The first time you see your adorable Frenchie eat their own poop, it can be alarming. While the sight doesn’t get any easier with time, there are lots of reasons why Frenchies eat their own poop (or even the poop of other dogs or cats).
In the following article, you’ll learn all the strange reasons why French Bulldogs eat poop. We’ll also arm you with several tips to help you stop Frenchies from eating poop.
See also: Understanding dog body language
Why Do French Bulldogs Eat Their Poop?
French bulldogs eat poop for a variety of reasons. This behavior typically starts when they are babies.
When they are still nursing, they might see their mom eating poop to “clean” their sleeping area.
Before dogs were domesticated, they did this to prevent larger predators from smelling nearby babies.
Outside of this experience as new mothers and newborn babies, there are six main reasons why Frenchies eat their poop.
Your Frenchie is hungry
French bulldogs may eat poop when something is causing them to be excessively hungry.
If they pick up intestinal worms or parasites, they may find themselves hungry more often. When this occurs, they may look to eat anything they can, including their own poop.
This can also lead to your French bulldog eating the poop of other dogs and even cats in your home.
If your Frenchie is habitually raiding your cat’s litter box, you may need to put it somewhere he can’t reach until you’ve dealt with the root cause of their poop consumption.
When Frenchies are young, they need to be fed several times throughout the day to support their growing bodies.
Failure to feed them enough while they’re still growing can lead them to seek out “food” wherever they can.
Your French Bulldog is experiencing digestive issues and nutrient deficiencies
French bulldogs that are having trouble digesting their food may eat their poop as a reaction to their troubles.
Food that isn’t rich in nutrients will pass through your dog’s digestive tract and come out the other end looking and smelling almost the same as their original food.
This means they may have trouble telling the difference between their regular food and their own poop.
If your dog is having digestive issues, he may not be breaking down the food during digestion. This can also result in feces that seems appetizing to your nutritionally deficient pooch.
Your Frenchie wants to hide their poop from you
Potty training can be extremely hard on both you and your dog. If you’re reacting negatively to your dog’s accidents in the home, your Frenchie might conceal those accidents by consuming their own poop.
Your dog may learn that eating their poop means they won’t be reprimanded for having an accident in the home.
If you suspect your dog is consuming their poop to cover up accidents, you may need to make proactive changes to your dog’s potty training regimen.
Your French Bulldog wants attention from you
Sometimes French bulldogs eat their own poop because they want attention. After all, attention is exactly what they get when they eat poop!
Your Frenchie might become fascinated by the extreme reaction they got when they ate their poop, encouraging them to repeat the behavior.
When you scold your Frenchie for eating poop, they’re likely to become fascinated with the response.
They may learn that eating poop gets your attention even if you react negatively. For some French bulldogs, any attention is good attention.
Your Frenchie is bored
French bulldogs may eat their poop because they don’t have anything else to do. This is particularly true when they’re left alone for long periods of time.
Since they’re very social dogs, being left alone results in anxiety and boredom, which can lead them to eat their own poop to pass the time.
If you’ve ruled out digestive issues and attention-seeking behavior, it may be a sign that your French bulldog needs you to spend more time with them.
With some positive attention, they may be less motivated to eat their own poop.
Your French Bulldog is depressed, anxious, or stressed
Depressed, anxious, and stressed Frenchies sometimes eat their own poop. Destructive and anti-social behaviors are common in stressed dogs.
In some cases, they express their angst by eating their own poop.
This can happen when they’ve experienced a change in environment. Sometimes stress occurs when there are loud noises or new family members.
Being left alone during the day can also contribute to depression and anxiety. Unhappy dogs may eat their poop to help them cope with unpleasant emotions.
Please see our guide on French Bulldog separation anxiety to know what to do when your Frenchie is depressed, anxious, or stressed.
Should I be worried if my French Bulldog is eating poop?
It’s fairly normal for Frenchies under eight months of age to eat their poop since they are young and still testing their environment.
Most of the time, they outgrow this behavior. However, reacting strongly to your French bulldog’s poop consumption can make the problem worse.
If your dog is regularly eating their own poop only, they aren’t very likely to develop health issues. However, eating another animal’s poop can cause them to catch transmittable diseases.
Parasites and infectious diseases can both be spread by animal feces, so it’s important to stop your dog from eating another dog’s poop.
Eating poop can cause your French bulldog to vomit or develop diarrhea. It may also result in decreased appetite and lethargy, both of which are signs that something is wrong with your dog.
Intestinal parasites also pose a major risk to your Frenchie’s health, so any signs of worms in their poop should spur you to make a call to their vet.
How do I get my French Bulldog to stop eating their poop?
Now that you know why French bulldogs eat their poop and the risks associated with the behavior, we’ll provide you with the eight top tips to help you stop your Frenchie from eating their poop.
Start with a healthy diet
Since French bulldogs sometimes eat their poop when they’re hungry or having trouble digesting food, a healthy diet is an essential first step to curbing this behavior.
Their diet should be balanced, properly portioned for their age and weight, and full of necessary nutrients.
Investing in high-quality dog food will go a long way in promoting healthy bodies and behaviors in your Frenchie. A good diet should help with the dietary causes of poop consumption.
Add unpleasant flavors to animal poop
If your dog is consuming the poop of other animals (such as your family’s cat), add a flavor they hate to the poop.
For example, adding strong pepper or hot sauce to your cat’s litter box can encourage your dog to leave the droppings alone.
This can also work for poop your dog encounters on walks, although you’ll have to pack the unpleasant flavor and bring it with you.
Over time, your Frenchie will associate eating poop with the foul scent and flavor of hot sauce.
Keep your Frenchie on a leash during walks
Since eating other dogs’ poop poses significant medical risks to your Frenchie, you should keep them on their leash until you can trust them to resist the urge to eat their poop.
Keeping them on a leash during your walks can help you redirect them away from piles of dog poop.
Clean up Your Frenchie’s poop ASAP
Your French bulldog can’t eat poop if there isn’t any poop around to eat. It’s that simple.
Immediately after your dog does their business, pick up the poop and remove it from their reach. This will help them break the habit of eating their poop.
If your dog is eating their poop immediately after they pass it, you’ll need to be diligent about scooping the poop up. If you’re too slow, they may still manage to get a bite or two in before you clean it up.
Make sure your French Bulldog is getting plenty of attention and stimulation
Bored Frenchies may eat their own poop. In this case, the best way to prevent poop eating is to prevent your dog from getting bored in the first place.
Make sure your Frenchie is getting plenty of attention from you throughout the day.
It’s also important to make sure they have plenty of outlets for their energy. Your French bulldog should be getting plenty of physical exercises and mental stimulation.
When they burn off their excess energy, they’re less likely to eat their poop just for the thrill of it.
Redirect your Frenchie’s behavior
If your Frenchie is eating their poop on a regular basis, redirect their behavior as soon as possible to distract them.
Over time, they’ll be more inclined to amuse themselves with pursuits other than eating poop.
Make sure you’re redirecting their behavior as calmly as possible. If your Frenchie learns that they can get attention by eating poop, they may seek out poop in an attempt to attract your attention.
Redirecting their behavior allows you to stop the bad behavior and replace it with a positive one.
Reward your Frenchie’s good behavior
When your dog doesn’t eat poop, use positive reinforcement to let them know that restraining themselves is good.
Give your Frenchie a treat whenever they go to the bathroom without eating their poop. Over time, they’ll get the idea.
Add pineapple to their diet (after consulting your dog’s veterinarian)
Some French bulldog owners suggest adding pineapple to your dog’s diet to prevent them from eating their poop.
When digested, pineapple makes their poop taste extremely bad. This may be all the deterrent your dog needs to break the habit.
As with any dietary change, it’s important to consult your dog’s vet before making the change.
Not only can they rule out nutritional causes for your dog’s behavior, but they can give you safe suggestions for additives that make your dog’s poop taste worse.
Wrapping Up: French Bulldog Eating Poop
As you can see, poop eating (known as coprophagy) is a common behavior in Frenchies, especially at an early age.
You can be at peace if you see your Frenchie puppy eating his poop. If this behavior continues in his adulthood, it could be a sign of underlying health or behavioral problem.
In this case, we’d suggest you take your French Bulldog to your local veterinarian as soon as possible.