My dog has recently started to eat dog poop

Our question this week was:

My dog has recently started to eat dog poop that has frozen out in the yard. Is this a health concern?


Kerri Ulry


Hi – thanks for your email. Gosh, you gave me one more reason to enjoy my practices in South Florida! Frozen dog poop! (Just kidding!)

To answer your question, eating dog poop is a concern but no more so because it is frozen. Frozen feces are hard and the primary risk of eating it frozen would be in mouth injuries or broken teeth.

Eating feces, commonly referred to as "coprophagia", is a common behavior in dogs. It is natural in dogs such as the mother dog will "eat" the feces of her pups as she keeps her pups and nest clean. Puppies will often eat feces as they explore and learn about their environment – not unlike young kids that put just about anything in their mouths.

Other dogs will eat feces out of boredom, because they just "like it", or others may eat it because of a nutritional deficiency (rare).

There are several strategies to deal with this behavior – if you are interested – see the article Coprophagia.

Another article that might be "interesting" to you is on our is "Why Dogs Eat Feces".

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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