How to Stop a Dog from Eating Cat Poop from the Litter Box
Do you have cats and dogs as pets? One unusual behavior that some people will see from their dogs is coprophagia, which is the act of consuming poop. You may have noticed that your dog is eating the poop from the cat’s litter box from time to time. Here are some steps to prevent this behavior.
Your Dog is Hungry
You may have come across claims of dogs eating cat poop due to nutritional deficiencies. While this may be true in some cases, there isn’t a whole lot of studies to support this. Rather than nutritional deficiencies, it may have more to do with a dog being hungry. They are likely to seek whatever resembles food at the time they are hungry.
For dogs, cat poop will have the scent of cat food so they will see little difference between the two. In addition to making sure your dog is getting enough food throughout the day, it could also be worthwhile changing your dog’s food to something that offers a well-balanced mix of nutrients.
Restrict the Dog’s Access to the Litter Box
If it’s not an issue of hunger or nutritional deficiencies then it may just be a case of preventing your dog from accessing the cat litter box. You could, for example, place the litter box in an elevated area the dog won’t be able to access but the cat can. Alternatively, you can get a top-entry litter box such as the ATDAWN Cat Litter Box, which dogs will also have difficulty getting into.
Use a Baby Gate to Create a Cat-Only Zone
This probably won’t work if you have an athletic dog that can jump over high objects but if that’s not the case then setting up a cat-only zone could be another idea to stop your dog from reaching the cat litter box. Something as simple as a baby gate could bar a dog’s entry.
Train Your Dog to Not Eat Cat Poop
This will take dedication but the best long-term solution is to teach your dog to not eat cat poop. You can use positive reinforcement to achieve this. Every time your dog approaches the cat litter box, say a simple command like “leave it” and offer the dog a lot of praises and an occasional treat when he stops approaching the cat litter.
Can a Dog Get Sick from Eating Cat Poop?
Yes, cat poop can make your dog sick so it’s important to prevent this behavior as soon as possible. The poop may contain harmful bacteria that can cause a number of illnesses including diarrhea and cramp. More importantly, the dog will probably end up eating some of the cat litter as he searches for the cat poop. The litter can also cause serious medical issues like intestinal blockage.