Why does my cavoodle eat its own poo?

Never did I ever think that one day I’d catch my cavoodle eating her own poo… until I found her munching away on it a couple of months ago. Then, I found her doing it again and sometimes it was just the horrid smell of her breath that gave it away, realising it was too late for me to take that kiss back I just gave her! Yuck!

Having owned cavoodles before I’d never experienced this with my own girls until I bought Daisy home. 

However, it’s actually quite a common and unpleasant habit some cavoodles have also known as coprophagia (eating their own faeces). 

Coprophagia is a common problem among many dog breeds, including Cavoodles. Although this behaviour may seem repulsive to humans, it is not unusual for dogs to eat their own faeces. I’ve also had a number of people message the exact same question as they have also caught their cavoodle eating its own poo and want to know how to stop them.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why your cavoodle could be eating their own poop and what you can do to prevent this behavior.


Nutritional Deficiencies

One of the primary reasons why Cavoodles eat their own poo is because of nutritional deficiencies. If a dog is not getting enough nutrients from its food, it may be inclined to eat its own feces as a way to make up for the lack of nutrients. This is especially true if your cavoodle is on a low-quality diet that is not providing all the necessary nutrients.

To prevent nutritional deficiencies, make sure your cavoodle is getting a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Feed your Cavoodle high-quality dog food that is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. You can also supplement their diet with treats that are high in nutrients.


Behavioral Issues

Another reason why Cavoodles eat their own poo is because of behavioural issues. This behaviour can be triggered by anxiety, stress, boredom, or even a lack of attention from their owners. Cavoodles that are left alone for long periods of time may become bored and start looking for ways to entertain themselves. Eating their own faeces may seem like a fascinating and entertaining activity to them.

Some cavoodles may also eat their own faeces as a way to seek attention from their owners. Cavoodles are social dogs, and if they feel neglected or lonely, they may resort to negative attention-seeking behaviours, such as coprophagia.

One interesting fact that I did learn is that a study from the School of Veterinary Medicine found Coprophagic dogs are much more likely to be described as greedy eaters, and were more likely to be found in multi‐dog households, where presumably there would be a greater concentration of stools, compared to dogs who didn’t eat their own poo.

To prevent behavioural issues, make sure your Cavoodle gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Take them for walks, play with them, and provide them with toys or treats while you are gone that will keep them occupied. You can also try crate training your cavoodle, so they have a safe and comfortable place to rest when you are not home.


Medical Conditions

Sometimes, Cavoodles may eat their own faeces due to an underlying medical condition. For example, dogs with malabsorption issues may not be able to absorb all the necessary nutrients from their food, causing them to eat their own poo to compensate for the lack of nutrients. In addition, gastrointestinal disorders, such as pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and parasites can also lead to coprophagia.

If you suspect that your dog has a medical condition, take them to the vet for a checkup. Your vet can perform tests to determine if there is an underlying health issue causing the behaviour.


Motherly Instinct

Another reason why Cavoodles may eat their own poop is that it is a natural instinct inherited from their mothers. When your cavoodle was a puppy their mum would have eaten their puppies' poop to keep their pen clean and free from disease. This behaviour may have been picked up from the puppy at a young age. 

To prevent this behavior, make sure to clean up after your dog as soon as they have defecated. This will prevent them from being tempted to eat their own feces. You can also discourage this behavior by training your dog to respond to the "leave it" command.

How to stop my cavoodle eating its own poo?

There are several ways to stop your Cavoodle from eating its own poop. 

First, make sure to clean up after your dog immediately after they defecate. This will remove the temptation for them to eat their own feces. 

Pumpkin is an excellent source of fibre and can help regulate your dog’s digestive system. It also contains nutrients that can make their poop less appealing. You can feed your dog cooked, canned, or pureed pumpkin, but make sure it’s plain and not seasoned with any spices.

You can also try adding a supplement to their diet that makes their poop taste unpleasant. This can be achieved with the addition of certain foods or supplements such as pumpkin or pineapple.

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that can break down proteins in your dog's food, making their poop less appealing to eat. You can feed your dog fresh or canned pineapple, but be sure to remove the skin and core first.

Another method to discourage this behaviour is to train your dog to "leave it" or "drop it" commands. These commands can be used to interrupt the behaviour and redirect their attention to something else. With consistent training and patience, your Cavoodle can be trained to break the habit of eating its own faeces.