Why Do Dogs Eat Deer Poop?

This post may contain affiliate links. It doesn't cost you anything extra and it keeps our lights on, our families fed, and our dogs spoiled. For all the juicy fine print, see our affiliate disclosure

You’re not alone if you sometimes wonder, “Why does my dog eat deer poop?”.

Many dog owners are puzzled by their dogs’ habit of eating deer stools.

However, there is no need to panic. In most cases, it’s perfectly safe for dogs to eat deer poop.

In most cases, it’s perfectly safe for dogs to eat deer poop.

Although, there are cases where eating deer excrement can make dogs sick.

So it’s critical to know why dogs eat deer dung and what might happen if they do.

Young fawn deer pooping

Why Dogs Eat Deer Poop

There are many reasons why dogs eat deer poop.

From a dog’s perspective, deer droppings can be a tasty snack.

Feces can also be a good source of nutrients, including protein and minerals.

Here are some other reasons why dogs might eat deer poop.

Related: Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop? Is it Unsafe?

A Way to Self-Medicate

Dogs may eat deer droppings as a way to self-medicate.

For example, some dogs eat deer poop when they suffer from a health problem like intestinal parasites or diarrhea.

In some cases, eating deer droppings can help to relieve symptoms and make dogs feel better.


Dogs eat deer droppings out of hunger. If a dog is hungry, it may see deer poop as a convenient food source.

A dog scavenging for food will also be more likely to eat deer droppings.

Is Your Dog Driving You Nuts During the Day?

Indoor Activities for Dogs

Get Our List of 11 Awesome Indoor Activities to Keep Your Dog Busy and Out of Trouble!

To Cope With Anxiety

Dogs may eat deer droppings as a way to cope with anxiety.

A bored or anxious dog can be more likely to eat strange things, including deer droppings.

Maybe it has nothing to do with taste or nutritional value – the dog might simply be looking for something to divert its attention.


Dogs are naturally curious and may eat deer droppings out of curiosity.

When dogs see deer poop, they might want to know how they taste.

The curiosity may also be driven by the fact that deer droppings are a relatively uncommon sight.

Its smell and appearance might intrigue dogs and prompt them to explore this new oddity.

Is it Ok for Dogs to Eat Deer Feces?

Is it Ok for Dogs to Eat Deer Feces?

Deer droppings are safe to eat for dogs, though they can upset their stomach if consumed in large quantities.

Consult a veterinarian about your pet’s diet if you have concerns about their health after eating it.

Deer droppings are packed with protein, fiber, and minerals like zinc and copper[1].

They also have a small amount of vitamin B12, which is beneficial for dogs.

Additionally, they are a good source of healthy bacteria that can help to improve your dog’s digestion.

Some people believe that eating deer droppings can help prevent or treat intestinal parasites in dogs[2].

However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

The bottom line is that deer droppings are safe for dogs to eat but should not be a regular part of their diet.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Deer Poop?

Dogs can get sick from eating deer fecal matter if the droppings contain a parasite or parasite eggs.

The dog may also vomit or have diarrhea after eating a large amount of deer poop.

The only real risk associated with eating deer droppings is that they may contain harmful bacteria, like E. coli, making dogs sick[3].

What to Do When Your Dog Eats Deer Poop

What to Do When Your Dog Eats Deer Poop

It is entirely normal for dogs to eat deer poop.

It’s important not to scold them for doing so, but instead, keep an eye on their behavior and work to prevent it.

The poop might have parasites or other germs, and eating it can make your dog sick.

When your dog eats deer feces, monitor them for any changes in behavior and take them to the vet immediately if they appear sick or lethargic.

You may also want to consult a veterinarian about adjusting your dog’s diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

It isn’t unusual for young puppies to eat the droppings of their mothers and littermates[4].

This behavior may extend into adulthood and affect all types of excrement that dogs come across.

In most cases, eating non-human feces is harmless since most animals are herbivores who eat plants and grains rather than meat.

Dogs that eat the stool of herbivorous animals are simply ingesting partially digested plant material that they would have eaten if they had caught and killed the animal themselves.

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Eating Deer Poop

If your dog is eating deer droppings and you want to stop it, there are a few things you can do.

First, make sure your dog has plenty of toys and other things to keep them busy. 

You can also train your dog using positive reinforcement, like treats or praise.

If that does not work, you may need to resort to using aversive conditioning, like scolding or spraying with water. If all else fails, you may need to keep your dog on a leash while outside.

Final Thoughts

Dogs eating deer droppings is a relatively common behavior.

While it may not be harmful, keep an eye on your dog for any changes in behavior and take them to the vet if they appear sick.

Also, consult a veterinarian about adjusting your dog’s diet to ensure they get all the required nutrients.


Here are a few other common questions people ask.

Is Deer Poop Dangerous for Dogs?

Dogs can get sick from eating deer poop, but this usually happens if the deer has a disease or parasite that causes diarrhea, such as E Coli or Salmonella. If your dog eats a lot of deer poop, it could make them sick, mainly if it’s not used to eating it.

Why Do Dogs Eat Wild Animal Poop?

Eating fecal matter can be a normal part of canine behavior. Dogs in the wild often eat feces as a natural way of getting extra nutrients when they don’t have access to kibble.

In the wild, dogs will also eat the feces of their prey animals because they want to get rid of anything that could give away their presence.

It’s not unheard of for domestic dogs to eat their poop or the waste of other animals, especially if they’re bored or stressed.

If you’ve got a dog who likes to snack on deer poop, don’t worry – it’s not likely to cause any serious health problems!


  1. https://www.realtree.com/brow-tines-and-backstrap/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-deer-poop
  2. https://pattonvethospital.com/blog/121557-the-scoop-on-dogs-eating-poop-can-dogs-get-sick-from-ingesting-stool-from-other-species
  3. https://www.rover.com/community/question/6110/is-eating-deer-poop-bad-for-dogs/
  4. https://www.petmd.com/dog/puppycenter/health/evr_dg_why_do_puppies_eat_poop

Eliminate Bad Dog Breath Without Brushing

Fresh Breathies