Is Your Dog Eating His Dinner…Twice?

We let them snuggle, sleep in our beds, and lick us because we love them even though, from the human perspective, dogs do some pretty gross things: lick themselves, deliver questionable critter gifts, and roll on top of dead things. One of their ickiest habits is coprophagy, commonly referred to as, “eating poop”. Not only is this bad habit less than savory, it can also harm you and your pet’s health; feces contain bacteria and parasites which make your pet sick, and zoonotic parasites (hookworms and roundworms) can be transferred to you.

Corprophagia- pet health

Is Your Dog Guilty?

He might be. According to a 2012 study presented by Doctor Benjamin Hart to the American Veterinary Society:

  • 16% of dogs are caught (red-pawed) in the act at least five times.
  • 24% have been observed feasting on feces at least once.
  • Coprophagy is more common in multi-dog households.

The only way to know for sure is to accompany your pup on all outings.

Corprophagia at pet health hospital

Why Would Your Dog Do Such a Thing?

Although many say nutritional deficiency is the cause, no scientific evidence supports this claim. Sometimes coprophagy occurs without explanation. Sometimes it’s due to a medical, environmental, or behavioral problem such as:

  • Parasites
  • Malabsorption Syndromes
  • Diabetes
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Isolation
  • Confinement
  • Anxiety
  • Attention Seeking

Puppies often grow out of coprophagy, especially when the behavior is discouraged.

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Corprophagia-pet health hospital

Can Your Dog Be Helped?

The best treatment is to maintain a clean outdoor space by picking up your dog’s leavings immediately after they are left. Several additional measures can be taken to help your dog kick his or her icky habit include:

  • Establish a routine feeding schedule.
  • Accompany dogs on outings.
  • Address underlying issues (work with a behaviorist and reduce anxiety).
  • Teach “leave it” command.
  • Add taste-aversion products, like For-Bid Powder, to diet.

If your dog partakes in this bad habit, ask our Pet Health veterinarian how we can help you rule out medical issues and teach your pup better manners.


– Missie A.

Pet Health Hospital is a life saver. My poor cat was attacked by another cat and developed a terrible abscess on her little head. Dr. Pizzillo was the attending veterinarian who treated my BabyGir!!. She was able to get the situation under control before it became more serious. Dr. Pizzillo is compassionate and caring. She has a very calming way about her and put my worries at ease. The entire staff is very professional and welcoming. I am going to recommend Pet Health Hospital to anyone needing an excellent veterinarian. Thank you to all of you!!!!

– Jennifer C.

Pet Health has been a wonderful health care service for our baby – Gracie.  She has a very serious health issue arise – and Dr. Lewis texted on a regular basis to check on her, to see how things were progressing and to see if we needed any help.   I am very grateful for their genuine love and concern for our dog.  thank you!

– Mee F.

Love this vet! Clean and high tech! The entire staff was friendly and so loving to my dog! First time here and I have already recommended this place to all my friends! The vet even followed up with us as she said she would on the urine test.

– Adrian W.

Great place. We’ve been to many vets throughout our dogs 7 years life span. This is the best place we’ve been to so far. Dr. Renee Lewis has a great presence and our dog was surprisingly extremely calm around her (he like every other dog, don’t like vets..).

This clinic is not very pushy wanting to do ‘extra’ work to create a larger bill. 

Dr. Lewis also showed that she really cared and took her time to get to know our dog, and explaining everything after the surgery. 

I’m done with Veterinaries that only cares about profit and rush through the consultation because they’re overbooked!

The staff here are also very friendly and helpful. They made us feel welcome!

I highly recommend this place!


– Sarah W.

Pet Health Animal Hospital is simply amazing. We found Dr. B and his team shortly after adopting our first dog. Being new to the area, we were concerned with finding the right vet that cared about our dog as much as we did. Lucky enough, we walked right into the perfect vet. From overnight stays to surgeries, Dr B and his team make us feel so comfortable, put any concern at ease, and are masters of communication. There is never a question left unanswered, or an update left undelivered. The whole team knows our dogs when we walk in, and our dogs are always excited and sprinting to get into the vet to see them. I tell people all the time that my favorite part of living in Las Vegas is Pet Health Animal Hospital!

– Andrew G.

The doctors and assistants do an amazing job here. I wasn’t sure what to do with my Sasha so I brought her in fearing the worst. Dr. Jessica Pizzillo was simply the best. She was able to remove the growth the same day and at a fraction of the cost of other estimates I had received, all while putting my Sasha through the least amount of trauma possible.

The front desk staff was also very kind and understanding when it comes to stressful situations like this. Stephanie and the rest of the staff made me feel comfortable and were very professional.

– Scott H.

Absolutely incredible vet! The level of service and attention is the best I’ve ever experienced anywhere.