Many dogs like to eat different kinds of poop. Although it might seem disgusting to us, this is a totally natural occurrence. Dogs are the original scavengers of nature. They eat all kinds of things, which also include trash and garbage. So for dogs, cat poop is just like any other consumable item that they might have stumbled upon whilst scavenging.
It’s safe to say that cat poop can easily make your nose twitch in disgust. But for dogs, it’s nothing less than cat food. The usual cat food, which is available in pet stores, appeals to a dog’s sense of smell. This is why they are always ready to eat a snack from the litter bin. But, eating poop is a disease, which is known as coprophagia.
Usually female dogs will lick their puppies’ bottoms to stimulate defecation. Puppies possess a natural inclination to eat everything available in their environment. It doesn’t matter if the material provides any kind of nutrition or not. As time passes, some puppies successfully abandon this habit, while some carry it into their adulthood.
Since a cat’s digestive tract is narrow and short, the feces produced contains undigested nutrients such as proteins, which are very attractive to a dog’s nose. Dogs eating cat poop is not always a normal occurrence. There can also be underlying potential health issues.
Diseases such as intestinal malabsorption/maldigestion, cushing’s disease, etc. can cause insatiable hunger. Thus, the dogs eat anything that comes in their way.
Another reason why dogs tend to eat cat poop is because their diet might lack essential nutrients. It is recommended to fix an appointment with your veterinarian if you see your dog eating cat poop. The doctor will recognize the underlying factors causing the dog to behave like this. Accordingly, a suitable course of treatment will be prescribed.
Sometimes, your dog eats cat poop due to a heritable behaviour. If your dog has spent some time in shelter or on the streets, chances are that eating poop for them is nothing but a behavioural trigger. Street dogs, who are unsure of their next meal would usually resort to eating poop. If the puppies witness this behaviour in their mothers, chances are they might also copy their mother.
One of the biggest fears that gets a dog owner worried and anxious is the exposure to dangerous pathogens. As we all know, feces contain a lot of harmful bacteria that can easily make your dog sick. Parasites are another potential threat. Just because a cat is clinically fit and healthy doesn’t mean it can’t be a carrier of diseases. They might be asymptomatic, but they are very much capable of shedding disease causing microorganisms.
If your doggo can’t keep his mouth away from the trash can, here are a few tips to stop it from eating cat poop :-
10 Tips That Will Stop Your Dog From Eating Cat Poop
- Animals are drawn to peculiar things due to curiosity alone. It’s important to keep your dog busy and distracted, so that it doesn’t go on exploring your cat’s private parts. Busy your pet with toys or other physical activities. Don’t let your doggo’s mind wander off to weird places.
- Clean the litter box as soon as your cat is done defecating. Don’t let it sit around. If the litter is clean and sanitised, there’s no reason for your dog to wander off and explore it.
You also prevent the nasty smell of poop from spreading inside the house. This will ensure that your dog is not eating cat poop. Cleaning the litter box so frequently can be tiring, and you can invest in self cleaning litter boxes.
- Use fences inside the house. Fences prevent the dogs from accessing the litter boxes. A wide variety of indoor fences are available online. Buy a fence that suits your dog’s height, size and temperament.
While purchasing, make sure the space between the bars is wide enough for your cat to get through them. You can also install a small bathroom door for your cats, which your dog can not pass through.
- To keep the dogs away from the litter box, you can also put black pepper and hot sauce inside it. The moment your dog goes sniffing around the box, it will be caught off-guard by the strong flavour of pepper and hot sauce instantly.
Since dogs have a keen sense of smell, an unpleasant smell in the stool will twitch your dog’s nose instantly. This will surely prevent your dog from going near the litter box ever again.
- These days you can easily find litter boxes for cats that come with a lid. The lid prevents the poop smell from spreading inside the house. These lids make the litter boxes inaccessible to dogs, providing the privacy your cat needs. Some of the boxes also have see through walls so that your cat doesn’t feel claustrophobic while taking a dump.
- Buying stool deterrents is another effective alternate to keep your dog away from cat poop. They are specially manufactured for dogs who can’t stop digging the litter boxes to eat cat poop. You wouldn’t want to snuggle up with your little furry friend knowing that its head has literally been in a litter box.
Hence, purchasing a stool deterrent is an essential investment that will not only benefit you but also your little dog. Stool deterrents designed for cats also make the stool inedible and repulsive, which will keep your dog miles away.
- Teach your dog the “leave it” command if you see it hovering around the cat’s litter box. Be very diligent while teaching. Whenever you see your dog around your cat’s poop, address your dog in a firm tone and say “Leave it!”. If the dog listens to your command, reward the dog by offering treats.
If the dog disobeys take a more serious and firmer tone and say the “leave it” command once again. It might not work out initially. With time, your dog will get used to it and will start obeying your orders.
Never punish your dog verbally or physically. It can be annoying and gross, but choose to act strategically. Yelling or punishing will only make the dog fear you, which might result in secretly eating cat poop.
- Provide your dog proper nutrition. The reason why you find your dog eating cat poop is because his nutritional needs are not sufficed by the diet he may be consuming. If this is the case, check the nutritional values mentioned on the packaging of the dog food.
Identify what nutrients and dietary fibres your dog needs as per his age and size. You can also schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to know more. While switching food, make sure to provide the correct portion size to your dog.
- Treat intestinal worms if your dog has them. They rob the dog of essential and vital nutrients. Visit your veterinarian to get a prescription. Also, increase physical exercise and mental stimulation of your furry friend. Play various games or take your dog out on a walk daily. Spend as much time as possible physically active.
Don’t let your dog roam freely. Dogs can also suffer from stress and anxiety as much as human beings. Extreme amounts of anxiety can cause concerning behaviour issues. If your dog is eating cat poop out of stress, address it immediately.
Go to the root of the anxiety. Sometimes it may be caused due to separation or environmental changes. Keep a close watch on your dog’s physical and mental health. Dogs are sensitive beings and can get affected negatively easily.
- If your cat goes out or the neighbourhood felines visit your yard, chances are that they might defecate in the yard. In that case, limit your dog’s access to the yard. Instead of letting him out in the open, be on the watch. Study the movements.
Tie him with a leash every time you let him out in the yard. Getting your dog accustomed to a leash might help you a lot in the future as well. Cats around the area will think twice before popping up in the area where your dog is tied.
As a dog owner, you wouldn’t want to wonder where your pupper’s mouth has been while you receive welcome home kisses. While dogs are the perfect companions and love us unconditionally, they can be pretty gross sometimes. Luckily, there’s still hope. All dogs are different and it’s important to know what makes your dog eat cat poop. Consult your veterinarian and get a thorough examination of your dog. Don’t worry, your dog will surely outgrow this unpleasant habit with the right care.