Why Do Dogs Eat Human Poop? Here Are 5 Widely Accepted Theories

Why Do Dogs Eat Human Poop? Here Are 5 Widely Accepted Theories

It’s not the biggest revelation in the world, but dogs eating human poop is a surprisingly common occurrence! There are several theories as to why ranging from psychological to physiological. Whatever the case may be, one thing remains certain: eating human poo can prove dangerous for dogs, so preventing this act is essential.

Thus, we put together this article with information on what causes dogs to eat human waste before you take your cute little pup out for a walk or leave them alone at home.

So, why do dogs eat human poop? Here are some of the most widely accepted theories.

1. Dogs Need Attention

Attention-seeking can lead to unusual behavior, including that of eating human feces. This might come as a surprise to dog owners, but it’s true. The theory goes that if your dog is seeking attention through unconventional methods, they’re not necessarily doing it out of malice or because they are spoiled. Instead, the attention given to them may reinforce this desirable behavior in them. To prevent them from doing something you might find gross (or even harmful), make sure they get enough attention through positive reinforcement for other acceptable actions.

2. Ignorance is Bliss

In this theory, the dog is simply ignorant about the true nature of waste. In other words, they may see your feces as a perfectly good snack. It’s not something that is taught to dogs, as they’ve been scavenging on waste for thousands of years. Instead, it’s nature’s way of getting rid of waste. So, if you’re the owner of a dog that is known for eating poop, don’t freak out. Just make sure to take precautions if you’re leaving your dog home alone for long periods of time. Incorporate other sources of food into their diet to avoid boredom that can lead to consumption.

3. Instinct

Some experts believe there might be some instinctual behavior at play when you see your dog eating poo. For some dogs, eating poop may be a learned behavior. A dog that was abandoned (or lost) at a young age might turn to eat feces for survival purposes. For other dogs, this may be in their genetic makeup or they might have picked it up from their mother through observation. If you think your dog has learned these undesirable habits, make sure you train them to develop new ones.

4. Boredom

When dogs get bored, they often act out in strange ways–one of them being eating poop. Dogs are animals; they act on instinct and base most of their decisions on whether or not it is beneficial for their survival (or that of the pack). Boredom makes them susceptible to this behavior because it weakens higher cognitive functions, making them focus on primal ones. For instance, a dog in a crate for a long period of time may choose to eat the feces stuck in its crate.

5. Socialization

While dogs are notorious for eating feces because they’re curious about new things, it’s also true that some dogs are raised around other dogs that eat human feces. This might give them the idea that it’s acceptable. If this is the case for your dog, try to break the cycle of familiarity and keep him/her away from littermates.


Overall, there are several reasons why dogs eat human poop. We can’t possibly know for sure which ones apply to your pet because it’s a subjective matter. Some advice regarding training may not apply to your pup either. In the end, the best thing you can do is provide a dog with attention and make sure they get plenty of playtime outside of their cage or kennel at home.

If you are finding that your dog is eating human feces on a regular basis, you need to take care of it becomes too much of a problem. You can consult with a vet or animal behaviorist to prevent this type of behavior from becoming serious.

If you are not sure how to deal with this issue, you can talk to your vet about it. They will be able to give you some tips on how to solve the issue without forcing the dog into doing something they don’t want to do.

You can find a more detailed article on ‘Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?’ here!

Check out our other articles covering everything about dog poop.

Have you ever seen your dog eating human poop? What actions did you take to prevent them from further eating? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!

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