How To Stop My Shih Tzu Eating Its Poop?

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It might be a surprise for you to know that dogs have a variety of tastes. Most of the time, Shih Tzus excitedly eat everything you put in front of them, but sometimes they eat things that you would like.

Yes, it’s poop!

It can be embarrassing and frustrating watching your little guy or girl eating his own poop.

Coprophagia (poop-eating) refers to the ingestion of feces, and it is a common behavior pattern amongst Shih Tzus. It is a puzzling habit which makes every dog owner wonder why your Shih Tzu would indulge in such an act.

Even though Coprophagia is a common behavior in dogs, it can be unpleasant for owners and potentially harm their health.

If you are at a crossroads of how in the world you can make this stop, don’t get overwhelmed. There are many natural ways of stopping your Shih Tzu from eating his feces.

First and foremost, we need to identify the reason why a Shih Tzu might be eating poop, whether it’s their own or other canines.

Under normal circumstances, Shih Tzus are the ideal companion. With their cute button noses and loyal nature, they give as much love as they receive. However, no matter how much you adore your little puppy, seeing them devouring poop is plain disgusting.

Several methods can be effective in stopping a Shih Tzu from eating its poop. For a vast majority of cases, Coprophagia is an indicator that something else requires your attention and needs to be urgently addressed.

Under the circumstances that your Shih Tzu has started eating poop, your best bet is to reverse the habit and hope that it never happens again.

As a dog owner, there are many steps that you can take to hinder this from occurring. Let’s take a deeper look into the topic and help your Shih Tzu leave this habit behind.

The Potential Causes Of Coprophagia In Shih Tzus

The Potential Causes Of Coprophagia In Shih Tzus

Boredom or Lack Of Mental and Physical Stimulation

Puppies absolutely love to explore, and boredom may push them into checking out what another animal’s stool tastes like. In their “getting to know the universe” phase, your little pup might fall trapped in this unpleasant habit.

However, in this scenario, the action is only temporary and should not be a significant issue for your Shih Tzu.

Medical Conditions Such As Gastrointestinal Disorders or Parasites

Normally adult dogs should not be consuming stool, which is a big red flag. Corpraghia can indicate the presence of dietary problems such as nutritional deficiencies or parasites in your adult dog.

Parasites will rob Shih Tzu’s body of nutrients, leading him to supplement his meals independently. The most reliable method of confirming the presence of these life-threatening critters is consulting with a vet.

May You Are Encouraging Stool Eating Unknowingly

Learned behavior from feeding table scraps or rewarding the little guy for eating poop in the past is bound to cement the habit in your tiny puppy.

Maybe you give your Shih Tzu more attention when they perform such acts as eating their poop. As they crave companionship, inadvertently, you might be motivating this behavior.

You can break this habit by giving him attention before your doggy performs this action. Let’s spend more time with him, take him on longer walks and feed him something delicious. Give the Shih Tzu something to look forward to.

Nutritional Deficiencies Are Directly Connected To Eating Stool

Nutritional deficiency or imbalance could be a definitive reason your Shih Tzu is prone to eating stool. A lack of digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid, genetic issues or flaws, and poor quality diet are all factors that could contribute towards nutritional deficiencies.

Even though it is not in your control to alter your dog’s genes, you can deploy certain simple remedies that will do the trick.

Health Issues Posed By Coprophagia

If your Shih Tzu ingests some stool with parasitic eggs pestered in it, it could become a serious problem for his health. If you are unable to control it in time, the internal parasites will steal the nutrients from your Shih Tzu’s body.

They might obstruct your doggy’s organs from absorbing the nutrients. If such a circumstance occurs, you will have to take your Shih Tzu to the vet in an emergency.

With some gentle yet persistent guidance, your doggy will be confident to stop eating the feces and leave this habit behind. The ideal place to start is your diet for your Shih Tzu and ensuring it contains all the required nutrients.

A complete and balanced diet will work magic not only on the Coprophagia but also on the overall health of your little puppy. Taking precautions and immediate action to stop this habit is necessary to ensure the safety of your faithful, loving friend.

How To Determine The Cause Of Your Shih Tzu’s Coprophagia?

Multiple reasons can account for why your Shih Tzu started eating feces in the first place. Their inherent attraction towards such an unconstitutional substance requires some justification.

The most common causes of Coprophagia in Shih Tzus vary from a medical issue such as pancreatic insufficiency, pancreatitis, intestinal infections, malabsorption syndrome, or dietary habits containing too much fat.

As his owner, you are accountable for figuring out the reason behind this habit and also keeping an eye on why it occurred in the first place. Start by observing your Shih Tzu’s behavior and surroundings when it eats poop.

Is there anything out of the ordinary in the surrounding area? And, is your Shih Tzu only eating poop in your presence? Is he doing it to get your attention?

Notice how much of his food he consumes prior to going for the poop. If he is eating the feces after having his meal, he might have a deficiency of some sort.

Keep a food diary to track what your Shih Tzu is being fed. Knowing every minute thing going into your Shih Tzu’s mouth will give you a better idea of the situation. You will be able to figure out if any element is missing and if there are any potential deficiencies.

Consult with your veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions. It is always a safe choice to involve the professional. Let the vet know your concerns, and he will determine if any serious hidden medical issue is causing your Shi Tzu to behave in such a way. A professional will be able to gauge whether parasites are the issue with their medical equipment.

Your vet is also the perfect person to discuss any home remedies you are considering. You can also share the food tracker with your vet, and they will guide you practically on the items to include in your Shih Tzu diet. Additionally, they might also let you know what you should not feed your dog and what might be harmful to him.

Strategies For Stopping Coprophagia In Shih Tzus

Strategies For Stopping Coprophagia In Shih Tzus

You must worry about your Shih Tzu eating poop as a dog owner. Each breed of dog has its own purpose, and Shih Tzus are born to be companions. Nobody wants a partner who eats feces.

There are two kinds of initiatives that you can take to help your dog leave this gross habit behind. Either follow the natural route and use products such as Pineapple or Papaya juice. The other option is to use pills prescribed by your veterinarian.

This medicine will make your Shih Tzu’s poop smell and taste extremely bad and your dog will want to stay far away from it let alone ingest it. There is also a 3rd method.

You can train the little guy to leave his poop alone. Each of these strategies has distinctive pros and cons, let’s take a look at each one separately.

1. Feeding Your Dog High-Quality Food

Providing your Shih Tzu a well-balanced diet and adequate nutrition will fulfill all their dietary requirements. Therefore they will not feel the need to eat poop.

Selecting the right food is a vital change in your dog’s habits. Shih Tzus will have a poor standard of diet and will not get the sufficient good nutrition that they require, so they will seek “supplements” in unsanitary places.

2. Increase Mental and Physical Stimulation

With the aid of toys, training, and exercise, you can resolve the stress or boredom issues of your Shih Tzu. Engaging in other activities will deter him from finding poop to have fun.

Keep your Shih Tzu moving and exercise him consistently. Incorporate playtime into his routine such as a game of fetch etc., to keep him busy.

3. Use Taste Deterrents or Additives To Make The Poop Less Appealing

Make feces less tempting for the little guy using a coprophagia deterrent. Make sure you resolve any underlying triggers first. You can add a supplement to the Shih Tzu’s diet that will make his stool taste particularly horrid.

Pineapple and pumpkin are natural home remedies that might help with Coprophagia as they alter the taste of the feces.

4. Remove Access To The Poop

Cleaning up immediately after your Shih Tzu goes potty will limit his access to the stool altogether. Make sure you keep the yard clean from any poop deposits.

If there are other pets whose stool your Shih Tzu can access, keep the litter out of his reach. Restrict your Shih Tzu from stepping outside alone.

5. Train Your Shih Tzu To “Leave It” or “Drop It” When Encountering Poop

In light of this scenario, the recommendation is to train your Shih Tzu to steer clear of the water. Whenever you notice your dog moving towards the waste, they should know the commands to “leave it” or “drop it.”

As the owner, you have the ability to teach them to leave it. However, it will require a lot of persistence, patience, and consistency.

Conclusion: Leading a Hygienic Lifestyle with your Shih Tzu

We can imagine how disturbing it must be to see your adorable little puppy eating feces. However, take it as a wake-up call that it is an issue that needs to be promptly rectified.

The essential step you need to take under such circumstances is to determine its potential causes. Armed with this knowledge, you can figure out the best strategies for stopping Coprophagia in your Shih Tzu.

Remember to check for any nutritional deficiencies primarily and rectify any abnormal levels if you want to stop your Shih Tzu from eating poop. Ruling out health issues and addressing nutrient absorption problems should be at the top of your list.

Devouring stool can seem enticing to a bored or neglected puppy, so try focusing on the little guy more and see if he stops the unseemly habit.

Switching to a superior food will help save your Shih Tzu from a lot of unnecessary poop ingestion. He may be fulfilling his needs from the obscene activity, and you should change his diet. Furthermore, limiting access to any and all kinds of stool will do wonders in inhibiting the habit altogether.

Dedicate some time to resolving the stress and boredom levels to distract the Shih Tzu and keep him away from the poop. Using a deterrent might finally stop coprophagia concerns that your Shih Tzu might be facing.

There is always a chance that poop-eating is a symptom of a major underlying issue. Therefore you must consult with a veterinarian and address any hidden health issues or nutritional imbalances as a priority.

Try combining some of the above mentioned strategies and figure out what works best for their Shih Tzu. All methods mentioned in this guide will work together to put an end to this habit forever.


I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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