Why Do Dogs Eat Horse Poop?

Curious about why dogs eat horse poop? Uncover the reasons behind this behavior, FAQs, and expert insights in our comprehensive guide.


When it comes to our beloved canine companions, their behavior can sometimes leave us puzzled and even concerned. One such behavior that often leaves dog owners questioning their furry friend’s choices is the act of eating horse poop. While it may seem downright strange and disgusting to us, dogs have their reasons for indulging in this behavior. In this article, we will delve into the depths of why dogs eat horse poop and provide valuable insights to help you understand this peculiar behavior.

Why Do Dogs Eat Horse Poop?

Dogs have a unique set of instincts and behaviors, and their inclination to consume horse poop is no exception. Understanding the reasons behind this behavior can shed light on their motivations. Let’s explore some of the potential explanations for why dogs eat horse poop:

1. Instinctual Behavior from their Ancestors

Dogs are descendants of wolves, who are known to scavenge and consume various types of animal feces. This ancestral behavior may still be ingrained in their DNA, leading them to exhibit similar tendencies.

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2. Nutritional Deficiencies

Dogs have a remarkable sense of smell, and horse poop contains undigested food particles that are still rich in nutrients. If a dog’s diet lacks certain essential nutrients, they might seek out alternative sources of sustenance, including horse feces.

3. Attraction to the Smell and Taste

While it may be repulsive to us, the smell and taste of horse poop can be quite intriguing to dogs. The strong odor and unique flavors might simply be appealing to their senses, driving them to consume it.

4. Copying Behavior from Other Dogs

Dogs are highly social animals and often learn from observing and imitating their peers. If one dog in a social group starts eating horse poop, it could influence other dogs to engage in the same behavior, even if they initially had no interest in it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions dog owners have regarding their canine companions’ peculiar habit of eating horse poop:

1. Is it harmful for dogs to eat horse poop?

While it may not be ideal for dogs to consume horse feces, occasional ingestion is unlikely to cause serious harm. However, it’s essential to monitor their behavior and consult a veterinarian if you notice any signs of illness or distress.

2. How can I prevent my dog from eating horse poop?

To discourage your dog from indulging in this behavior, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on them during walks or outings. Practice obedience training and ensure they have a strong “leave it” command. Additionally, maintaining a well-balanced and nutritious diet can help reduce their desire to seek out alternative food sources.

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3. Should I be concerned if my dog eats horse poop occasionally?

While occasional consumption might not be a cause for immediate concern, it’s best to discourage this behavior as much as possible. Consistent ingestion of horse feces can lead to an increased risk of parasites or other health issues.

4. Is it necessary to consult a veterinarian if my dog eats horse poop?

If you notice any adverse effects or changes in your dog’s behavior after consuming horse feces, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian. They can evaluate your dog’s overall health and provide appropriate guidance or treatment if necessary.


In conclusion, the act of dogs eating horse poop may seem bizarre to us, but it can be attributed to various factors such as instinctual behavior, nutritional deficiencies, attraction to smell and taste, and copying behavior from other dogs. While occasional ingestion might not pose significant harm, it’s essential to discourage this behavior and ensure your dog maintains a balanced diet. Remember, responsible pet ownership involves understanding our furry companions and taking appropriate measures to keep them healthy and safe.

At The Nerdy Dog, we strive to assist dog owners in understanding their pets’ behavior and providing professional guidance. If you’re looking for more information on dog behavior or have specific concerns regarding your furry friend, visit our website here. You can also find helpful articles, including one on what to do if your dog ate horse poop here. Trust The Nerdy Dog for thorough research, expert advice, and a commitment to your dog’s well-being.

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