My Dog Ate Poop: How to Clean His Mouth Effectively and Safely

Dog Ate Poo: What to Do

Discovering that your dog has eaten poop can be both shocking and concerning.

Rest assured, you’re not alone in this predicament, and there are effective methods to tackle this issue.

To maintain your dog’s oral hygiene after such an incident, it’s crucial to clean their mouth properly.

There are a few approaches you can take to ensure your pet’s mouth is fresh and free of bacteria. From using dog-safe toothpaste to dental water additives, addressing this problem promptly is essential for your dog’s wellbeing.

Key Points

  • Dogs eating poop is a common behavior known as coprophagia.
  • Eating poop can cause health problems such as gastrointestinal issues and parasites.
  • If your dog ate poop, clean their mouth immediately to prevent any potential health issues.
  • Use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe their mouth and teeth, and then brush their teeth with dog toothpaste.
  • Schedule a visit with your veterinarian to check for any potential health issues and to discuss ways to prevent your dog from eating poop in the future.
  • Training and providing a well-balanced diet can help prevent coprophagia.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop

why dogs eat poo

Understanding why dogs eat poop can help you address this behavior and keep your furry friend healthy. There are several reasons why dogs may eat their own or other animals’ feces, so let’s explore them further.

Boredom, Anxiety, and Stress:

Dogs can sometimes eat poop out of boredom, anxiety, or stress. It may occur if they have been punished for soiling in the house, or if they are confined in a cage for long periods. By providing regular exercise, mental stimulation, and positive interactions, you can help alleviate these factors and discourage poop eating.


Dogs, especially puppies, are naturally curious and may taste poop as a way to explore their environment. As they grow older, most dogs will outgrow this behavior. It’s important to always supervise your pet and redirect their attention when they show interest in feces.

Pica and Coprophagia:

Pica is a condition where an animal craves and ingests non-food items, while coprophagia specifically refers to the consumption of feces. These behaviors can be caused by various factors, such as medical issues, stress, or underlying psychological problems. Consulting a veterinarian is essential to rule out any health concerns.

Nutritional Deficiencies:

Dogs may eat poop because they are missing essential nutrients in their diet or have difficulty absorbing nutrients during digestion (malabsorption) – one study found that dogs with a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency developed coprophagia.

Ensuring your dog receives a nutritionally balanced diet can help prevent poop eating as a way to compensate for these deficiencies.

When addressing your dog’s poop-eating habits, it is important to consider the possible underlying causes and work toward resolving them. Making sure that your dog receives proper nutrition, mental stimulation, and a healthy environment can go a long way in preventing this undesirable behavior.

Potential Risks of Eating Poop

is it bad if a dog eats poo

Eating feces can expose your dog to numerous risks and potential health issues. Here are some common hazards associated with this unsanitary habit:

  • Parasites: One of the significant risks of poop consumption is the ingestion of parasites. Feces may contain harmful organisms such as intestinal parasites, including giardia, roundworms, and hookworms, which can lead to infections in your dog.
  • Infection: Ingesting poop can also expose your dog to harmful bacteria and viruses, potentially causing various illnesses. The presence of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter in feces can lead to digestive and major health problems if consumed by your dog.
  • Illnesses: Viruses like parvovirus and canine distemper can be contracted through the consumption of infected feces, leading to severe and life-threatening illnesses in your dog. Additionally, ingesting feces might exacerbate pre-existing medical issues or cause your dog to feel unwell.

To mitigate these potential risks, it is crucial to act promptly when cleaning your dog’s mouth after they have consumed poop. This involves removing visible feces and disinfecting the mouth using dog-safe solutions.

Additionally, ensure your dog’s living environment is clean and feces-free to discourage coprophagia. By being vigilant and proactive, you can help protect your dog’s health and prevent any potential complications that may arise from the consumption of feces.

Steps to Clean Your Dog’s Mouth

how to clean a dogs mouth after they ate poop

Before starting the cleaning process, you’ll need to gather some tools and materials. Make sure to have a dog toothbrush, dog toothpaste, dental wipes, a damp cloth, and dog wipes on hand. If your dog isn’t accustomed to having their teeth brushed, you may want to consider using a softer pet toothbrush or even a finger brush.

1. Remove visible particles:

Begin by carefully removing any visible poop particles from your dog’s teeth and mouth. This step can be quite unpleasant, but it’s essential to get rid of as much debris as possible. You can use a cloth or disposable dental wipes for this task.

2. Brush their teeth:

Apply a small amount of dog toothpaste to a toothbrush designated for your dog. Gently brush their teeth for a few minutes, paying attention to the gum line and hard-to-reach areas. Remember, never use human toothpaste as it may be toxic to your furry friend.

3. Rinse their mouth:

After brushing, it’s crucial to rinse your dog’s mouth thoroughly with clean water. A gentle squirt from a water bottle or a wet towel can help remove toothpaste residue and any leftover debris.

4. Disinfect with dog wipes:

Use dog wipes or a damp cloth to further clean your dog’s mouth and surrounding areas. This step will help eliminate any remaining bacteria and prevent infections.

5. Use water additives:

To further maintain your dog’s oral hygiene, consider using water additives specifically designed for dogs. They can help improve their breath and support overall dental health. Follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure proper use.

Regularly maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene is essential, especially if they have a habit of eating poop. Implementing these steps after such incidents will help ensure your dog’s mouth remains clean and free of potential health risks.

Dog Oral Hygiene Products

When it comes to cleaning your dog’s mouth after they’ve eaten poop, there are several oral hygiene products available that can help. Most of these items are effective and safe for use on dogs, ensuring top-notch oral health. Below are some popular options:

Dental Chews

Dental chews are a practical and convenient solution for maintaining your dog’s overall dental health. They not only satisfy your dog’s natural desire to chew but also help remove plaque and tartar while freshening their breath. Just make sure to choose chews specifically designed for dogs and avoid those containing xylitol, as it is toxic to dogs.

Coconut Oil and Baking Soda

You can create a homemade dog toothpaste using a mixture of coconut oil and baking soda. Both these ingredients are safe for dogs and have antibacterial properties that help remove plaque and freshen their breath. Apply this mixture to a dog toothbrush or a finger toothbrush and gently brush your dog’s teeth, paying special attention to the areas where the poop may have been in contact.

Mouthwash for Dogs

Dog-specific mouthwashes or oral rinses are formulated to be safe for dogs and can help fight bad breath and reduce bacteria in your dog’s mouth. Remember to choose products specifically designed for dogs, as human mouthwashes can be harmful to them.

Organic Dental Solutions

Organic dental solutions for dogs, such as the RADIUS USDA Organic Dental Solutions Adult Kit, contain toothbrushes and toothpastes that are designed with your dog’s oral health in mind. Using these solutions can help you clean your dog’s mouth after they’ve eaten poop effectively and safely.

Oral Sprays

Oral sprays for dogs are easy to use and provide a convenient solution for freshening your dog’s breath and minimizing bacteria in their mouth. These sprays typically contain antiseptic and antibacterial ingredients that help reduce the risk of dental issues and are safe for your dog’s mouth.

Keeping your dog’s mouth clean after they’ve eaten poop is essential for their overall oral hygiene. Using the oral hygiene products mentioned above can aid you in maintaining your dog’s dental health and ensuring a clean and fresh mouth.

Training Your Dog to Avoid Poop

teaching your dog "leave it"

Training your dog to avoid poop is an essential skill for both the health of your dog and your own peace of mind. By teaching your dog to stay away from feces, you can rest easy knowing that their mouth stays clean, and the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria is minimized. Here’s how you can train your dog to avoid eating poop.

Understanding that your dog’s instinct to eat their own or other animals’ feces can be both natural and distressing for you as a dog owner. It’s crucial first to rule out any underlying health issues that may be causing this behavior. A visit to your veterinarian will help eliminate any potential health problems.

One of the primary steps in training your dog to avoid eating poop is teaching them the basic “leave it” command. This command is a key tool in your dog training arsenal and can be applied to a wide range of situations, including avoiding feces. Start in a controlled environment and gradually increase the level of difficulty and distractions for your dog.

Teaching “Leave It”

  • Begin with a treat in your hand and let your dog sniff it
  • Close your hand around the treat and say “leave it”
  • When your dog stops showing interest, reward them with a different treat from your other hand
  • Gradually move to training with items on the ground and eventually, feces if encountered during walks

Another helpful aspect in poop avoidance training is to consistently keep your dog on a leash during walks. This will allow you to have better control and stop them from getting too close to any poop they may find. Be attentive and use the “leave it” command when necessary.

Reduce “Temptation”

It’s also essential to clean your yard regularly to remove your dog’s and any visiting animals’ feces. This will help reduce the temptation and opportunity for your dog to engage in this undesired behavior.


Sometimes using deterrents can also help with training your dog to avoid poop. There are products available on the market designed to discourage dogs from consuming feces. These are usually safe additives that can be used in your dog’s food or sprinkled on feces directly. However, always consult your veterinarian before using any such products.

Watch the Litter Box

Additionally, if you have a cat, ensure that the litter box is kept clean and out of your dog’s reach. This will prevent your dog from getting into the habit of eating cat poop, which can be especially enticing due to its high protein content.

By using a combination of training commands, consistent supervision, and deterrents, you can successfully teach your dog to avoid poop and maintain a cleaner and healthier environment for both of you.

Vomiting and Diarrhea After Eating Poop

dog ate poop what to do

When your dog eats poop, it’s not uncommon for them to experience vomiting and diarrhea as a result. This can be due to bacteria, parasites, or other contaminants present in the feces. To help minimize the negative effects on your dog’s health, it’s essential to take immediate action.

First, remove any remaining poop from your dog’s mouth using a damp cloth or paper towel. Be sure to dispose of the waste safely to prevent your dog from consuming it again. Rinse your dog’s mouth thoroughly with water to help remove any lingering bacteria.

Next, monitor your dog’s behavior for any signs of illness, such as lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea. If your dog experiences these symptoms, make sure to provide them with plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated. Consider feeding your dog a bland diet consisting of rice and boiled chicken to help settle their stomach.

To prevent future occurrences of your dog eating feces, consider the following steps:

  • Keep your dog’s living area clean by picking up and disposing of waste promptly.
  • Maintain a regular feeding schedule with a balanced and nutritious dog food.
  • Provide your dog with adequate mental stimulation and exercise to help deter boredom-driven behavior.
  • Seek professional advice from a veterinarian or pet behaviorist if your dog’s coprophagia is persistent or causes health concerns.

Remember, it’s crucial to address your dog’s vomiting and diarrhea promptly after they have consumed feces to prevent any further complications.

Preventing Access to Poop

my dog ate poop how do i clean his mouth

It’s crucial to manage your environment. This means ensuring that your outdoor spaces and areas your dog frequents are clean and free from animal poop. ‘

Regularly clean up after your dog and dispose of their waste properly, eliminating any temptation. If you have a cat in the house, try to place the cat litter box in an area inaccessible to your dog, like a designated room with a self-locking door or an elevated location out of reach.

In case your yard is frequented by wildlife, consider installing barriers such as fences or motion-activated sprinklers to discourage animals from leaving droppings around. This keeps your yard clean and prevents your dog from finding and consuming the feces.

Training your dog is key to preventing this undesired behavior. When outdoors with your dog, pay close attention to their movements. If you notice them approaching animal feces or other debris, promptly redirect them using a command like “leave it” or “come.” Consistently rewarding your dog when they listen to your commands can reinforce good behavior and discourage poop eating.

Another option is to make the poop itself unappetizing by using specially designed products available in the pet stores.

These products can be added to your dog’s food to make their feces less appealing or can be sprinkled directly onto animal feces if you cannot pick it up immediately. Make sure to consult with your veterinarian before using these products to ensure they are safe and suitable for your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I effectively clean my dog’s mouth after contact with feces?

First, brush your dog’s teeth using a dedicated dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Human toothpaste is toxic to dogs due to the presence of xylitol. After brushing, rinse your dog’s mouth with clean water using a syringe or dropper. This helps remove any harmful bacteria.

Are there any natural remedies for cleaning a dog’s mouth after eating poop?

You can create a homemade mouthwash using water and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Gently swab the mixture around your dog’s mouth for a refreshing, natural clean. Remember to take precautions and consult your veterinarian before introducing any new substance to your pet’s oral care routine.

What are the risks if my dog licks or ingests feces?

In some cases, ingesting feces may cause gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea or vomiting. It may also increase your dog’s risk of infection from parasites or bacteria present in the feces. If your dog shows any signs of illness after eating poop, consult your veterinarian immediately.

How can I prevent my dog from eating poop in the future?

To prevent your dog from eating poop, ensure a clean environment by removing feces promptly. Keep your dog engaged with toys and activities to avoid boredom, which may lead to coprophagia. Additionally, training commands like “leave it” can be useful in teaching your dog to avoid feces.

Are there any specific products for cleaning a dog’s mouth at home?

Yes, some products are specifically designed for cleaning your dog’s mouth at home. These include dog toothpaste, enzymatic toothpaste, and dental chews. Some dog mouthwashes are also available on the market. Always purchase products labeled for canine use to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Why do dogs eat poop and how can I discourage this behavior?

Dogs may eat poop for various reasons, including curiosity, boredom, a lack of essential nutrients, or due to a learned behavior. Identifying the underlying cause can help resolve the issue. Provide your dog with a balanced diet, keep their environment clean and engaging, and, if necessary, consult your veterinarian for further guidance.