The ingestion of fecal matter (coprophagia) is a non-harmful but undesirable habit. There is no known cause as to why some dogs engage in this behavior. Despite popular belief it is not caused by lack of vitamins/minerals, and is uncommonly caused by malnutrition. The best way to control this behavior is to deter the offending dog with foul tasting additives, or even a basket muzzle if necessary. Cleaning your yard after your pet defecates can help alleviate this problem.