from eating their own stool. Of course, this doesn’t mean they won’t eat rabbit poo or other animals.

Keep their yard and living area clean.

Keep Them On A Leash

This will allow you to pull on your Pug’s leash when they sniff poo, especially, if they eat poop while out for a walk.

Toys and Exercise

Make sure your pooch gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom. Here are some toys you can use to keep your Pug busy while you’re away at work or busy.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Adult stool eaters most likely have a hydrochloric acid deficiency aka stomach acid that helps facilitate the initial breakdown of proteins. One possible solution is to spray the feces with a solution of half apple cider vinegar and half water.

Poop is already acidic and spraying it with vinegar should deter pugs eating poop.

“Stop Pugs Eating Poop” Products

Some home remedies that are known to work is adding a little pineapple juice, or meat tenderizer (opt for one that doesn’t contain any MSG) to your dog’s food to deter him from eating his own poop.

Most dogs don’t mind the taste, but it makes their poop taste terrible.

Pumpkin

Canned unspiced pumpkin can be a great way to help keep your pet’s belly full. The best part is that it is a healthy supplement that can help your pooch with diarrhea and constipation.

Before adding pumpkin or any of the following home remedies to your Pug’s diet, make sure you know whether your pup has allergies to any of the foods.

Keep Them On A Schedule

If possible set up a poop schedule that will allow you to go outside with them. You can watch them and make sure they don’t eat their poop.

Final Word On Coprophagia Deterrent

Now that you know why Pugs eat poop, these tips should help you stop this behavior.

It’s important to remember that it’s going to take some time, but with enough time your pug’s pooping problem will be gone!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my dog eating poop all of a sudden? It’s either a medical or behavioral condition. It’s not uncommon behavior for dogs to eat their own stools, but are known to eat the stool of cats, rabbits, deer, birds, and other animals.

How to stop my dog from eating rabbit poop? Unless you can keep the rabbits out of your yard, it’s going to be nearly impossible to get your dog to stop eating rabbit poo. The great thing is that rabbit poop is unlikely harmful to your dog.

References and Further Reading

Pet Health Network – Intestinal Parasites in Dogs

Healthy Pets – Coprophagia: Does Your Dog Have This Nasty Habit?

American Kennel Club – Why Dogs Eat Poop and How to Stop It

Southwest Journal – Keeping Your Dog Safe Around Rabbits

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