If you’ve got a mixed pet household, there are few sights more disgusting than your furball chowing down on cat poop.
While undeniably foul, coprophagia is a behavioral disorder that can also be caused by medical or nutritional issues.
Dogs eat cat poop for a number of reasons.
- The dog is trying to fill a dietary deficiency
- The cat poop still smells of cat food rich in the fats and protein a dog craves
- The dog is satisfying primal urges to forage and explore for food
- Coprophagia is an innate behavior among canines
- Boredom or a lack of exercise can prompt dogs to engage in unhealthy or destructive behaviors
Luckily, we’re here to show you how to drive this behavior out once and for all.
How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Cat Poop
- Make sure your dog is entertained
- Train your dog to obey commands
- Invest in a dog-proof litter box
- Keep the cat litter tray clean at all times
- Conceal your cat litter box
- Consider fencing or barriers
- Render your cat litter box inaccessible to dogs
- Add some heat to the litter box
- Use stool deterrents
- Feed your dog a balanced diet high in nutrients
1) Make sure your dog is entertained
The first thing you should consider is whether your canine is drawn to the idea of playing around with cat poop out of sheer boredom. This behavior could be inflamed if you leave your dog alone for extended periods.
Fortunately, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to keeping your pooch entertained.
If your dog is an aggressive chewer, you should try some chew toys.
Treat dispensing toys ensure that your dog gets his favorite delicacies drip-fed over the day. This type of toy will keep him occupied, too.
Dog puzzle toys are another great way to keep your hound occupied and mentally stimulated even if you’re at work all day.
Addressing this issue might stop your dog from playing with cat poop. If not, here’s a tip for anyone at home with their dog…
2) Train your dog to obey commands
If you find your dog is constantly invading your feline’s privacy, you can take action when you are at home with him.
It’s time to teach your pup to “Leave it”.
Teaching your dog this command requires little but patience and persistence. Every time you spot your dog approach the cat litter area, calmly but firmly command, “Leave it”.
When your dog complies, reward them with a treat and a big hug. If they don’t comply, repeat it but much louder.
Even if this approach doesn’t work immediately, it shouldn’t take long to have your dog obeying this simple but effective command.
3) Invest in a dog-proof litter box
Now, potentially the most direct and plug-and-play solution is to buy a dog-proof litter box.
These enclosed litter trays perform two crucial jobs.
Firstly, your cat won’t get the chance to scatter his litter all around the room. Instead, this will be neatly contained inside the dog-proof enclosure. As an added bonus, grates will clean his paws on the way out, while these boxes are designed with litter that won’t get tracked all over your flooring.
Beyond this, the enclosed nature – these things come with a lid, a dome, or a flap – means your dog won’t be able to work his way inside. Your cat gets his privacy and you go without the foul sight of Fido devouring cat poop.
The more expensive models are self-cleaning as an added kicker.
4) Keep the cat litter tray clean at all times
One more hands-on method of keeping your cat and dog apart when it counts is to take prompt action and blitz that cat mess as soon as it’s done. Let’s face it, if the litter tray is clean, your dog won’t have anything to play with in the first place.
This may not be practical, or you might not like the idea of constantly cleaning up after your cat. We understand this, and so the manufacturers of litter trays. You can find plenty of self-cleaning models if you like the idea of automating those tedious tasks in life. Who doesn’t?
5) Conceal your cat litter box
One classic method of preventing your pooch from playing with cat poop is to hide the litter tray from his prying eyes.
Enclosing the litter tray within a litter loo is a great way of disguising an enticing treat from your dog and making it look like an end table or cabinet instead.
As a bonus, even if your dog becomes suspicious, he won’t be able to work his way inside in any case, although your cat will slip in with no problem.
6) Consider fencing or barriers
You could install individual fences to block entry to certain areas and give your cat the privacy he needs while stopping your dog from playing with feces.
Cats will be able to slip through the narrow gaps between the bars on these fences while your dog will be left cursing on the other side.
7) Render your cat litter box inaccessible to dogs
If barriers and fences don’t work, you could consider using a cat flap to restrict access to the area housing the cat litter tray.
8) Add some heat to the litter box
If you add some hot sauce or black pepper to your cat litter mix, your dog will stay away. The only issue here is whether or not this bothers your cat. If not, give this hack a try and you’ll be amazed at the result.
9) Use stool deterrents
You can buy stool deterrents intended to render cat stools unattractive to dogs.
This is worth considering if all else fails, but we do have one final tip for you today, and it’s one of the most important…
10) Feed your dog a balanced diet high in nutrients
Remember, dogs sometimes eat cat poop as they are lacking in vital nutrients.
Speak with your vet and consider changing your dog food or adding some extra food to make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need.
You should now see that dogs eating cat poop is unpleasant but commonplace. You should also see that you don’t need to suffer in silence.
Whether you buy some stool deterrent or you train your dog, there are many ways to head off this unwholesome behavior. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can start giving your dog a kiss without being repulsed at the thought of where his mouth has been.
Bookmark BarkVA before you head off and pop back soon for more handy hints about all aspects of dog ownership. We’ll see you soon!