Some Dachshunds thoroughly enjoy eating poop, and it’s not an uncommon habit.
However, whether your canine companion is eating their own poop, or that of another species, it can be dangerous and disgusting.
No matter why they are doing it, watching your dog eat poop is pretty gross.
In this article, we’ll discuss why your Doxie may be eating poop, risks associated with the behavior, and how to prevent it.
Why Does My Dachshund Eat Poop?
Stool eating is also known as coprophagy.
There are several reasons why your Dachshund may be consuming poop, whether behavioral or health-related.
Domesticated mother dogs often eat their puppie’s stool to help keep them clean and to ensure they don’t start the habit of eating their own poop.
In the wild, mother dogs often eat their puppie’s waste to keep the den clean and so that it doesn’t attract predators.
Some mother dogs actually eat the poop to help stop their puppies from doing it instead.
Some domesticated dogs still have this drive.
Poor digestion or diet
Some dogs eat poop because their current diet lacks proper nutrients.
The first thing to do if your dog suddenly starts dining on dookie (especially their own) is to talk to your vet and see if you need to add any supplements or change food.
However, eating doesn’t always indicate a nutrient deficiency or health issue.
If your dog isn’t digesting their food all of the way, their stool is more likely to taste like their last meal… yummy.
They like the taste
Your Dachshund may also find another dog’s poop, horse poop, wildlife poop, or poop from other species, delicious.
They may also eat the poop of other animals because it tastes good.
It’s not as easy to pinpoint why they like the taste but it may be a general affinity or because of something that animal has eaten.
If you adopted your Dachshund, they may have picked up their poop-eating habit from a previous lifestyle.
For example, if your dog was a stray, they could have resorted to eating poop as a way to gain nutritional value.
Even though they may be getting all of the nutrition they need now, eating poop has become a ingrained.
Stress or boredom
Your Dachshund may have resorted to ingesting poop because they are stressed or bored.
They can possibly find short term relief in stool eating.
Sometimes a dog eats poop because they’re stressed out.
Remember not to punish the behavior, as it can further exacerbate the issue at hand.
If your Dachshund has an internal parasite, it may be eating away at nutrients inside their body, causing your pup to constantly feel hungry.
They will resort to eating poop as a way to supplement their hunger.
Your veterinarian can help with both checking for parasites and creating an appropriate meal plan for your Dachshund.
If your Dachshund’s poop-eating habit has gained them attention from you in the past, they may be continuing the behavior to earn said attention.
Your Dachshund could simply be looking for a reaction from you, whether positive or negative.
Another reason they may eat their own poop is to get attention from you.
Also, if you’ve been punishing your Dachshund for having accidents in the house (which we absolutely never recommend), they could be eating their feces to hide evidence in order to avoid consequences.
Risks Associated With Your Dachshund Eating Poop
When a dog eats poop, they don’t necessarily discriminate against the types of stool available to them.
Your Dachshund may enjoy a variety of poop types, such as stool from cats, horses, ducks, geese, and even humans.
In multi-pet households, it’s common for a pup to get into the cat litter box and eat the “presents” left by feline friends (the easiest solution for that scenario is to block off the kitty litter area so your Dachshund cannot access it).
Although it’s not abnormal, coprophagy can lead to health complications.
If your Dachshund has eaten feces containing pathogens, they could possibly contract diseases of the intestinal tract, liver, and other parts of the body.
A more serious consequence of eating poop could be canine hepatitis.
Unfortunately, all dog breeds can potentially contract hepatitis if they consume infected feces. While vaccinated dogs are much less likely to get hepatitis, it is still possible.
If your Dachshund ate poop from a dog with canine hepatitis, they can become extremely ill, with the possible outcome of death.
Of course, there’s no way to know which feces are infected, so it’s best to ensure that your Dachshund is never consuming poop.
Symptoms of canine hepatitis include loss of appetite, lethargy, and fever, followed by a jaundiced appearance.
Goose poop is especially known for harboring dangerous diseases and bacteria such as E Coli, Salmonella, Giardia, and more. Droppings from geese pose a massive threat to dogs and humans alike.
Horse poop may contain a toxic dose (to your dog) of the common chemical dewormer ivermectin.
Also, some animal waste, like that from horses, can contain de-worming chemicals like ivermectin.
Because a horse is larger than a dog, they need a higher dose of the medication to be effective.
Therefore, horse poop could contain enough of the chemical to make your dog sick.
The issue with this arises because you don’t know what the other animal consumed, and is therefore in their waste.
What Can I Do to Stop my Dachshund From Eating Poop?
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associate or other programs we participate in). As an affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
As irresistible as the hobby may be to your dog, it can be dangerous and life-threatening.
Luckily, there are several ways you can help deter your Dachshund’s love for eating poop.
If you teach your pup a solid “drop it” or “leave it” command, you can quickly dissuade them from picking up poop, or dropping it if they’ve already nabbed it.
Positive reinforcement methods of training are the most effective for teaching your Dachshund any command.
Keep your Dachshund leashed
When you’re out and about with your Doxie, keep them on a standard leash and harness so you can constantly be aware of what they are doing.
If your Dachshund attempts to pick up poop, you can physically hold them back and quickly redirect their focus.
Pay close attention to what’s around you
Being aware of what’s on the ground around you is one of the best ways to avoid your Dachshund’s poop consumption.
If you see feces where you’re walking, make sure to avoid that area.
If you see an area where feces are strewn about, simply avoid it.
Add a supplement to their diet
You can add a supplement to your Dachshund’s daily routine which will help deter them from eating poop.
We recommend this one from Solid Gold. It makes stool taste bitter and contains benefits that aid in digestion.
Another great option is this one from NaturVet, which also acts as a breath freshener.
What to Do if Your Dachshund Eats Poop
While you should discourage your dog from eating poop, sometimes it just happens.
If your Dachshund just got done enjoying a poopy snack, their breath will smell disgusting, and they may have remnants on their face or chin. Gross!
There are several products you can use to help erase the evidence that your dog has eaten poop.
We suggest the following products to assist in getting your Dachshund fresh and clean again:
Earthbath Natural Grooming Wipes: It’s a good idea to keep these on you at all times, just in case your Dachshund needs a quick spot cleaning.
Arm & Hammer Dental Spray: Quickly freshen your Dachshund’s breath with this easy-to-use dental spray. It helps keep your pup’s breath smelling cuddle-worthy on a consistent basis. It will also assist in keeping those pearly white in tip top shape!
TropiClean Water Additive: Keep your Dachshund’s breath fresh with this water additive from TropiClean. It’s a tasteless, odorless liquid that you simply add to your dog’s water dish or fountain.
It’s important to always keep a close eye on your Dachshund’s behavior so you can identify when there’s been a sudden change.
If your Dachshund’s poop-eating habit is new, we suggest seeking veterinary attention immediately.
Since poop eating can be so detrimental, it’s imperative to avoid and correct the behavior through physical restraint and/or training.
About the Author: Through her 17 years of owning and caring for Dachshunds, and almost 10 years researching and writing about them, JW has become a respected expert in the Dachshund community. Read more about her here.