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Why Do Havanese Eat Their Poop: And How To Stop It

A common concern among Havanese owners is their puppy or adult dog’s tendency to eat their own feces. This article aims to shed light on why Havanese dogs engage in this behavior and provides effective strategies to prevent it from happening.


7 Reasons Why Havanese Eat Their Poop

Poop eating (coprophagia) is actually a very common thing for many dogs and puppies of all breeds to do. And although we find it disgusting, for our dogs it’s apparently not that bad.

7 Reasons Why Your Havanese Eats Poop

Dietary imbalances/enzyme deficiency is a common cause of poop-eating
Your Havanese simply enjoys the taste of it
Havanese that are stressed/anxious might eat their poop to calm down
Puppies might try eating poop after seeing their canine-mother eat their poop
Understimulated or bored Havanese are more prone to eat their poop
Havanese sometimes eat their poop to appease their owners
It’s been happening for long enough to simply become a force of habit

As you can see, some reasons are more specialized, like having a dietary imbalance, and others are kinda silly! (like enjoying the taste!)

Is Your Havanese Eating Poop Due To Enzyme Deficiency?

A lack of digestive enzymes can be one of the main causes of stool-eating. If your Havanese is either not getting on well with his food, intolerant to some ingredients, or that it’s just low-quality, this may result in an enzyme deficiency.

Your Havanese would then seek to eat his stool as a way to get those much-needed nutrients and enzymes back into his stomach.

Additionally, The American Journal of Veterinary Research states that a diet lacking specifically in Vitamin B1 was another cause of canine coprophagia. So if you Havanese is having dietary issues, this could well be the cause.

Popular Havanese Articles on The Puppy Mag:
How To Help Havanese Puppies Calm Down
6 Reasons Why Your Havanese Might Stop Eating

Is Your Havanese Sufficiently Stimulated?

Boredom and insufficient stimulation can cause a little too much curiosity. If you allow your Havanese to roam free unoccupied in the yard for too long, he may just be bored enough to eat his own poop.

After his curiosity brings him this far, he may then just develop a taste for poop, and this shortly becomes a habit. Sometimes, it’s a combination of being bored, not receiving enough stimulation, or that he’s left alone for too long in the yard.

Find The Root Cause: Ask Your Veterinarian

There are a few ways to combat stool-eating, but some of them are reactive measures instead of proactive measures. I will cover all of them below, but it’s important to understand the importance of finding out the root cause.

If you don’t find out the real reason as to why your Havanese is eating poop, you may not be able to stop it for a long time. Especially if it’s diet-related.

Unfortunately, dietary imbalances or enzyme deficiency can be hard to diagnose yourself, so it’s advised to bring your Havanese to your local veterinarian for a health check-up.

Unless your Havanese shows obvious signs that he is not getting on well with his food, like vomiting or diarrhea, then things like deficiencies can go unnoticed for a long time.

Ways To Stop Your Havanese Eating Poop

Let’s run through various ways you can prevent your Havanese from eating their poop.

Immediate Solutions

Pick up the poop immediately
Keep your yard clean so it’s easier to find and pick up all poop
Supervise your Havanese when outside
Add meat-tenderizer or pineapple chunks to their food. This is known to make their poop foul-tasting. As if it isn’t already! ????

Long Term Solutions

Ensure High-Quality Diet
Opt for a premium kibble that gets its protein from whole meat sources rather than from grains.

Unfortunately, many kibbles contain a high amount of carbohydrates which really doesn’t align with how dogs have been eating in the wild for thousands of years.

Therefore, opt for a kibble that is high in protein, medium to high in fat, and LOW in carbohydrates. This will digest better and at the same time provide more digestible nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, hopefully eliminating any deficiencies.

Perfect The “leave it” Command
Practicing this command is extremely important aside from just preventing stool-eating. The leave it command could potentially save your Havanese’s life if he’s about to ingest something toxic.

Reduce Stress, Increase Stimulation & Quality of Life
Ensure your Havanese is receiving enough physical exercise, mental exercise, and is living in a stress-free environment.

Havanese are very sensitive to their owners and if they sense that anything is wrong or slightly “off” it can really affect their spirits too. Dogs can experience stress just the way we can so it’s incredibly important that your Havanese is receiving everything she needs on a daily basis.

Can Your Havanese Get Sick From Eating Their Own Poop?

How bad is it that your Havanese is eating their poop? Well, although it’s not as bad as we think, it should still be prevented.

When eating their OWN poop it’s technically not as bad, and the chance of your Havanese getting ill is low.

When eating other animals poop the chance of getting ill is significantly higher. Other animals including other dogs can have parasites, viruses, toxins, and other nasty stuff in their poop. This could cause your Havanese to become very sick.

So although eating their own poop is mostly harmless, it should STILL be actively prevented to stop them from trying to eat other kinds of poop when outside.

Cleaning Your Havanese’s Mouth After Eating Poop

What do you do after you’ve stopped your Havanese eating poop? You may be tempted to just leave it, but this isn’t advised, plus, you’ll be able to smell it on their breath.

In this situation, the best way to clean their mouth is with dog toothpaste. There is specially made toothpaste for dogs that does not contain Xylitol. You can buy kits like this one that comes with a special toothbrush as well.

Cleaning your Havanese’s mouth:
1. Put a small amount of dog toothpaste on the dog toothbrush and dab on her teeth and gums.
2. Let her lick it and get used to it. Hopefully, this will clear away some poop too.
3. Put another dollop of toothpaste on the brush and start brushing her teeth on the outside only
4. Be sure to go round the backsides all the way to the front
5. Encourage her to drink water after

If you wanted to take it a step further, after about 30 minutes, offer her a dental chew stick. But be sure not to give her one right away after eating poop, as she might confuse this with being positively rewarded for doing so.

Thank you for reading!

Additional Articles to Check Out!
Can Havanese Go Hiking?
How Regularly Should You Bathe Your Havanese?


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.