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How to Convince Your Dog That Cat Poop Isn't on the Menu

June 01, 2024 0 comments


Have you ever experienced a "deja poo" situation where your puppy is caught munching on cat poop? Don't panic and definitely don't call the etiquette police! This behavior, while gross, is not uncommon. If you have both a cat and a dog at home, stay alert and keep reading.

Why is cat poop so tempting for dogs? What makes them so interested in someone else's potty? What to do if dog eats cat poop? These questions and more are on every dog owner's mind. We've got the answers you're looking for right here. Dive in to learn more and keep your home harmonious.

The Science Behind It

Dogs are natural scavengers and often consume a variety of items that aren't healthy, including cat poop. This behavior, known as coprophagia, can be linked to several factors:

  • Attraction to Smell: Cat poop likely smells like cat food to dogs, and many dogs are attracted to the strong scent. Since dogs have a keen sense of smell, the odor of cat feces can be quite appealing.
  • Natural Behavior: In the wild, dogs and their ancestors scavenge to survive. This includes eating feces, which might contain undigested food nutrients. Mother dogs also ingest their puppies' feces to keep their den clean, teaching young pups that feces is not inherently repulsive.
  • Dietary Deficiencies: Sometimes, dogs eat feces due to a lack of certain nutrients in their diet. This is less common but can be a reason behind the behavior.

Is Cat Poop Harmful to Dogs?

While it’s common for dog eating cat poop, it can pose health risks. Here are a few potential issues:

  1. Cat feces can carry harmful bacteria and parasites like salmonella, which can infect dogs and potentially be transmitted to humans.
  2. Ingesting cat litter can lead to digestive blockages, particularly if the litter is clumping. Although dogs usually need to eat a significant amount to cause serious problems, any signs of digestive distress should prompt a vet visit.
  3. Consuming feces can introduce various pathogens into a dog's system, making it crucial to monitor their health and prevent this behavior whenever possible.

Behavioral Causes

Eating feces can be a normal part of a dog’s life at certain stages. Puppies might eat feces as they learn from their mothers. This behavior usually diminishes as they grow older and get accustomed to regular dog food. For adult dogs, eating cat poo is more likely tied to behavioral or environmental factors rather than a necessity.

Several behavioral factors can lead to coprophagia:

  • Dogs explore their environment with their mouths. If they find something interesting, like cat poop, they might decide to eat it.
  • Dogs lacking sufficient physical and mental stimulation might turn to coprophagia out of boredom.
  • If a dog has been scolded for having accidents in the house, they might eat their feces to hide the evidence. This can extend to cat poo if they find it similarly appealing.
  • Some dogs eat feces as a stress response, finding comfort in this behavior much like humans might turn to comfort food.

Medical Causes

Keep in mind, ever had a sudden craving for chalk, onions, or lemons? It can happen out of the blue, without any apparent reason—well, any visible ones, that is. Because the real cause might be deeper, tucked away in our bodies, influenced by hormones, cells, and vitamins. Nowadays, scientists can pinpoint what might be lacking when we crave these peculiar items. And guess what? The same applies to our furry companions when a dog is eating cat poop.

While less common, medical issues can contribute to this behavior:

  1. Nutritional Deficiencies: Poor diet can lead to nutritional imbalances, making dogs seek out alternative sources of nutrients.
  2. Intestinal parasites or malabsorption disorders can lead to coprophagia as dogs attempt to compensate for lost nutrients.
  3. Senior dogs may develop this habit due to cognitive decline.

It's crucial to find effective methods to stop dog from eating cat poop for the well-being of both your dog and your household environment.


How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Cat Poop

We’ve discovered the various reasons that can lead a dog to "unwanted actions," and sometimes, it’s beyond their control. Their instincts can be so strong that they simply can't resist. This behavior can be seen in both high-end breeds and regular dogs – we’re all made of the same stuff.

However, as a dog owner, you can prevent this. Here are strategies to stop your dog from eating cat poop:

  • Keep the litter box in an area that’s inaccessible to your dog. Using baby gates or placing the litter box in high or enclosed spaces can help.
  • You can train your dog to stop eating cat poop, especially if they are an adult. Using an electronic collar can be an effective way to reinforce that this behavior is undesirable. Consistent training will help your pet understand and remember the lesson.
  • Invest in a covered or top-entry litter box that is difficult for dogs to access but easy for cats to use.
  • Ensure your dog gets a balanced diet and plenty of exercise. Keeping your dog well-fed and entertained reduces the likelihood of them seeking out cat poop.
  • Avoid punishing your dog for eating feces. Instead, use positive reinforcement to train them to leave it alone and reward them for good behavior.

Looking for a way to stop dog from eating cat poop? Try adding health supplies by Pawious to their diet. Probiotics for Dogs — this supplement is designed to boost your pet’s immune system, ensuring they get the care they need for a healthy and vibrant life. Dog Multivitamin Chewable with Glucosamine 16 in 1 perfect for preventative care, these chews support your dog’s overall health and well-being. 

While eating cat poop is a natural behavior for dogs, it’s essential to manage and prevent it due to the potential health risks involved. By understanding why do dogs eat cat poop and taking proactive steps, you can ensure a healthier and happier environment for your pet. For persistent issues, consulting with a veterinarian can provide further guidance and solutions.


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