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Help! My Dog Ate Deer Poop

French bulldog wearing fabric deer antlers

It may seem gross to many new owners, Coprophagia (the desire for consuming feces) is extremely common among dogs. In fact, the digestive system of canines can extract useful nutrients from poop. In addition to their own poop, dogs can develop a habit of eating feces of other animals (Interspecific Coprophagia), like cats and deer. If you observe this behavior in your pet, determining the underlying cause should be your foremost priority.  

Why My Dog Eats Deer Poop?

There are a variety of reasons that can urge your dog to eat deer poop. Once you have determined the most likely cause that is leading to this negative behavior, you can begin the training. It is highly recommended to discuss this issue with your vet because a number of medical issues can contribute. Some of the most common causes of Coprophagia are listed below.

  • Lack of digestive enzymes (nutrients are not absorbed properly)
  • Intestinal parasites are sharing your dog’s nutrients
  • Underfeeding and malnutrition
  • Medical conditions like diabetes and Cushing’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Urge to seek attention
  • Copying other dogs

My Dog Ate Deer Feces. Will He be Sick?

Deer feces in grass

The one-word answer to this question would be a YES. Dogs CAN get sick if they eat deer poop or any other form of feces. Although the poop itself is not poisonous for canines, the presence of different parasites (giardia, coccidia, etc.) can be harmful. Similarly, roundworms and whipworms can also be there if the feces is a little old.

The regular habit of interspecific Coprophagia can cause tooth decay and gastrointestinal issues among dogs. Likewise, Leptospirosis can also create problems for your pet. This bacteria attacks the kidneys and liver of your canine and can make him/her seriously ill.

In addition to that, it is quite possible that there are undigested remnants of allergens in deer poop. This can also cause considerable problems if your dog has an allergy. Therefore, you should try your best to keep your dog away from deer feces.

If your dog eats deer poop, you should always call your vet or the pet poison control line at: (888) 426-4435

My Dog Ate Deer Poop and is Throwing Up

red deer standing in field

Vomiting is one of the primary indicators that suggest your dog has eaten deer poop. Similarly, diarrhea is another common symptom of Coprophagia. In some cases, the dog may also experience stomach ache to go with these gastrointestinal issues.

Generally, these symptoms are NOT very serious and will start to subside once the canine is kept away from feces. Having said that, you should contact your vet as soon as you observe these symptoms. This is because the situation may get worse in extreme cases as some dogs can develop medical complications.

In these circumstances, the vet will come up with a treatment plan after analyzing the situation in detail. Other than the medical assistance, you will need to ensure that your pet doesn’t indulge in this negative habit again. This could be a difficult task to achieve but an affectionate and consistent training will get the job done.

How to Stop My Dog from Eating Deer Feces?

Dog running on leaf covered clearing in woods

Being a canine owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your dog safe from all the dangers. Coprophagia can be an irritating habit to counter because you can’t monitor your canine all the time. Therefore, it is essential to determine the underlying cause and solve it permanently through treatment and training. The following are some of the methods that can help you stop your dog from eating deer feces.

Rule Out Medical Conditions

Small dog having ears checked by vet

The very first thing to do is to make sure that your dog is NOT suffering from any medical issue. The best possible method to achieve this goal is to visit your vet. With the help of different tests, he/she will diagnose the most likely cause for Coprophagia.

Usually, conditions like pancreatitis, intestinal infections, and diabetes are responsible for this disgusting habit. Once the vet has figured out the root cause, he/she will recommend a proper treatment for your companion. Follow the guidelines properly to treat this behavior.

Give Attention

Man hugging yellow labrador retriever

Stress and boredom are among the most common causes that urge dogs to eat poop. When canines feel that they are not getting enough attention from their owners, they tend to look for unorthodox actions. Coprophagia is one such activity that will draw a reaction (although negative) from you. This instigates the dog to keep repeating this behavior.

In order to control this situation, you need to spend more time with your pet and play with him/her. Similarly, you should increase the amount of exercise to keep them occupied.  

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Shiba Inu sitting in grass following instruction from trainer

If your canine is not already trained, you will need to teach him/her the “Leave it” or “NO” command. This will allow you to prevent your dog from eating deer poop whenever he/she makes an attempt. If he/she acknowledges to your command, praise the pet (or possibly reward with a treat). This will reinforce the benefit of avoiding deer feces.

Alternatively, you can sprinkle any deterring agent (like hot sauce) on the deer droppings in your yard. The unpleasant experience will keep your dog away from the feces in the future.

Offer Nutritious Food

Human hands giving dog a bowl of food

Lack of nutrition is probably the most common reason for Coprophagia. Whether you are underfeeding your pet or the diet lacks the essential nutrients. In both cases, your canine may try to fulfill his requirements by eating poop. You can increase the quantity or frequency of your dog’s meals to solve this issue.

If the problem still persists, you should consider changing the type of food you are offering. Ideally, you must consult a vet to find the recommended diet for your pet.


Although poop-eating is quite normal for dogs, it can make them sick. However, proper training, a balanced diet, and sufficient attention can save your canine from this disgusting behavior. In case the symptoms are TOO extreme, you must contact your vet immediately for assistance.   

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