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Is It Normal For a 9 Week Old Puppy To Eat Its Own Feces? (Answered!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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A lot of new puppy owners worry about their dog eating its own feces. It’s a disgusting habit, but is it normal for a 9 week old puppy to eat its own feces? And more importantly, is it harmful to the puppy?

In this blog post, we will discuss the normal behaviors of puppies and whether or not eating feces is harmful. We will also offer some tips on how to stop your puppy from eating poop!

Key Takeaway

  • It is normal for a 9-week-old puppy to eat its own feces as this behavior, known as coprophagia, is common in young dogs and is often a part of them investigating their environment or a result of their scavenger evolutionary history.
  • You can clean your dog’s mouth after it has eaten poop by using a damp cloth or gauze wet with salt water or coconut oil wrapped around your finger, or by brushing their teeth with dog-specific toothpaste or a homemade mouthwash of water mixed with baking soda or salt.

Is It Normal For a 9 Week Old Puppy To Eat Its Own Feces?

Is It Normal For a 9 Week Old Puppy To Eat Its Own Feces

It is normal for a 9 week old puppy to eat its own feces to a certain extent. Some puppies (including a 9 week old puppy) will eat their own feces out of curiosity or because they think it’s food, or they might be missing key nutrients in their diet.

While this behavior may be gross to us humans, it’s perfectly natural for dogs. Puppies typically grow out of this phase by the time they reach adulthood. However, if your puppy is still eating feces after 12 months of age, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition and you should consult your veterinarian.

Puppies that are missing key nutrients in their diet can, in fact, eat feces. However, it is not recommended as a source of nutrition for them. Feces can contain harmful bacteria that can make puppies sick.

In general, puppies should be fed a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs. This will help them grow and develop into healthy adult dogs.

Puppies explore the world with their mouths, which means they’re prone to putting all sorts of things in their mouths – including poop.

Eating feces is not necessarily harmful to puppies. In fact, it can be beneficial for them as it helps them develop their immunity to various diseases and infections. However, you should always make sure that your puppy has access to fresh water and that their environment is clean and free of any potential hazards.

Puppies are also drawn to the smell of other animals’ feces, which can be enticing to them. If your puppy is eating another animal’s feces, you’ll need to provide them with more supervision and/or enrichment.

How Can I Clean My Dog’s Mouth After Eating Poop?

Many puppies tend to eat their own feces. This is very normal for them, but it is gross for humans. There are many reasons for their behavior, however, the end result is always the same. They come to us with their mouths stinking with poop. So, how to clean your dog’s mouth after eating poop?

1. First, make them drink water

Making your dog drink water will act as rinsing. There might be some big particles that can be easily washed away by drinking water. Water can help to clean your dog’s mouth, but it is not a substitute for brushing.

2. Brush their teeth

You’ll need a canine toothbrush (they are smaller than human toothbrushes and have softer bristles), canine toothpaste (never use human toothpaste, as it can be toxic to dogs), and a little bit of patience!

There is a great chance that your puppy still isn’t used to having its teeth brushed, so I will provide a detailed guide.

Start by letting your dog smell and taste the toothpaste. This is important, as you don’t want them to associate the brushing with something that tastes bad. Once they seem okay with the toothpaste, put a small amount on the toothbrush and let them get used to the sensation of having their teeth brushed. You can even give them a little treat after each successful brushing!

3. Give your pup some mouthwash

Mouthwash is generally safe for dogs. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before using it on your pup. First, make sure to use a pet-safe mouthwash that doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients.

Second, don’t give your dog too much mouthwash – a little goes a long way! Finally, be sure to supervise your dog while they’re using the mouthwash, and make sure they don’t swallow any of it.

Your pup’s mouth will smell fresh until they decide to again eat their own feces says Wag Walking.

Will My Dog Get Sick From Eating Poop?

Is It Normal For a 9 Week Old Puppy To Eat Its Own Feces

Eating feces can potentially make a dog sick, particularly if the poop consumed is from another animal or is contaminated with parasites or pathogens.

While it’s not inherently harmful for a dog to consume its own feces, the act of coprophagia can expose them to various health risks.

For instance, if the poop has parasites or contains eggs of parasites like hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms, these can infect the dog.

Furthermore, feces might be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E.coli or Salmonella, which can cause diseases in dogs.

The ingestion of feces can also disrupt the normal bacterial balance in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract, leading to symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and general discomfort.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the manifestation of these symptoms from eating poop is relatively unlikely.

Can Dogs Get Parvo From Eating Their Own Poop?

Yes, dogs can get parvo from eating their own poop, but it’s not as common as you might think. Parvo is a virus that can be passed from dog to dog through contact with their feces.

It’s most commonly seen in puppies who are not yet vaccinated, but adult dogs can get it too. If your dog has been exposed to parvo, it may show symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

If you think your dog may have parvo, it’s important to take them to the vet right away for treatment.

Basically, dogs can get parvo from eating feces from another dog that has parvo. However, if your dog has no parvo and eats its own poop, it can’t get parvo.

There are a few ways that dogs can get parvo, but the most common is through contact with the feces of an infected dog. This can happen either directly, or indirectly through contaminated objects like food bowls or toys.

Puppies are particularly vulnerable to the disease because their immune systems are not yet fully developed.

Parvo is also highly contagious, so even if just one dog in a litter becomes infected, the rest are likely to as well.

Treatment for parvo is typically handled by a veterinarian and involves supportive care while the puppy’s immune system fights off the virus. With prompt treatment, most puppies will recover from parvo without any long-term effects.

Will My Dog Throw Up From Eating Poop?

Yes, a dog can potentially throw up from eating poop, particularly if the feces consumed are from another animal, are contaminated, or if the dog has a sensitive stomach.

While it’s not common for a dog to vomit after consuming its own feces, the act of coprophagia can lead to some health complications, one of which includes vomiting.

This is more likely to occur if the feces ingested are from another animal or if they contain harmful bacteria, parasites, or foreign substances.

Additionally, some dogs may have more sensitive stomachs than others, leading to vomiting as a reaction to eating feces.

It’s also worth noting that other symptoms such as diarrhea, decreased appetite, and tiredness could follow.


Q: Why do puppies eat their own feces?

A: There are several reasons why puppies engage in coprophagy. It could be a result of curiosity or boredom, especially if they are not receiving enough mental and physical stimulation. Some puppies may also eat their feces because of a nutritional deficiency or digestive problems. In certain cases, it may be a learned behavior from their mother. It is essential to address the underlying cause and redirect their behavior towards more appropriate activities.

Q: How can I prevent my 9 week old puppy from eating its own feces?

A: To prevent your puppy from eating its own feces, try the following steps: 1. Keep their environment clean by promptly removing any feces. 2. Supervise them closely during potty breaks and distract them with toys or treats after they finish eliminating. 3. Provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom. 4. Ensure they have a balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients. 5. Seek advice from a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues or nutritional deficiencies.

Q: Can coprophagy be harmful to my 9 week old puppy?

A: While coprophagy is generally considered normal behavior in puppies, it is not ideal and can pose potential risks. Eating feces can expose your puppy to parasites, bacteria, or viruses present in the feces. It may also lead to gastrointestinal disturbances or blockages if they consume too much. Therefore, it is important to discourage this behavior and take necessary steps to prevent it.

Q: Are there any health issues that could cause coprophagy in puppies?

A: Yes, certain health issues can contribute to coprophagy in puppies. These include digestive problems, malabsorption issues, nutritional deficiencies, parasites, or infections. If you suspect that your puppy’s coprophagy is related to a health issue, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Q: Can coprophagy in puppies be a sign of behavioral problems?

A: Coprophagy can be associated with behavioral problems in puppies, especially if it persists beyond the normal exploratory stage. It may be a sign of anxiety, stress, or boredom. In such cases, it is important to address the underlying behavioral issues and provide appropriate training and mental enrichment to redirect their behavior towards more appropriate activities.

Q: Does spaying or neutering my puppy help prevent coprophagy?

A: Spaying or neutering your puppy is not directly related to preventing coprophagy. However, these procedures can have positive effects on behavior, such as reducing hormonal influences and certain types of territorial marking behaviors. It is important to remember that coprophagy can have various underlying causes, and spaying or neutering alone may not eliminate the behavior entirely.

Q: How long does coprophagy typically last in puppies?

A: The duration of coprophagy can vary from one puppy to another. In most cases, puppies outgrow this behavior as they mature and their curiosity diminishes. With proper training, supervision, and environmental management, coprophagy can be reduced or eliminated within a few months. If the behavior persists or becomes excessive, consulting a veterinarian or professional dog trainer is recommended.

Q: Can I use deterrents or additives to prevent coprophagy in my puppy?

A: There are certain deterrents and additives available in the market that claim to discourage coprophagy in puppies. These can include products with unpleasant taste or odor, such as yucca or pineapple extract. While some dog owners have reported success with such products, it is important to carefully consider their effectiveness and consult with a veterinarian before use.

Q: Can I train my puppy to stop eating its own feces?

A: Yes, it is possible to train your puppy to stop eating its own feces. This can be achieved through various techniques such as positive reinforcement training, redirection, and providing alternative activities. Consistency, patience, and persistence are key factors in successfully modifying this behavior. If you are struggling to train your puppy, seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer can be beneficial.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, while it may be common for 9 week old puppies to eat their own feces, it is not a normal or healthy behavior.

This behavior, known as coprophagia, can have numerous underlying causes including nutritional deficiencies and behavioral issues.

It is important for pet owners to address this behavior early on and work with their veterinarian to find the root cause and develop a plan to prevent it.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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