Why Do Beagles Eat Poop

Why Do Beagles Eat Poop – Coprophagia (Poo Eating)

There are many reasons why a Beagle might eat poop. So, why do beagles eat poop? Boredom, seeking attention, cleaning up after puppies, hiding the evidence, keeping their space clean. Health and nutritional issues, infrequent meals, or separation anxiety could be reasons for beagles to eat poop.

Coprophagia is more common than you might think among our Beagle companions and other dogs.

In this post, we will explain why beagles eat poop, the possible reasons behind beagles eating their own poop, and what you can do to limit your beagle eating poop.

So, let’s dive in and explore the reasons why a cute, rascally Beagle would eat poop, and what you can do to deter them from doing it.

What is Coprophagia? – Poop eating

Ok, firstly Coprophagia is the term used to describe the eating of feces (own poop) by dogs (and other species) and can include the feces of other dogs as well as their own.

Nothing is grosser for beagle owners than realizing your dog is poo-eating, either their own feces or another dog’s poop!

Beagles are some of the most curious dogs. While some dogs can be particular and fickle, most Beagles will eat anything and everything, including its own poop.

Let’s explore why a Beagle would eat its own feces.

Why is my dog obsessed with eating poop?

Be comforted in the fact that you are not alone. When I first spied Bracken (our first Beagle puppy from over ten years ago) eat dog poop, I wondered what on earth was going on!

I was told that dogs eat almost anything, but I was convinced this wasn’t normal behavior for beagle puppies so thought it was a good idea to get pet medical advice straight away.

Is it normal that a beagle eats poo?

The good news is that I was told this is quite normal behavior for beagles!

A beagle puppy will learn by imitation and if they see their canine mothers eating feces, they may think it’s the right thing to do, mistaking the feces for dog food.

But why do beagle puppies eat their own poo? Beagle puppies can eat their poop for various reasons like to kill boredom, gain your attention, or due to disorder, a chaotic environment, illness, anxiety, or fear.

Many puppies eat their feces simply because they like the taste of it, gross!

dog eating feces

Is your dog bored or seeking attention?

A Beagle could be eating poop out of sheer boredom, as a way to pass the time, which could be a sign of an under-stimulated Beagle.

Beagles are usually happy, outgoing, and social hounds. Most hounds generally speaking need to be kept stimulated and well-exercised. If your dog is at home all day by itself, with not much to do, he’ll find a way to pass the time. 

As Beagles are inquisitive, if there is poop in reach, he may decide it’s worth investigating. He may decide it’s a worthy treat and help himself. A tasty morsel like this is even more tempting if he’s kept in a crate or kennel all day long. The temptation to eat poop may be too much.

A bored Beagle may use eating poop as a way to get your attention, knowing that he’ll get your focus when you see him eating dog poop!

He gets the pleasure of hunting for poop with the bonus of your undivided attention as you try to dissuade him from taking a mouthful. He knows this is an excellent opportunity for him to interact with you, a Win-Win for him!

Keep your Beable buddy well exercised, try to take them on at least two walks per day. You can keep him stimulated by playing games and with regular training.

If your Beagle spends a lot of time on his own, then think about asking someone to spend a little time with him during the day.

A bored beagle is more likely to resort to bad behaviour to get attention
A bored beagle is more likely to resort to bad behavior to get attention

Perhaps you could spend your lunchtime with him? Look for ways to keep him stimulated when you are not around. You owe it to him to give him regular toilet breaks, ensuring his own space is free from poop and temptation.

We wrote an article about how much exercise a Beagle needs, you can read it here.

Hiding the evidence

It might seem natural to get angry with your Beagle for doing poop in an inappropriate place.

Nobody likes finding poop in the home. However, your Beagle loves nothing more than pleasing you, and pooping in the home is usually the last resort for him.

Maybe he was left alone in the house too long and is not fully house trained, or perhaps it was just a one-off accident. 

Either way, getting angry with him will only make your Beagle think poop is a bad thing and may resort to hiding the evidence in the future.

He may take that behavior outside, eating other poop he sees so that you don’t get angry or displeased with him. He may form the habit of merely wanting to please you.

If he poops in the house, remember, it’s an accident.

Please don’t make a big fuss, and please, under no circumstances, rub his nose in it.

Clean it up and don’t give him any reason to want to hide the evidence in the future.

It’s down to you to figure out why he pooped in the house and make sure he has the correct training and opportunity to do his toileting in an appropriate place.

Keeping their house in order

Sometimes a Beagle will eat poop to keep its space clean and tidy.

A dog crated or kept in a kennel for any length of time is more likely to do this.

Dogs are like us; they like a clean place to sleep and rest, away from where they would typically take a poop.

Ensure your beagle has its own space and is kept clean and tidy

A beagle restricted to a small space may have no alternative but to eat his poop to keep his area nice and clean.

If a beagle bitch has puppies, it’s quite natural for the mother to keep the den clean. It’s possible the mother still has the instinct to hide the poop from predators.

For the mom, eating the puppy’s poop keeps the den clean and the puppies safe from predators. 

Puppies may see mum eating poop and, being inquisitive and curious Beagles; they decide to give it a go. It’s not unusual for them to eat things they shouldn’t as part of their adventures, including poop.

The good news is that most puppies grow out of the poop-eating phase. However, until they do, it’s crucial to pick up poop as quickly as possible to avoid either the puppies or mum from eating it.

Feed me!

In some cases, it could be your Beagle is hungry or their meal times are spaced too far apart.

Poor quality food means they may lack essential vitamins and minerals and search for these from other sources.

Ideally, your Beagle should be on a raw, whole food diet.

We feed all Beagles on a raw meat diet, with extras such as fresh vegetables, tripe, and bones. kibble should a high-quality respected brand to ensure he’s getting a healthy, balanced diet. 

Create a routine by feeding your Beagle at regular intervals. He’ll soon form a habit of when mealtimes are and will happily remind you when dinner is due!

If your dog has just one meal a day then consuming poo may be a sign that they need to eat at more regular intervals, try introducing two feeds per day.

Giving him enough food during the day and at regular intervals, means he is less likely to look for other food sources. However, a Beagle is ALWAYS on the lookout for an extra snack between meals, so be vigilant.

It’s worth noting that many Beagles just like the taste of poop. Yep, it makes no sense to us, but that makes no difference to a Beagle. Some just like to eat poop, and that’s that.

Raw dog food
A balanced healthy diet is crucial for your beagle to ensure they get all the nutrients they need

Stress and Anxiety

Different dogs may have various anxieties, fears, and stress triggers that may result in poop eating.

If a Beagle has separation anxiety, it may display some odd behaviors, and devouring poo could be one such behavior. However, poop eating usually only occurs when the dog is extremely anxious.

Try and spend plenty of time with your beagle, this will help them be less anxious

Try to ascertain if there is a trigger to your dog consuming poop. You can find ways to avoid those triggers while you get help to treat them.

We have written an article discussing whether to get a second Beagle and are Beagles better in pairs? You can read it here.

Health and Nutrition

If your Beagle is eating poop and you have ruled out many of the other possible causes, then it could be due to health or nutritional issues.

If you suspect the reason your Beagle eats poop is due to a medical or nutritional problem, then go and see your vet as soon as possible.

We could list the possible health and nutritional reasons your dog may poop.

Still, we feel that would be irresponsible as we are not qualified to do so. The best thing to do is to call your preferred vet straight away and book an appointment to discuss your concerns.

What can you do to stop your Beagle from eating poop?

We all agree that our fury Beagle friends are gross for eating poop. In most cases, poop eating can be eradicated or at least limited by using a common-sense approach.

There are two important aspects to any treatment plan dealing with a dog eating poop: management and training. Let’s start with management.

The more your dog practices any behavior, be it a dog eating poop or sitting politely to greet guests, the better the dog gets at that behavior. For a dog eating poop, this means preventing him from “practicing” that poop-eating behavior is of vital importance. 

Tell me the best way to stop a beagle from eating poop?

The easiest way to ensure your dog won’t eat feces is to pick up the area where he eliminates each time he has a bowel movement. 

pick up your dogs poop
Try to pick up any poop as soon as possible to reduce the chances of it being eaten!

With puppies try to catch them early, with a firm “No” and remove the temptation quickly and without fuss.

The same can be done with adults to stop your dog from consuming poo. Though adult Beagles can be stubborn and may need extra persuasion!

Adult dogs may require more time than beagle puppies and training to discourage them to eat their own poop.

Top tip – 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 to kiss you or any family members.

The best way to remove feces from your dog’s mouth is by using a wet washcloth. Wipe the area thoroughly, and make sure that no particles are left behind as these could still contain bacteria.

You may also want to give your beagle a good brushing with a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste to remove any lingering feces.

Feed a quality dog food

To stop your dog from eating poo, ensure your dog has a varied whole food diet, with the correct quantity of food for their weight, and is fed at regular intervals.

A change in diet can make a big difference; however, this can be trial and error. More natural foods tend to take longer to digest and have less appeal once processed.

Dogs have a short digestive tract and they process their food quickly. Very often, the modern, convenient, complete food that most dogs eat, passes through their system so quickly that it’s still appealing to them when it comes out the other end.

Even though kibble dog foods contain all the essential nutrients that dogs require, it also contains fillers like grain and other additives to make the food more desirable for dogs and affordable for their owners.

These fillers have little to no nutritional value and they just fill up the dog’s belly. They do not get digested properly and get passed out from the other end.

As these passed-out fillers contain flavors, puppies, and dogs that may turn to consume their poop.

Switching to premium quality, filler-free dog food may help stop this behavior.

Routine

Ensure they are toilet trained and given plenty of opportunities to poop in an appropriate place. Supervise their poop breaks, keep the backyard clean and free from poop temptation, and pick up quickly and frequently.

Remember not to make a fuss if they do have an accident in the home; you don’t want to make them feel that pooping is bad.

A happy Beagle is one that has regular exercise, stimulated with play and training. By being proactive, you can reduce and in some cases, eradicate your dog from eating poo.

Some additives are sprinkled on the dog’s food and can be very effective (or not work at all, so only buy a small amount the first time).

You can get them from your vet, or you can buy them via the internet. In our experience, additives have minimal impact, but others have had success with them.

Above all, if you think your dog has a medical or nutritional issue, then please book an appointment with a vet ASAP. They will know you and your dog better than anyone on the internet and are better able to advise you about your Beagle.

Can a beagle get sick from eating poop?

If beagles consume their own fresh poop they are generally free from any harmful effects. They could also have parasite infections that were already in their system. It can cause tummy irritation if it’s not completely dry.

If dogs are eating food from other animals, they can develop bacterial infections which could intestinal issues. Immediately ask a vet for advice on any symptoms of a disease or illness.

the information in this article does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult your veterinarian for advice on your pet’s condition.

If your dog is experiencing any sort of medical emergency, please call your veterinarian or local emergency veterinary hospital immediately.

Is it common for beagles to eat their poop?

Eating poop is not common for beagles. It may happen when they are puppies and have not been taught not to do it yet. If an adult beagle does it, there may be underlying health or nutritional problems.

Please consult a licensed veterinarian if you’re concerned about your dog’s health.

Final word

There is no single answer to why a beagle would eat its own poop. It could be for many reasons including boredom, taste, attention-seeking, hunger, or a medical issue. If your dog is eating poo on a regular basis, please consult your veterinarian for advice.

Prevention is better than cure, so if you can find the root cause of the problem, you can help your beagle to stop this undesirable behavior.