Catching your adorable little beagle chowing down on a lump of poop is a sure-fire way for them to rapidly go from a 10 to a 0 in your good books!
Although Coprophagia (eating of feces) is extremely common in beagles, it does not make it any easier to deal with as an owner, and can have a huge impact on your relationship with them.
If you want to know the real reasons why your beagle eats poop and how you can stop it, then here is all the information you need.
Why Do Beagles Eat Poop?
Beagles eat poop for a whole host of reasons, including boredom, learnt behavior, stress, nutritional deficiencies, attention-seeking, hunger and food obsession, and many more – plus the fact we may make a big song and dance of it!
The truth is, wishing for your beagle to voluntarily stop eating poop is an impossible feat, as they have all the characteristics that make them incredibly susceptible to eating their own and other animal’s poop.
As beagle owners, we need to get creative and deny them the opportunity to pick up the poop in the first place!
READ: Signs You’re NOT READY for Beagle Ownership!
Facts About Dogs That Eat Poop
- Coprophagia is the scientific term for eating poop and is fairly common in dogs
- 23% of dogs are poop eaters (eating poop at least one time)
- Hounds such as Beagles are more likely to eat poop than any other type of dog
- In homes with more than one dog, 33% of them had the habit of eating poop. In homes with one dog, only 20% did
- Dogs who steal food from tables (such as beagles) are far more likely to eat poop
- 85% of poop-eating dogs will not eat their own feces, only that of other dogs. Beagles, however, tend to prefer their own, mostly down to opportunity
- 92% of poop eaters prefer the fresh stuff, up to 1 day old
- Females are more likely to eat poop compared to intact males
13 Reasons Why Beagles Eat Poop
So now that we know how common coprophagia is in dogs, let’s look at some of the most likely reasons why beagles eat poop.
1. They are Nursing
Beagles that are nursing will have a natural instinct to keep their pups safe from predators by clearing up all of their poop. This removes the scent that makes it easier for them to be detected and located.
2. Learnt Behavior From Their Mother
As the beagle pups watch their mother clearing up after them, they learn that this is normal behavior and may continue eating poop into their adult life.
3. Learnt Behaviour From You
This is a fairly tricky one to balance, but when you go straight out to collect their poop, beagles may think there is some value in ‘this stuff’ that you are so eager to pick up.
5. They Are Scavengers
For hundreds of years, beagles were bred as hunting dogs. Their instinct to constantly be on the lookout for food meant they would scavenge for whatever they could get their paws on. If it looks like food, then it’s game on!
The beagle breed is commonly crated, which means that as puppies they are also likely to be caught short and poop in their ‘little home.’
They may eat their poop to remove it from being in such close proximity to themselves and their rest area.
Read our Beagle Puppy Crate Training Guide and Crate Training Do’s and Don’ts for further information on how to prevent potty accidents in their crate.
6. Attention Seeking Behavior
It’s no surprise that we may yell, gasp or wave our arms about trying to get their attention when they are caught eating poop.
This could seem like a fun game to beagles, who may then carry on with this attention-seeking behavior with the full knowledge that it will elicit a reaction from their owners.
7. Hiding the Evidence
Some believe that beagles may eat their own poop to hide evidence of their ‘bad behavior’ for the fear of being punished by their owners for pooping indoors. Whilst separation anxiety can be a cause of poop eating, there is little information to support this theory.
8. Association with Real Food
When beagles are fed outdoors within close proximity to where they usually have a poop, they could associate the smell of the poop with that of real food.
9. They Like The Taste
As humans we clearly find the idea of poop-eating repulsive, but this is not the case with beagles! Dogs eat food based on fueling their bodies, and if it seems like fuel, then it smells great to them!
The beagle breed is prone to boredom just like many other dogs and needs a fair amount of physical and mental stimulation. A lack of this can ultimately lead to them investigating and eating their own poop – similar to inquisitive babies that put everything in their mouths!
11. Stress and Anxiety
Beagles can suffer from stress and anxiety just like humans, whether this is through a chaotic environment, being confined, separation anxiety, or other situation that they find overwhelming. This can lead to unusual or unexpected behavior, including the eating of feces.
12. Dog Food with Fillers
When dogs are fed on a diet containing filler foods such as corn, soy, husks, and wheat they will get hungrier far quicker than if fed a superior alternative.
These filler foods only aim to fill a dog’s belly and rarely provide any great deal of nutritional value, leading to dogs hunting for food elsewhere.
13. Seeking Nutrition
Dogs have a short digestive tract which means that they process their food very quickly. So a nice, fresh poop may still have some nutritional value according to your beagle, making them believe it is a healthy snack!
READ: The No.1 Recall Treats for Beagles!
Can a Beagle Get Sick from Eating Poop?
If a beagle is eating its own (fresh) poop then this will generally not cause any harm. It could reinfect them with parasites, but these are already in their system. At most, it may cause a slightly upset tummy with some gassy and smelly farts.
However, if your beagle is eating another animal’s poop it could develop a parasitic infection. If this happens, keep an eye out over the coming days to watch for any signs of illness and seek immediate advice from your vet.
Signs of a possible infection can include:
- Coughing fits
- Chest Swelling or bulge
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive Drooling
- Sudden lethargy, inactivity, or sleepiness
- Appearing dizzy or unsteady
- Excessive Shedding
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid weight loss
8 Ways to Stop Your Beagle From Eating Poop
Stopping your beagle from eating poop requires preventative and proactive measures on your part. It is one of the most challenging things to train out of a stubborn beagle, but you can have success with the following:
1. Clean Up Immediately
The single most effective way to stop your beagle from eating its own poop is to clean it up as soon as possible. Having a backyard full of dog feces is a great way to give them the opportunity to feast!
2. Training at Home
When your beagle is about to have a poop, wait at the back door with a jar full of treats at the ready. As soon as they have done their business, rattle the jar to entice them back, then close the door and leave them in the house with a treat whilst you pick up the poop.
Having them trot back with you whilst you collect the poop may signal to them that there is something interesting and exciting about their poop.
If you really need some additional help, these online dog training courses can be transformational, but our No.1 Favorite to help with poop-eating is the K9TI Masterclass
3. Clear Commands
Beagles may be forgiven for thinking their names are actually ‘NOOOO’ as this is used more than any other word around them!
But you need a command word that they immediately respond to in order to indicate that they should stop whatever they are doing (for safety and behavioral reasons).
Whether this is No, Leave It or Drop It – it’s important that they understand what this means.
4. Supervise Beagles on Walks
Keep an eye on beagles during off-leash walks and when they approach any poop, use your command word with a short, sharp, and loud tone so they know what they need to do.
They may eventually decide that there is no point in even trying with ‘hawk eye’ watching over them!
Beagles are clever hounds and expert opportunists, if they know you are distracted they are more likely to pick up a piece of poop!
5. Walk Them on The Leash
If you believe that there is no way you can let your beagle roam free whilst ensuring that they avoid poop eating, then it may be best to walk them on the leash.
Many beagle owners avoid walking their dogs altogether due to the stress or embarrassment of their poop-eating habits, but this is a perfectly good alternative.
6. Avoid Crate Accidents
Whether it’s puppies or adult beagles, the best way to prevent them from pooping in their crate is to ensure that they have had a decent amount of physical exercise before they are settled in their crate for an extended period of time.
This will give them the opportunity to have a poop somewhere that they are supposed to, as opposed to in their rest area.
READ: 7 Best Online Training Courses for Puppies
7. Nutritious Diet
Feeding your beagle a nutritious diet is one way to eliminate this as a potential cause of poop eating.
Ensuring that your beagle gets good, wholesome food may help prevent them from seeking nutritional value elsewhere, and adding fresh vegetables to their diet will keep them fuller for longer.
8. Making Poop Eating Less Appealing
Many beagle owners resort to using additives in their food in the hope that these may work to stop their beagle from eating poop. Most people do not have any great deal of success with these, but some of the more common methods include:
Meat tenderizer contains papain, a protein-digesting enzyme from the papaya fruit. It may help with the absorption of nutrients, reducing the urge to seek other food sources. It is also believed to cause stools to taste bad, acting as a deterrent.
Pineapple is widely believed to make dog poop taste bad, added to their diet in the hope that this will put a beagle off from eating their own poop. Most owners have tried this method without much success.
Pumpkin can help with intestinal issues such as constipation or diarrhea, aiding in the absorption of nutrients, however, getting the doses right can be difficult. In many cases beagles are given too much pumpkin, leading to issues with their stools and subsequently developing problems with their anal glands.
3 Things You Should Avoid
1. Using a Muzzle
The use of a muzzle may seem like a great idea, and generally, it will stop a beagle from fully eating a pile of poop.
The reality is that if you don’t address the underlying behavior, your beagle will still attempt to pick it up, and cleaning a poopy muzzle is no fun at all!
There is no real evidence to show that punishing your beagle for eating poop will help stop them from future attempts.
It can also cause other issues such as your beagle hanging on to their poop or avoiding going to the toilet as they fear the act of pooping rather than the act of eating it.
One thing punishment is sure to do is ruin your relationship with them!
3. Don’t Indirectly Reward Them
Many owners state that they immediately give their beagles a treat or dental chew to help clean out their mouths straight after they have eaten poop.
This can reinforce to your beagle that poop eating guarantees a reward, therefore associating this with good behavior.
How to Clean a Beagles Mouth After They’ve Eaten Poop
Once your beagle has eaten poop you will rightly not want them roaming around the home freely, licking children, drooling on the floor, and contaminating soft furnishings.
The best way to deal with cleaning is to have a beagle grooming kit readily available.
Use a wet cloth to wipe away any traces left around their mouth and jowls. Using a dog-specific toothpaste and fingerbrush, reach around their teeth and gums and gently brush. (Do not use toothpaste made for humans as this can be harmful to dogs).
Only once some time has passed and they no longer have any association with eating poop, give them a dental hygiene chew. This will produce saliva when eating and naturally clean their mouths and teeth.
Always have a fresh bowl of water available and once they have taken their first drink, wash the bowl and refill with water again.
Wrapping Up Why Beagles Eat Poop
Discovering that your beagle eats poop can come as a shock and for most owners, it doesn’t get much easier to deal with.
Although training your beagle to stop eating poop is a huge challenge, there are many things you can do to eliminate or reduce the chances of it happening every time. It just means you have to be more stubborn than they are.
Read some more interesting facts about beagles here!
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If your dog is a poop eater, make sure you go outside with them so you can quickly distract them if they start eating poop and pick it up right away. Add meat tenderizer, canned pumpkin, or another deterrent to his food. These items taste fine going down, but they make poop taste terrible to dogs.What supplement can I give my dog to stop eating poop? ›
NaturVet Coprophagia Deterrent Plus Breath Aid are veterinarian-approved dog treats that keep your pup from wanting to ingest his poop, while simultaneously freshening breath with a specialized blend of yucca, parsley, chamomile and proprietary enzymes.How do I clean my dog's mouth after eating poop? ›
You can first clean your dog's mouth and help eliminate bad breath by brushing his teeth with dog toothpaste or coconut oil. Never use human toothpaste on your pup, because it may be toxic to him. You can use a regular, curved dog toothbrush or a finger brush on your dog's teeth.How do I get my dog to stop eating poop on walks? ›
The best way to stop them from eating faeces is to supervise them when they are outdoors. And if they are approaching a poo then enthusiastically distract them, reward them with something more interesting like a treat, toy or game – use lots of high pitched voices to praise them.Why is my Beagle eating her own poop? ›
Beagles eat poop for a whole host of reasons, including boredom, learnt behavior, stress, nutritional deficiencies, attention-seeking, hunger and food obsession, and many more – plus the fact we may make a big song and dance of it!How much pumpkin do you give a dog to stop eating poop? ›
The Merck Veterinary Manual states that adding 1-to-4 tablespoons of pumpkin per meal to the diet of a dog suffering from constipation can help ease mild constipation.Does broccoli stop dogs from eating poop? ›
Adding green veggies to your dog's diet is a great way to stop them from eating their own poop. Veggies such as broccoli, spinach, and kale are all great choices. These greens are high in fiber, which can help to make the feces less appealing.Does probiotics stop dogs from eating poop? ›
Probiotics can support your dog's overall digestive health and proper intestinal microflora and could help stop that pesky poop eating problem. It's important to set your dog up for success by reducing the amount of poop they have access to.Do dogs eat poop because of vitamin deficiency? ›
Nutritional deficiency is probably the most oft-cited reason for eating poop, but there is no science backing up that theory, especially since most modern-day dog foods are fortified with iron and other minerals dogs would be lacking if they were eating poop for a nutritional deficiency.
Some people believe that you can feed dogs pineapple so they stop eating their poop. The idea is that the pineapple will alter the poop to be unappetizing to the dog. Very sadly, there is no evidence to support this claim.
If your dog is eating poop, it could be for a number of reasons, including anxiety, attention, isolation, confinement or inappropriate association with food, according to the American Kennel Club. Some dogs with harsh punishment trauma may eat their own poop to avoid further reprimand.Do dogs throw up after eating poop? ›
YES! However, it's relatively unlikely that any surfacing symptoms are the result of coprophagia. Ingesting poop is a canine ritual that's passed down from mother to pup.How do I get my dog to stop eating poop Reddit? ›
- Get rid of the poop. Remove it immediately. Your dog will never stop learning to eat poop if she has access to it. ...
- Get to her before she eats the poop and guide her away from it, and give her a high value treat. The goal here is to teach her that not eating poo means she gets something delicious.
So why do beagles always look sad? Beagles look sad because of their sagging face and drooping ears and lips. Their flopping eyelids and soulful eyes contribute to their sad appearance too. This is more common in healthy beagles.Can Beagles be left alone? ›
Adult Beagles (over 18 months) should not be left unsupervised for more than 4-6 hours a day. Beagle puppies should not be alone for more than 2 hours a day. Beagles left alone for long periods could develop anxiety, become destructive (through boredom), or bark and bay excessively.Why are Beagles so hard to potty train? ›
Their even temperament makes them an excellent dog for families with children. Beagles are also notorious for being hard to potty train, mainly because once they've had an accident in the house, their highly acute sense of smell keeps leading them back to the scene of the crime.Will feeding my dog pumpkin stop eating poop? ›
Simply by adding store-bought CoproBan, For-Bid, pineapple, pumpkin, spinach (to only name a few) to your dog's food can prevent dog's eating their poop.Is it OK to give dogs pumpkin everyday? ›
Can Dogs and Cats eat pumpkin every day? Yes – you can certainly add small amounts of pumpkin to their meal every day. The additional fibre from a daily dose can have many health benefits including: Making your pet feel fuller sooner (Good for weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight)How do I add pumpkin to my dog's diet? ›
- Canned (unsweetened) cooked or pureed pumpkin can be mixed into your dog's regular wet or dry food. ...
- Offer a teaspoon of cooked pumpkin as a treat after training or stuff into a Kong toy for hours of fun.
- Use as a substitute for butter or other fats when baking homemade dog treats.
Adding fibre (e.g. carrots, green beans, and broccoli) to the diet may alter the texture and smell of the faeces through natural fermentation to make it less attractive to dogs (Lindsay 2005). Fresh vegetables also have other important benefits to a dog's diet.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Pineapple? Yes. Raw pineapple, in small amounts, is an excellent snack for dogs. Canned pineapple, on the other hand, should be avoided.How can I stop my dog from eating poop home remedies UK? ›
If they choose not to eat a poo give them lots of praise and attention. Distract your dog by giving them something else to carry in their mouths, like a ball or a toy (never a stick as these can splinter or cause a blockage if eaten)Does yogurt stop dogs from eating poop? ›
Meat tenderizers sprinkled on the food can increase protein digestion and alter the taste of the feces. Other additives, such as papaya, pineapple, or yogurt, have also been purported to change the taste enough to deter some dogs. Unfortunately, none of these solutions work for all dogs.What can I spray so my dog won't poop? ›
Nature's Miracle House-Breaking Potty Training Spray is specially formulated to help train dogs to relieve themselves where you want them to. Pheromonal scents, detectable only by a dog's delicate senses, act as a signal telling dogs it's okay to "go" on the spot you have sprayed.How do I get my dog to stop eating poop Petsmart? ›
How to Stop Coprophagia (Feces Eating) in Dogs - PetSmart - YouTubeWhy does my dog stare at me? ›
Just as humans stare into the eyes of someone they adore, dogs will stare at their owners to express affection. In fact, mutual staring between humans and dogs releases oxytocin, known as the love hormone. This chemical plays an important role in bonding and boosts feelings of love and trust.Can my dog gain weight from eating poop? ›
No, if anything it may cause GI upset and continued weight loss. Feed a good quality dog food.What fruit can dogs not eat? ›
- Avocado. This fruit contains persin, a toxin that makes dogs throw up and have diarrhea.
- Cherries. Cherry pits contain cyanide. ...
- Grapes. Grapes can cause sudden kidney failure in dogs. ...
- Tomatoes. The green parts of the tomato plant have solanine, which is toxic to dogs.
Are Cucumbers Safe for Dogs? Cucumbers are perfectly safe for dogs to eat, and offer a low-calorie, crunchy snack that many dogs love. Cucumbers only contain about 8 calories per one-half cup of slices, compared to the 40 calories in a single medium biscuit, and are very low in sodium and fat.Is watermelon OK for dogs? ›
The answer is yes, with a couple of precautions. First, seeds could cause an intestinal blockage, so make sure you remove them. It's also a good idea to remove the rind because it can cause gastrointestinal upset.
It's a social exercise
The first of these reasons is that a dog licks your feet as a way of showing you that they love you. We already know dogs lick us to show affection, and lots of us call those licks “puppy kisses”. Dogs often aim these slobbery smooches at our faces, hands, and feet.
If your dog follows you everywhere then it's a sign that they trust and love you and that you make them feel safe. Following you very closely can be a sign that they're bored, they want something, they're feeling scared or are just being nosy.Why is my senior dog suddenly eating poop? ›
Disease: Some diseases can make dogs so hungry, they turn to any source available to take in more food, including their own feces. Diabetes, hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease may cause your dog to eat their stool.Can eating poop hurt my dog? ›
The good news is that eating faeces won't generally hurt your dog. The bad news you already know; it's disgusting, messy and leads to the worst bad breath imaginable. There's also the risk of acquiring parasites if your dog eats faeces from other animals.How long does it take for a dog to get sick from eating poop? ›
As with intestinal parasites, dogs do not develop digestive symptoms right away. For instance, symptoms of giardia generally develop 1 to 3 weeks, after becoming infected, while symptoms of coccidia generally appear after about 13 days.What happens if your dog eats too much poop? ›
Coprophagia is usually harmless, but can sometimes spread an infectious disease or parasite to your dog. It can also cause gastroenteritis that results in vomiting and diarrhea.At what age do puppies stop eating everything? ›
Fortunately, this is a relatively short-lived phenomenon and most puppies outgrow it by the time they turn 6 months old.Do dogs grow out of eating everything? ›
Most puppies will outgrow their desire to eat everything. For others, the behavior will lessen but perhaps not go away entirely. However, if we make too big a deal out of it, then it can become a more obsessive behavior that turns into a more serious problem.Do dogs know when to stop eating? ›
Sometimes it's caught in time for the dog's stomach to be pumped; sometimes it's not. The vast majority of dogs, however, will stop eating once they've had enough. They might eat to the point of nausea, or until they throw up, but rarely, if ever, until they die.How do you stop a puppy from eating poop at night? ›
- Coat stools with hot sauce or lemon juice. Add a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin to his food bowl each day. ...
- Add meat tenderizer to your dog's food (it will make the dog waste taste VERY bad).
- Keep waste picked up on a regular basis.
Dogs evolved by scavenging, so it may be an instinct to make sure they get enough to eat. It may be an attempt to get attention. If your dog is looking for extra attention and they know you usually react strongly when you catch them eating poop, the behavior may be a way to get noticed.How do I get my dog to stop eating poop Australia? ›
Restrict access to faecal material, supervise all outdoor access and clean up as soon as your dog has done their business. Put a cover over your cat's litter box, and consider a baby gate to prevent your dog from accessing it. If they ignore faeces, reward them with a tasty treat.Why are Beagles so hard to potty train? ›
Their even temperament makes them an excellent dog for families with children. Beagles are also notorious for being hard to potty train, mainly because once they've had an accident in the house, their highly acute sense of smell keeps leading them back to the scene of the crime.Are all Beagles food obsessed? ›
Because Beagles are the ultimate canine opportunists, they will exploit every occasion to eat. If you free feed your Beagle, you will quickly learn that he will eat as much food as you will put out. For this reason, many owners opt to feed their Beagle only at set meal times and in carefully measured amounts.Why do Beagles look sad? ›
So why do beagles always look sad? Beagles look sad because of their sagging face and drooping ears and lips. Their flopping eyelids and soulful eyes contribute to their sad appearance too. This is more common in healthy beagles.Why does my Beagle eat cat poop? ›
While it may sound disgusting, dogs eat cat poop as a result of natural dog behavior. When it comes down to it, dogs like to eat something with a strong smell, like that of cat poop, or even better, cat food.How long can a Beagle hold its pee? ›
Adults up to the age of 8 years old will pee every 4 to 6 hours, though in some cases, a Beagle can hold their bladder for much longer, 8 or even 10 or 12 hours. Senior Beagles tend to have gradually weakening bladder muscles and therefore may need to urinate more often as they age.Are Beagles smart? ›
According to the research, beagles are as smart as a two years old child. Beagles are smart enough to learn more than 150 words, understand gestures, process simple mathematical calculations, and can figure out to use simple devices. Beagles are an intelligent breed of dogs with a very specialized skillset.How many times a day do Beagles eat? ›
In conclusion, for most of a Beagle's life, they should eat about 1 cup of food each day, split into two meals.Why do Beagles always act hungry? ›
Beagles cannot regulate their own appetite. Their digestion process only begins when the food hits their stomach, so it takes longer for them to feel full and stop eating. Beagles have been bred as hunting dogs, so they are opportunistic feeders. They will always jump at any opportunity to eat.
How much should a Beagle eat? As a general rule of thumb, adult Beagle dogs should be eating one cup of dry food each day, split between the morning and early evening. Beagle puppies will eat more, with two cups of dry food usually sufficient.What do Beagles love the most? ›
They have a lot of energy and need plenty of exercise, so would fit an active owner or family that loves to spend time outdoors and exploring. A garden with a very sturdy fence is absolutely essential in order to keep a Beagle safe and secure."Does my Beagle know I love him? ›
Does my dog know how much I love him? Yes, your dog knows how much you love him! Dogs and humans have a very special relationship, where dogs have hijacked the human oxytocin bonding pathway normally reserved for our babies.Do Beagles give kisses? ›
Your Beagle will give you Beagle kisses
Beagles show affection to their owners by getting their nose and mouth up close to yours and administering their version of a kiss. It's not a lip thing, instead getting their face right into yours and doing some rapid-fire sniffing or a lick. But, play safe with this one.
- Teach your dog such a good “leave it” that it works every time. ...
- Reward your dog for paying attention. ...
- Walk in areas with fewer temptations. ...
- Make eating an adventure for the mind. ...
- Do some nose work with your dog.
If your dog is eating poop, it could be for a number of reasons, including anxiety, attention, isolation, confinement or inappropriate association with food, according to the American Kennel Club. Some dogs with harsh punishment trauma may eat their own poop to avoid further reprimand.What are the side effects of a dog eating cat poop? ›
Your dog could get intestinal parasites from eating fecal material. Hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and Giardia could be transmitted from coprophagy (the medical term for eating fecal material). These parasites can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, weight loss and anemia.