How to Stop a Dog From Eating Manure

by Lori Lapierre
    Keep your dog supervised during potty breaks while you work on training.

    Keep your dog supervised during potty breaks while you work on training.

    Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

    Ah ... so your dog likes fine dining on litter-box offerings or his own excrement. Made worse only when he regurgitates it onto your carpet later. While the habit is disgusting, your dog's behavior -- coprophagia -- is completely natural, which is why he'll need your help to change the behavior.

    Step 1

    Keep the yard cleaned of dog manure so that he is unable to find and eat it when he is playing outside. A clean yard -- or litter box -- can prevent a continuation of the behavior.

    Step 2

    Cover the manure in something bad-tasting or spicy, such as Bitter Apple spray or hot sauce. This can be effective on the dog's own manure, and a few tastes may cure him of trying any other manure when he's out on a walk.

    Step 3

    Keep the cat litter box where the dog cannot access it, if can feces is an issue. Allow an opening into a room that only the cat can squeeze through, place it behind a baby gate or put the litter box up -- such as on top of the washer -- so that only the cat can reach it easily.

    Step 4

    Change your dog's diet. Low-grade dog foods may not allow for proper nutrition absorption as they pass through the body -- and may taste about the same whether they've already been eaten or not. A diet that is higher in the proper nutrients can keep your dog feeling full so he is not compelled to snack on manure.

    Step 5

    Keep your dog distracted after he goes to the bathroom. Have him chase after a tossed ball or enjoy a treat while you clean up his mess. Repeating this behavior each time may eventually help him to forget about eating his feces.

    An Item You Will Need

    • Bitter Apple spray or hot sauce


    • Teach your dog voice commands, including "stop" or "quit." This can be used to stop your dog from eating manure while out on a walk, for example.


    • Keep your dog up to date on his vaccinations and worm medications; this safeguards him in the event he eats contaminated feces.

    Photo Credits

    • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."

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