Dog Ate Deer Poop: What You Need to Know

If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably seen your furry friend eat some strange things. One of the things that may have caught your attention is when your dog ate deer poop. While it may seem gross and disgusting to us, it’s actually a common behavior among dogs.

Understanding why your dog is eating deer poop is important to ensure their health and safety. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why dogs eat deer poop, the risks involved, and what you can do to prevent this behavior.

Key Takeaways

  • Coprophagia, or the act of eating feces, is a common behavior among dogs.
  • Eating deer poop can pose health risks to your dog due to the presence of infectious diseases and parasites.
  • Preventing your dog from eating deer poop involves proper diet, training, and supervision.

Understanding Coprophagia

If your dog ate deer poop, you may be wondering why. Coprophagia is the term used to describe the behavior of dogs eating feces. Although it may seem gross to us, it is a natural behavior for dogs, and there are many reasons why they do it.

Interspecific coprophagia is when dogs eat the feces of other animals, such as deer. This behavior may be learned from other dogs or may be a result of positive reinforcement. Dogs may also eat deer poop due to a lack of nutrients in their diet.

There are many reasons why dogs eat deer poop, including anxiety or boredom, as well as learned behavior from other dogs. It is important to note that coprophagia can also be a sign of an underlying illness or deficiency, such as intestinal parasites or infections.

If your dog has eaten deer poop, it is important to monitor them for any signs of illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea. While it is generally not harmful for dogs to eat deer poop, it is best to discourage this behavior as much as possible.

Sources: PetMD, DoggySaurus, Hepper

Why Dogs Eat Deer Poop

Dogs eating deer poop is a common behavior that can be concerning to pet owners. There are several reasons why dogs eat deer poop, including taste, hunger, boredom, and attention-seeking behavior. However, it is important to note that consuming deer poop can lead to health problems in dogs.

One reason why dogs eat deer poop is because they find it tasty. Deer poop may contain undigested food particles that can be appealing to dogs. Additionally, dogs have a strong sense of smell and may be attracted to the scent of deer feces.

Another reason why dogs may eat deer poop is because they are hungry. If a dog is not receiving enough food or nutrients in their diet, they may turn to other sources of food, including deer poop.

Boredom can also be a factor in why dogs eat deer poop. Dogs that are left alone for long periods of time or do not receive enough mental stimulation may engage in destructive behaviors, such as eating feces.

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Lastly, some dogs may eat deer poop as a way to seek attention from their owners. Dogs that are not receiving enough attention or affection from their owners may engage in attention-seeking behaviors, such as eating feces.

It is important to discourage dogs from eating deer poop, as it can lead to health problems such as parasites and bacterial infections. If you suspect that your dog has consumed deer poop, it is recommended that you consult with your veterinarian.

The Risks Involved

Eating deer poop can put your dog at risk of various health issues. Here are some of the risks involved:

  • Parasites: Deer feces can contain parasites such as roundworm, whipworm, coccidia, and giardia, which can infect your dog’s intestines and cause diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss.
  • Bacterial infections: Deer poop can also contain bacteria such as leptospirosis, which can cause kidney and liver damage, and chronic wasting disease, which can affect your dog’s nervous system.
  • Tooth decay: Eating deer poop can also lead to tooth decay, as the feces can contain bacteria that can damage your dog’s teeth.

It’s important to note that while not all deer feces contain parasites or bacteria, it’s difficult to know which ones do and which ones don’t. Therefore, it’s best to prevent your dog from eating deer poop altogether.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

If your dog has eaten deer poop, you might notice some symptoms of discomfort. These symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take your dog to the vet for a diagnosis.

The vet will likely ask about your dog’s eating habits and any other symptoms you have noticed. They may also want to perform a physical exam and take a stool sample. This sample can help the vet determine if your dog has contracted any parasites or other illnesses from eating deer poop.

If your dog is diagnosed with a parasite or other illness, the vet will likely prescribe medication to treat the condition. It is important to follow the vet’s instructions closely and monitor your dog’s symptoms closely. If your dog’s symptoms do not improve or worsen, you should contact the vet right away.

Remember, prevention is the best way to keep your dog from getting sick from eating deer poop. Always supervise your dog when they are outside and keep them on a leash if necessary. Additionally, make sure to clean up after your dog and dispose of their waste properly.

Treatment and Prevention

If your dog has eaten deer poop, it’s important to take action to prevent any potential health issues. The first thing you should do is contact your vet to discuss the situation and determine if your dog needs to be seen.

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If your dog is experiencing symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, your vet may prescribe anti-parasitic medication or antibiotics to treat any potential infections or parasites. Additionally, your vet may recommend therapy or positive reinforcement techniques to discourage your dog from eating deer poop in the future.

To prevent your dog from eating deer poop, it’s important to keep them on a leash and under close supervision when outside. You should also thoroughly clean up any deer feces in your yard or on your walks.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to keeping your dog healthy and happy. Stay vigilant and work closely with your vet to ensure that your furry friend stays in good health.


Other Animals and Coprophagia

Your dog may not be the only one in the house with a poop-eating habit. Cats can also be culprits, especially if they are sharing a litter box with your dog. In fact, some dogs may develop coprophagia as a learned behavior from watching their feline friends. 1

It’s important to note that eating other animals’ poop can be dangerous for your dog. The stool of other animals, such as cats, can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can make your dog sick. 2

If you have other animals in the house, make sure to keep their poop out of reach of your dog. This may mean cleaning the litter box more frequently or keeping your dog away from areas where other animals may have defecated.

In addition to cats, dogs may also be attracted to the poop of other animals, such as deer. While the reasons for this behavior are not entirely clear, some experts believe that dogs may be drawn to the smell or taste of the feces. 3

To prevent your dog from eating other animals’ poop, it’s important to address the underlying cause of their coprophagia. This may involve providing a balanced diet, increasing exercise and mental stimulation, and addressing any underlying medical conditions. 4

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Overall, it’s important to keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and take steps to prevent them from eating poop. With the right training and management, you can help your dog break this unhealthy habit.


  1. Source: PetMD
  2. Source: PetMD
  3. Source: DoggySaurus
  4. Source: PetMD