Why Do Cavalier Spaniels Eat Poo

Why Do Cavalier Spaniels Eat Poo?

Cavalier Spaniels are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them a popular choice among dog owners. However, one peculiar habit that some Cavalier Spaniels exhibit is eating their own or other animals’ feces. This behavior, known as coprophagia, can be quite concerning for pet owners. Let’s explore some possible reasons why Cavalier Spaniels engage in this behavior.

1. Nutritional Deficiencies: One theory suggests that dogs eat feces to compensate for missing nutrients in their diet. If a dog’s food lacks certain essential nutrients, they may try to obtain them by consuming poop.

2. Instinctual Behavior: Some experts believe that coprophagia is rooted in a dog’s ancestral instincts. In the wild, animals would eat feces to avoid attracting predators or to clean their surroundings.

3. Boredom or Anxiety: Dogs may eat poop out of boredom or as a way to relieve anxiety. If a Cavalier Spaniel is left alone for long periods, they may resort to this behavior as a form of entertainment or comfort.

4. Attention-Seeking: Dogs are intelligent animals and quickly learn what behaviors will elicit a response from their owners. Eating poop can be a way for them to gain attention, even if it’s negative.

5. Medical Issues: In some cases, coprophagia may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Conditions like malabsorption, parasites, or pancreatic insufficiency can cause dogs to be more attracted to feces.

6. Learned Behavior: Dogs are social animals and can pick up behaviors from other dogs. If a Cavalier Spaniel observes another dog eating poop, they may try it themselves.

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7. Age and Breed Predisposition: Certain dog breeds, including Cavalier Spaniels, may have a higher tendency to engage in coprophagia. Additionally, puppies are more likely to eat poop as they explore their environment and learn about their surroundings.


1. Is it normal for Cavalier Spaniels to eat poop?
– While it’s not uncommon, it’s important to address the behavior to rule out any underlying issues.

2. Can coprophagia be harmful to my dog?
– Yes, eating feces can expose your dog to parasites or infections.

3. How can I prevent my Cavalier Spaniel from eating poop?
– Ensure your dog’s diet is nutritionally balanced, provide mental and physical stimulation, and keep a close eye on them during walks.

4. Should I punish my dog for eating poop?
– Punishment is not recommended as it can lead to anxiety and other unwanted behaviors.

5. Can training help stop coprophagia?
– Yes, obedience training and teaching the “leave it” command can be helpful in curbing the behavior.

6. Are there any supplements to deter coprophagia?
– Some supplements claim to make feces taste unpleasant, but their effectiveness varies.

7. When should I consult a veterinarian?
– If the behavior persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s best to consult a vet to rule out any underlying health issues.