Why Do Dogs Eat Cow Pies? 5 Reasons And How To Stop It!

If you live, work, or hike where cows graze, you’ve seen it happen – your dog is out for a walk, and then in the blink of an eye, he is chowing down on a cow pie.

You might be wondering, ‘Why on earth would my dog want to eat this?!’. Sure, dogs do gross dog things…but eating another animal’s poo? Where’s the line? Won’t my dog get sick from eating cow pies?

Well, if you have questions like that, I think I’ve got you covered.

So, why do dogs eat cow pies? The quick and easy answer is that it could be from instincts, Pica, because your dog actually thinks it tastes good, hunger, or a nutritional deficiency.

Instincts: Scavenging and Self-Medication

We all know that dogs will eat just about anything they can find, and cow pies are no exception. One reason for this behavior might be their scavenging instincts.

As descendants of wolves, dogs have evolved to be opportunistic eaters who will consume whatever food sources are available, even if it seems a bit gross to us.

Another theory is that dogs eat cow pies as a form of self-medication. While there’s no direct evidence linking cow pies to this behavior, some people believe that dogs may consume them to address medical issues when they’re not feeling 100%.

Pica: A Curious Canine Condition

Pica is a condition that affects some dogs, which results in them eating non-food items. Think of it as an unusual craving that compels a dog to consume things like rocks, plastic, or even cow pies.

If you’ve ever wondered why your pup seems to find cow pies particularly appetizing, it could be due to pica.

While pica might seem like a harmless quirk, it can be quite dangerous for dogs if they ingest harmful items or substances.

If you suspect your dog has pica or any other compulsive eating behavior, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian and seek proper treatment.

It Tastes Good

Believe it or not, your dog might find cow pies to be delicious!

Dogs have an entirely different palate than humans, so what may seem appalling to us might be a gourmet treat for them.

Don’t be surprised if your furry friend is more than happy to munch on something that would make you cringe.

Enjoying cow pies, combined with their heightened sense of smell makes it easy for your dog to find this ‘yummy’ treat.


Dogs need to get enough calories or they’ll be hungry. And hungry dogs might eat just about anything they can get their paws on.

If your dog is hungry and comes across a cow pie, he probably won’t think twice before trying to satisfy his appetite.

Nutritional Deficiency

Have you ever experienced a strong craving for a salty snack or a particular vegetable high in certain vitamins and minerals? There’s a good chance that you were experiencing a craving fueled by a nutritional deficiency.

Our canine companions can experience the same thing!

While it’s not the most likely reason for your dog’s cow pie consumption, it’s still worth considering.

If you suspect a nutritional imbalance, consult with your veterinarian to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrients he needs in his diet.

Is It Normal For Dogs To Eat Cow Poop?

Is it common for dogs to munch on cow poop? Yes, it happens more often than one might think.

As I already discussed, some dogs naturally gravitate toward cow pies if they come across them. There’s even a scientific term for it – coprophagia. It refers to the behavior of mammals, including dogs, that consume feces.

So, while it may seem odd or even unpleasant to us, it’s actually not abnormal dog behavior.

Will My Dog Get Sick From Eating Cow Pies?

Is there a chance that my dog might get sick from eating cow pies? While there’s no guarantee, it is possible.

Cow feces can attract all sorts of things that can be harmful to our furry friends. It’s not only parasites and bacteria that you need to worry about, but there could even be toxic mushrooms growing in those cow pies.

So, it’s better to keep your dogs away from them to ensure their good health.

How Can I Get My Dog To Quit Eating Cow Pies?

Do you find yourself constantly scolding your dog for munching on cow pies? Don’t worry – with patience, consistency, and proper guidance, you can train him to stop this undesirable behavior.

Here are some tips to help you navigate this smelly situation.

Remove Temptations And Set Boundaries

The easiest method to stop your dog from eating cow pies is preventing him from accessing them in the first place. By setting boundaries, you can ensure that he doesn’t have the opportunity to engage in this unsanitary habit.

If your dog roams around a farm or area where cow pies are frequently present, consider setting up a designated play area for him or finding alternative locations for your daily walks and outdoor activities.

Practice Basic Commands

Teaching your dog basic commands like ‘no’ and ‘drop it’ is important for controlling his behavior around cow pies (and for many other situations!).

With consistent practice, he should learn to understand when you give these commands, it means he needs to stop doing what he’s doing.

Keep reinforcing these commands in a firm, yet loving, manner to help your dog understand that you never want him to eat cow pies, not just this one time when you’re saying ‘no’.

Use A Leash Near Cow Pies

Taking walks or hiking near cow pies? Keep your dog on a leash so that he can’t explore and indulge in them.

When your dog is on a leash, you have more control over his movements, and you can easily guide him away from cow pies and any other undesirable items on the ground.

Check Your Dog’s Diet

Sometimes, dogs snack on cow pies due to deficiencies in their diet. It might indicate that he’s not getting enough food, or he could be lacking certain nutrients.

Make sure to provide your good boy with a well-balanced diet that meets his nutritional needs.

Talk to your veterinarian for guidance on choosing the right food and supplements to keep your dog healthy and satisfied.

Final Thoughts: Why Does My Dog Eat Cow Pies?

Dogs eating cow pies is not an uncommon behavior, and it can stem from a variety of reasons such as instincts, Pica, taste preferences, hunger, or nutritional deficiencies.

Although it’s reassuring to know that our canine companions will most likely not become ill from this peculiar and gross habit, it’s important to keep an eye on them and prevent the ingestion of cow pies whenever possible.

Now that you’re aware of the possible reasons behind your dog’s cow pie indulgences, you can take action to curb this behavior effectively. Making sure your dog has a balanced diet, adequate supervision, and obeys basic commands like ‘no’ will help you tackle this issue head-on.

Consistency is key when it comes to changing your dog’s habits, so don’t give up!

The next time you see your dog heading for a cow pie, remember that he’s not trying to be mischievous – he might just have an underlying issue that needs addressing.

Stay patient, remain consistent in your approach, and work together with your four-legged friend to keep cow pies off his menu.

Your determination is bound to lead to a happier, healthier loyal companion.

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