Shih Tzu Eating Poop: Reasons, Symptoms & Solutions

Examine the underlying causes behind Shih Tzu Eating Poop. Recognize concerning indicators, explore practical solutions to address this issue. Learn effective methods to control coprophagia using a comprehensive Eight-step approach and explore homemade remedies to discourage poop consumption in Shih Tzu companions.

Shih Tzu Eating Poop

Shih Tzu Eating Poop: 

# Understanding Coprophagia (Poop Eating)

Before delving into specifics, let’s establish a clear understanding of ‘coprophagia.’ Coprophagia refers to the behavior of Shih Tzu eating poop(consuming feces), whether it’s their own, from other dogs, or even from other animals. While this behavior might be unsettling to us, it’s important to understand that dogs experience the world primarily through their senses, and such behaviors could originate from innate or underlying factors.

# Varieties/Types of Coprophagia


Autocoprophagia refers to a dog consuming its own feces. This type of coprophagia can stem from dietary inadequacies, digestion problems, or behavioral factors. Ensuring your Shih Tzu receives a well-rounded and nourishing diet can help prevent autocoprophagia.


Allocoprophagia involves a dog eating the feces of other animals, including fellow dogs or wildlife. This behavior often arises from curiosity or the natural instinct to explore scents. It’s essential to supervise your Shih Tzu during walks and playtime to prevent the ingestion of feces from other creatures.

Maternal Coprophagia:

In certain cases, mother dogs practice coprophagia to maintain cleanliness in their nest and care for their pups. However, if this habit continues after weaning, it requires attention. Properly cleaning the whelping area and facilitating appropriate weaning can help deter maternal coprophagia.

Nutritional Coprophagia:

Nutritional coprophagia occurs when a dog lacks essential nutrients in its diet, leading to feces consumption as an attempt to address nutritional deficiencies. Consulting your vet ensures your Shih Tzu’s diet is balanced and tailored to their age and health needs.

Attention-Seeking Coprophagia:

Some Shih Tzus might engage in coprophagia to gain attention from their owners. Negative responses, even if in the form of scolding, can unintentionally reinforce this behavior. Offering positive attention and redirection can effectively discourage attention-seeking coprophagia.

# Signs of Coprophagia

Fecal Breath and Odor:

A prominent indication of coprophagia is the presence of fecal breath or an identifiable scent on your Shih Tzu’s breath. Noticing an unusual odor after their proximity to feces could suggest this behavior.

Excessive Fascination with Feces:

A clear signal of coprophagia is an intense fixation on feces. Whether from their own waste or other animals’, if your Shih Tzu consistently sniffs, focuses on, or tries to eat fecal matter, it’s a significant warning sign.

Consumption of Stool:

Without a doubt, the most direct manifestation of coprophagia is observing your Shih Tzu eating poop. Regardless of the source, this action unmistakably indicates the presence of coprophagia.

Unexplained Digestive Upsets:

Engaging in coprophagia can lead to digestive issues. If your Shih Tzu frequently experiences stomach discomfort, diarrhea, or vomiting, these problems could be connected to their habit of ingesting feces.

Increased Appetite:

If your Shih Tzu’s appetite suddenly increases, especially alongside other coprophagia signs, it might result from their inability to acquire sufficient nutrients from their regular diet. Consequently, they may try to compensate by consuming feces.

# 8 Strategies to Prevent Coprophagia in Shih Tzu

Veterinary Consultation: Start with a visit to the vet. Ensure there are no underlying health issues triggering this behavior. Professional advice can provide tailored strategies to effectively address coprophagia.

Maintain Clean Environment: A tidy space is crucial. Regularly clean up after your Shih Tzu to remove temptation. Creating a poop-free area reduces the likelihood of indulgence.

Optimal Nutrition: Enhance your dog’s diet. Opt for a balanced nutrition plan that meets their specific dietary requirements. Addressing nutritional gaps plays a significant role in curbing coprophagia.

Training Techniques: Empower your Shih Tzu with useful commands. Teach cues like “leave it” to redirect their attention from unwanted behavior. Training improves self-control and redirects focus.

Engaging Activities: Combat boredom with stimulating activities. Interactive toys, puzzles, and quality playtime can keep your Shih Tzu’s mind engaged and away from feces.

Positive Reinforcement: Reward positive behavior. Praise and treats for resisting coprophagia can lead to lasting changes through positive reinforcement.

Consider Dietary Supplements: Explore supplements or additives that deter coprophagia. Consult your vet before adjusting their diet to ensure safe and effective solutions.

Consistency Matters: Behavior change takes time. Stay consistent in your efforts. Overcoming coprophagia might have challenges, but commitment pays off.

# Preventing Shih Tzu Poop Eating: 5 Home Remedies

Pineapple Trick: Pineapple is more than a tropical treat; it can combat coprophagia. Adding a bit of pineapple to your Shih Tzu’s meals can alter the taste of their waste. The enzyme bromelain in pineapple makes feces less appealing.

Pumpkin Aid: Beyond its seasonal charm, pumpkin can deter poop consumption. Adding unsweetened canned pumpkin to your dog’s diet can make stools less enticing. The added fiber supports digestion and might help resolve this behavior.

Commercial Additives: The market offers various additives to tackle coprophagia. These products change the taste and scent of feces, discouraging consumption. Consult your vet before introducing additives to ensure they’re suitable for your Shih Tzu.

Probiotic Potential: Probiotics are beneficial for your Shih Tzu’s digestive health and might deter coprophagia. Consult your vet for probiotic supplements tailored to your dog’s needs.

# Is Poop Eating Normal for a Shih Tzu?

To put it simply, no, it’s not a typical behavior. While coprophagia might have evolutionary origins, it generally indicates an underlying problem. Do not dismiss it as a temporary phase; take timely action to ensure your Shih Tzu’s well-being.

# Reasons why feces consumption is not normal for Shih Tzus:

Nutritional Insufficiency: Inadequate nutrition might lead your Shih Tzu eating poop, an attempt to fulfill their dietary requirements.

Health Concerns: Coprophagia could be connected to health issues like gastrointestinal problems or parasites. Consulting a veterinarian is essential to rule out medical conditions.

Behavioral Challenges: Anxiety, boredom, or stress could trigger coprophagia. Dogs might adopt this behavior as a way to cope with their emotions.

Environmental Influence: An unclean living environment might contribute to coprophagia. Dogs heavily rely on their sense of smell and might be attracted to feces due to lingering odors.

Seeking Attention: If your Shih Tzu realizes that eating feces gains attention from you, even if it’s negative, they might persist in this behavior to get your focus.

# Understanding Psychology Behind Shih Tzu Eating Poop

Curiosity: Dogs, including Shih Tzus, possess an inherent curiosity that drives them to explore their surroundings using their senses, particularly their noses and mouths. Confronted with unfamiliar objects like feces, dogs might resort to tasting or ingesting them to investigate.

Boredom: Insufficient mental and physical engagement can lead to boredom in dogs. When lacking stimulating activities, Shih Tzu’s may turn to behaviors like coprophagia to alleviate their monotony.

Anxiety and Stress: Similar to humans, dogs can experience anxiety and stress triggered by changes in routine, new environments, or even separation anxiety. To cope with emotional distress, dogs might adopt coping mechanisms such as consuming feces.

Learning from the Mother: In certain instances, puppies learn behaviors by observing their mothers. If a mother dog cleans up after her puppies by consuming their feces, the puppies might perceive this as normal behavior and imitate it.

Seeking Attention: Dogs are social creatures, and they often seek attention from their human companions. If a Shih Tzu notices that eating feces results in attention, regardless of whether it’s negative or scolding, they might continue this behavior to elicit a reaction.

Ingrained Instincts: Despite domestication, dogs retain traces of their wild ancestors’ instincts. In the wild, consuming feces could serve as a survival tactic to extract overlooked nutrients. These primal instincts can occasionally resurface, resulting in coprophagia in domesticated Shih Tzus.

# Potential Health Risks of Shih Tzu Eating Poop

Exposing Health Vulnerabilities: Allowing your Shih Tzu to consume feces can expose them to various health risks, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to protect their well-being.

Risk of Parasites: Consuming feces puts your Shih Tzu at risk of parasitic infections. It is present in fecal matter, including roundworms and hookworms. It can easily transfer to your Shih Tzu’s body, leading to different health issues.

Transmission of Bacteria: Fecal matter contains bacteria, some of which can be harmful to your Shih Tzu’s digestive system. Consuming feces increases the chances of bacterial transmission, resulting in disruptions to the gastrointestinal system and discomfort.

Digestive Disturbances: The consumption of feces can disrupt your Shih Tzu’s digestive balance. Their digestive system might struggle to process foreign substances, potentially leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort.

Weakened Immune System: Consistent exposure to parasites and harmful bacteria due to feces consumption can compromise your Shih Tzu’s immune system. This weakened immunity makes them more vulnerable to various infections and health complications.

Timely Intervention: Taking prompt action to address the issue of feces consumption in Shih Tzus is crucial to preventing these potential complications. Implementing measures to discourage coprophagia, such as behavioral training, managing the environment, and regular veterinary check-ups, can effectively mitigate the health risks associated with this behavior.


In conclusion, if your Shih Tzu eating poop, it’s essential to take prompt action. By understanding the root causes, recognizing indicators, and implementing effective solutions, you can steer your pet toward healthier habits.

Remember that your Shih Tzu’s behaviors serve as a means of communication. Responding with patience, empathy, and suitable methods can cultivate a stronger and more joyful bond between you and your beloved Shih Tzu.

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How can I prevent my Shih Tzu from consuming poop?

To discourage poop consumption, maintain a clean environment, ensure proper nutrition, and supervise outdoor activities for your Shih Tzu.

What are the potential factors behind my Shih Tzu's poop-eating behavior?

Coprophagia in Shih Tzus can result from behavioral, nutritional, or medical causes. Consult a veterinarian for a comprehensive understanding and appropriate solutions.

Are there any home remedies that can help stop my Shih Tzu from eating poop?

While remedies like pineapple, meat tenderizer, or deterrents might be beneficial, it's advisable to consult a vet before making dietary changes for your Shih Tzu.

How can I clean my Shih Tzu's mouth after it eats poop?

After your Shih Tzu consumes feces, use dog-safe wipes or a damp cloth to clean its mouth, reducing the risk of bacterial transfer.

Can B-vitamins help curb my Shih Tzu's poop-eating behavior?

Before introducing B-vitamin supplements to your Shih Tzu's diet, consult a vet. These supplements might assist in managing coprophagia.

What should I expect if my Shih Tzu eats poop?

Although poop consumption can cause digestive discomfort, it's generally not life-threatening. Monitor your Shih Tzu's symptoms and seek veterinary advice if concerned.

Could my Shih Tzu puppy be affected by eating poop?

While stomach upset is possible, severe harm is unlikely. Observe your Shih Tzu puppy for any unusual signs following poop consumption.

Is it normal for Shih Tzus to eat their own poop?

Typically, Shih Tzu eating their own feces is considered unhealthy behavior. Consult a vet to identify underlying causes and explore potential solutions.

Can worms be the reason why my Shih Tzu is eating poop?

Worm infestations could trigger coprophagia. Consult a vet for examination and appropriate treatment to address this issue.

How should I address my Shih Tzu's poop-eating behavior?

Instead of punishing your Shih Tzu, focus on positive reinforcement. Seek professional guidance if necessary to effectively manage this behavior.

Will lemon juice discourage my Shih Tzu from eating poop?

Lemon juice might not be the most suitable solution. Consult a vet for alternatives to prevent Shih Tzu poop consumption.

Can pumpkin help stop my Shih Tzu from eating poop?

Adding pumpkin to your Shih Tzu's diet may not guarantee results. Consult a vet to develop a comprehensive strategy for addressing this behavior.

How much pineapple should I give my Shih Tzu to prevent poop eating?

Prior to introducing pineapple, consult a vet. The effectiveness may vary for each Shih Tzu, and professional guidance ensures safety.

Can my Shih Tzu contract tapeworms from eating poop?

Consuming feces might expose your Shih Tzu to parasites, including tapeworms. Consult a vet for appropriate guidance regarding health risks.

What could be the reason behind my Shih Tzu eating poop and drinking excessively?

Excessive consumption of poop and increased drinking could indicate underlying medical issues. Consult a vet to identify potential health problems and receive accurate guidance for your Shih Tzu.




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