Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop and How to Stop It?

Last updated on: Feb 13, 2024

By: Angela Reeves

Cat and Short Coated Puppy Lying on Grass

Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop and How To Stop It?

Have you ever caught your furry friend snacking on something they shouldn't in the cat's litter box? It might make you go "eww," but it's a common thing for dogs.

Let's get to the bottom of this stinky situation together. We'll explore the reasons behind this behavior and provide you with some practical tips to help your dog kick the habit.

We've also talked about why puppies eat poop in general in a separate article, so check that out if you're curious!

Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop?

Evolutionary and Behavioral Reasons

Dogs are natural scavengers. This means they like to search for food and sometimes eat things that might seem weird to us. Long ago, dogs in the wild had to eat whatever they could find to survive. Eating from a variety of sources, including leftovers from other animals, was normal. This scavenging behavior is still part of dogs today.

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. They are drawn to strong odors, and cat poop is no exception. It smells strong and interesting to them. Sometimes, dogs eat cat poop because they are bored or not getting enough attention. Finding and eating cat poop can be like discovering a hidden treasure for them.

Nutritional Deficiencies and Health Issues

Sometimes, a dog might eat cat poop because they are missing something in their diet. If dogs are not getting the right nutrients, they might try to find them in other places, including cat poop. Also, some dogs have health problems that make them want to eat strange things. Eating cat poop might be a sign that something is not right.

The Appeal of Cat Poop

Cat poop can be tempting for dogs because it's high in protein. Cats eat a lot of meat, so their poop has a lot of protein too. This makes it very appealing to dogs. Also, cat poop is often fresh, which might seem even more tempting to a curious dog.

Why Puppies Eat Cat Poop

Puppies are very curious and like to explore the world with their mouths. Eating cat poop might just be part of their exploration. It's important to teach puppies what is okay to eat and what is not.

Risks Involved

Eating cat poop isn't just gross; it can be harmful to your dog. Here's why it's a bad idea for dogs to snack from the litter box:

Parasites and Diseases

Cat poop can carry parasites like toxoplasmosis, roundworms, and even bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. When dogs eat cat feces, they risk getting these parasites and diseases, which can make them very sick.

Ingesting Cat Litter

Cat litter can be dangerous for dogs. Some litter, especially clumping varieties, can expand inside a dog's stomach. This can lead to blockages in their digestive system, which is a serious health issue. It can make your dog very sick and might even require surgery to fix.

It's clear that eating cat poop is risky business for dogs. You can see now why it's important to stop this behavior.

How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Cat Poop

Keep the Litter Box Out of Reach

Place the litter box where your dog can't get to it. You might use baby gates or put the litter box in a room that only your cat can access.

Use Dog-Proof Litter Boxes

Consider getting a litter box designed to keep dogs out. There are boxes with covers or doors that are easy for cats but hard for dogs.

Clean Regularly

Keep the litter box clean. If there's no poop, there's nothing for your dog to eat. Cleaning the box regularly also keeps your cat happy.

Check Your Dog's Diet

Make sure your dog is eating a balanced diet. If they're missing nutrients, they might be more likely to eat cat poop. Talk to your vet about the best food for your dog.

Visit the Vet

If your dog keeps eating cat poop, it might be a sign of a health issue. A check-up with the vet can help find any problems.

Teach Your Dog "Leave It"

Train your dog to respond to commands like "leave it." This can help stop them from eating things they shouldn't, including cat poop.

Provide Regular Exercise and Playtime

A tired dog is (usually) a good dog. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercises to burn off energy and reduce their interest in the litter box. Provide toys and play with your dog to keep them busy. This can help prevent boredom, which might lead them to the litter box.

Read more

Dealing with your dog eating cat poop can be frustrating, but there's hope. With the right approach, you can help your dog kick this unpleasant habit.

We have many more articles on dog and puppy behavior. Ever wondered why your dog scratches the floor? Or why your puppy breathes too fast when sleeping? Maybe you've noticed your dog obsessively chewing or biting their paws, or you're concerned about your puppy's frequent peeing habits. We're here to solve these mysteries for you.

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