It is a great thing when you have a dog that gets along well with cats. If you love both cats and dogs this is a bonus as it means you can have them both.
What isn’t a bonus is your dog and its disgusting habit of eating cat poop. If you have ever witnessed your dog eating cat poop you may be wondering why.
Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop?
Coprophagia is the scientific term for an animal that consumes poop. It’s a natural instinct for dogs to scavenge and many dogs eat all kinds of things like poop, rocks, sticks, and shoes.
Dogs find cat poop really tasty and it is probably the first thing they will eat if given the opportunity. Cat poop is full of fat and protein and for a dog this is heaven.
Dogs that consume poop often do so due to behavioral or medical issues, yet when it comes to eating cat poop it is usually due to one of three reasons.
The smell of cat poop is tantalizing to your dog’s senses. You may find that your dog loves eating cat food as it has a strong smell and we know that dogs love smelly things.
The smellier the better. Cat poop is the next best thing to cat food which is why dogs are so attracted to eating it.
When a dog gets bored it will seek out ways to amuse itself. Boredom in dogs is one of the biggest causes of behavioral issues and eating cat poop relieves boredom and dogs find it fun.
Dogs love getting into the grossest and smelliest things and will often not just eat cat poop, but will roll all over it as well.
Lack Of Nutrition
Nutrition plays a key role in why dogs eat cat poop. When a dog lacks the right nutritional needs for it to stay healthy it results in nutritional deficiencies. These deficiencies are why dogs may eat cat poop.
Eating cat poop is a dog’s way of trying to seek out and replace these essential nutrients which are vital to its well-being.
How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Cat Poop
Having had dogs in the past that have eaten cat poop I found that preventing them from eating it is the best policy. Your dog could be eating cat poop for any of the reasons we have discussed in this article and pinpointing the exact reason could be difficult.
Managing your dog’s environment and diet is key to stopping this coprophagic behavior. Don’t worry if you don’t know why your dog is eating cat poop as the tips below will help you stop your dog from eating cat poop regardless of the reason.
1. Clean The Litter Box Straight Away
Cleaning your cat’s litter box straight after it has pooped is the best and easiest solution to stop your dog eating cat poop. When you remove the poop, your dog cannot eat it.
If you are working or won’t be home for a while then placing the cat litter box up high where your dog cannot reach it is a great alternative to stop your dog from eating cat poop.
2. Limit Entry To Litter Box
Placing the cat litter box in an area in which your dog cannot get to.
You can restrict access to the cat litter box by fencing off the area, installing a cat door that your dog can’t get through, or by purchasing adjustable dog gates. If your dog can’t get to the poop it can’t eat it.
3. Keep Your Dog Busy
Prevent your dog from boredom. Walking your dog, playing with your dog, and toys that provide enrichment are great ways to increase your dog’s desire to explore and focus on something not poop related.
They provide your dog an outlet to release its energy and this in turn will reduce their need to get into things they shouldn’t. Releasing your dog’s energy and increasing their exercise levels also makes your dog tired. When a dog gets tired it won’t bother trying to eat cat poop.
4. Focus On Better Nutrition
Providing high-quality foods to your dog and increasing their nutrition to optimal levels not only makes your dog healthy, it makes them feel satiated. If your dog feels full and has all of its nutritional needs met there should be no need to eat cat poop.
5. Teach Your Dog To Leave It
This is possibly one of the hardest ways to stop your dog from eating cat poop, but if you can train your dog to ‘leave it’ then it will stop them from eating it. Having the time and patience to train isn’t always easy we know, however it doesn’t hurt to try.
Is Harmful for Dogs to Eat Cat Poop?
Yes, eating cat poop is very bad for dogs. In fact any poop is bad for your dog to eat. Poop can contain harmful toxins, bacteria, and parasites which can lead to serious health issues.
When it comes to cat poop the danger can increase due to a cat’s ability to adventure, roam, and frequent many different places.
If you allow your cat outside and it leaves your yard, it is highly likely your cat will come into contact with many unsavory foods and items that will get eliminated in their poop. This makes their poop dangerous.
There are many different types of cat litter available for inside cats. The majority of cat litter available on the market is non-toxic and safe for consumption.
Eating cat litter is most definitely not recommended because it could cause blockages making your dog become seriously ill and require life-saving surgery..
Ways To Tell If Your Dog Has Eaten Cat Poop
Sometimes it may not be easy to tell if your dog has eaten cat poop. Besides the obvious poop disappearing from the cat litter tray, here are some other tips to help you identify if your dog has been enjoying those tasty morsels of cat poop.
- You see your dog eating it. In all likelihood that is the reason you are reading this article.
- Your dog’s breath smells like poop or there is evidence of poop around their mouth.
- Your dog has its head in the cat litter tray.
- Your dog is sick. Stomach upsets and diarrhea could be a sign your dog has ingested cat poop.
Remove the smell, remove the temptation, reduce the boredom. Doing these three things will go a long way to preventing and stopping your dog from eating cat poop.