How To Stop Dog From Eating Cat Poop. A useful and informative guide.
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As gross as this may sound to you, it is actually a natural behavior among dogs. However, for what’s worth, you definitely have to come up with a way to stop this habit. If you have both a dog and a cat, there is a chance that your dog will eat cat poop every now and then.
It is almost impossible for you to be able to control this behavior in the house. This article is going to discuss the reasons why dogs like cat poop as well as the risks involved. We are also going to define the steps that you should take in order to stop a dog from eating cat poop.
Why do dogs eat cat poop?
Well, it is hard to explain why dogs engage in any kind of coprophagia in the first place. However, over the years, mankind has been able to study pet behavior, even that of the most loyal friend. Some of the reasons why your dog may engage in poop eating may include the following;
Because he likes it
It is quite difficult to get your dog to resist the smell and taste of your cat’s poop. This disgusting behavior is not uncommon among canine friends. They are actually attracted to the litter boxes or cat poop in the yard from the smell. Understand that dogs do have a strong sense of smell.
Availability of cat poop every now and then in the house is definitely going to contribute to this habit. In a later section, we are going to look at how to stop your dog from eating your cat’s poop.
There is a huge difference between a wild and domesticated dog. This is especially based on the overall lifestyle of the dog including dieting. In the wild, dogs will hunt and kill prey in order to feed. They feed on literally everything there is, including the guts of the prey. This is where they gain all required nutrients as it is their natural habitat.
However, when it comes to domesticated dogs, life is quite different. Even though the dog food in the stores is safe for your dog, it is missing some nutrients. Digestive enzyme deficiency is usually the cause for concern is when your dog desires the cat poop. He might be looking for these nutrients and putting himself in a risk to contract worms.
When we choose to domesticate dogs, we are somehow denying them the freedom to be what they are, scavengers. I mean, dogs are not naturally wired to waiting for food prepared by humans. That is why when your dog is up and down eating cat poop, he is only fetching for himself. This is a behavior that we cannot be able to curb completely, but we do train our dogs in order to live in peace.
Can my Dog get ill from eating cat poop?
Well, this is not exactly a yes or no question. However, you should be aware that cat poop may contain worm eggs. If your dog has the habit of eating cat poop, then you may have a problem. This is because he will consume eggs and they may hatch to life-threatening internal parasites.
You should, therefore, be on the look-out when you realize he has a special liking for cat poop. Some of the signs and symptoms of a dog infected with worms will depend on the type of parasite he has. However, emaciation is one of the most common signs of parasites. This might be accompanied by an enlarged belly and loss of appetite. A dog infected with worms will also tend to resist exercise or play.
Otherwise, cat poop is not exactly harmful to your dog. Their digestive systems can definitely handle that if the cat is not passing eggs in feces.
My dog won’t stop eating cat poop. I tried everything
If this isn’t a cry amongst dog owners with cats, I do not know what is. Dogs, naturally, seem to have a special taste for cat poop. This means that every your cat poops, your dog will sniff it out immediately and rush for the ‘snack’. Not only is this a disgusting behavior but also nauseating. I mean, who wants their dog with cat pee all over their muzzles? Yes, it is that much disgusting.
There are several ways said to help stop a dog from eating cat poop. Unfortunately, some of these methods do not always work because as said earlier, it is their natural behavior. This makes it difficult to get them to stop engaging in coprophagia.
For instance, you may consider getting a closed litter box with the hope that it is going to help you stop your dog from eating feces. However, this method does not work since your dog is willing to do anything in order to be able to get what he wants. Even if it means that he had to break something. Therefore, getting a closed litter box may not be an effective solution to this problem.
In addition to this, punishing your dog will not yield any results. Instead, you will only assist with instilling anxiety and fear issues in your dog. How then do you stop this behavior?
8 ways to stop a dog from eating cat poop
In order to be able to stop your dog from eating cat poop, you must first identify the reason behind this habit. Make sure that your dog is not suffering from any anxiety before you focus on correcting this behavior. In addition to this, if you are dealing with a puppy eating poop, understand that he might be in his exploration stages.
Below are some of the methods to curb dogs eating cat poop that actually works;
Emphasize on leash walks
As much as you want your dog to move freely and enjoy the walks, it is also important to make sure that he is safe. This is why you should emphasize on putting your pup on a leash. This way you can be able to control him from eating poop during walks.
Having your dog on a leash will also make it easier for you to be able to train your dog and have attention. We will look at dog training a little bit later, in order to understand how it can help to eliminate coprophagia in dogs.
Get your dog a gentle leash every time you walk your dog or play with him in the yard. However, do not pull the leash when your dog is approaching the poop. Instead, caution your dog to stop and then engage him in another activity. You can also tell him no and distract him from the cat poop. Teach him that eating poop is unacceptable behavior.
Train your dog to refrain from eating cat poop
In order to let your dog know that you do not appreciate the habit of eating poop, you will have to understand a few things. First, dogs will do anything to please their owner, I mean, you are his only family. Therefore, once he learns that you are disappointed whenever he is doing something wrong, it will be easier to train him out of the habit.
Secondly, training your dog out of a habit is way easier when you reinforce it by toys or a treat. Thereby, when your dog is about eating the poop and you manage to redirect is attention, reward the habit using a treat or his favorite toy. This way, you will be able to stop him from engaging in the behavior. Reinforcing training by use of rewards is one of the most effective ways to train your dog.
You can also opt to brain a few phrases to your dog. For instance, teach him ‘no’ or ‘leave it’ command so that you can stop him from eating poop. Whenever he approached the cat litter box, stop him and probably offer a treat. Once again, only reward him after good behavior. Understand that it may take some time before your dog gets used to this kind of training. Just be patient with him and also train him consistently so that you can eliminate poop eating behavior.
During training, it is also important that you do not punish, or yell at your dog. You will have to be gentle and calm about it, even though it can turn out to be a very disappointing habit.
Take your dog to the vet
Like we had mentioned in the earlier section, a dog eating poop could simply be an indication that he is sick. It is therefore important to take him to the vet for a quick checkup. Your vet is going to examine your cat and come up with a permanent solution to this problem.
Should your vet find that your dog is suffering from an enzyme deficiency, he is going to recommend a change in your dog’s diet. This should help reduce your dog’s desire to dine on cat poop. In addition to this, inflammation of the bladder is a possible reason for your dog’s coprophagia habits.
It is important that you rule out any medical illnesses before you embark on making him stop eating cat poop. In the case where your dog has been engaging in the habit for some time, your vet may request a test for worms. Internal parasites are not only common in dogs but lead to stunted growth and emaciation in dogs.
Treatment of internal worms will depend on the type of worms involved in the entire scenario. Once again, your vet is going to advise you on the best treatment options available.
Restrict access to the litter box area
Having both a dog and a cat living under the same room can be fun, or it can be problematic. If he has the habit of eating cat poop, it means that you will have trouble trying to make it stop. This is due to the fact that there will always be cat poop in the house, even for a few minutes. And given that your dog is sensitive to smells, he is going to quickly find it as soon as your cat eliminates.
You cannot always be there to scoop cat poop in order to protect your dog. Therefore, he will access it whether you like it or not. It is therefore important to figure out a way to restrict him from access the litter box.
This may get even more difficult because moving the litter boxes from one place to another is going to affect your cat. Kitties are generally opposed to any form of change in their lifestyle. Therefore, you should be careful when you are relocating or considering changing the litter box location.
Just like the perching places for your cat, you can also make the litter box even more fun for your cat to use. For instance, you can place the litter boxes in a cat tree in order to raise them up from the ground. This will also take some time and resistance to learning.
With the litter boxes on higher ground, there is a chance that your dog will not be able to access them. Alternatively, if you have a large dog, you may consider restricting the entire room completely. For instance, you may also consider taking all the litter boxes in the bathroom. If you go for this solution, you will have to train both your cat and dog all over again. You will have to litter-train your cat once again and also help her adapt to the changes that have taken place in the house. On the other hand, you will have to train your dog to keep away from the restricted area.
This works because if there is no poop, then there is no coprophagia.
Eliminate boredom in dogs
Now, as much as we try to find reasons why your dog is engaging in funny behavior or eating poop, we cannot forget to address boredom. It is important to always keep in mind that dogs are not meant to stay indoors and watch TV. Through domestication, we have been able to keep them at home, and even get the same treatment as humans do.
All in all, we are still denying them their right environment and thus we are responsible for their emotional health. And also, we are usually busy trying to keep up with life and careers. This makes it impossible to be with your pets at all times.
Most pet owners understand that dogs are prone to boredom. I mean, he has nothing to do every time you leave him at home, well, apart from waiting for your return. This exposes your dog to stress and even boredom which will definitely lead to your dog misbehaving. And since your dog cannot resist the urge to taste cat poop, it is going to be the best way to distract himself when you are away.
For these reasons, it is important to make sure that your dog is not bored. It is why we emphasize on the play that will stimulate both mentally and physically. For instance, investing your time to walk him in the morning and evenings is a good way to get rid of boredom. This is because your dog will be so tired and so happy from walking outside to engage in the undesirable habit of eating cat poop.
You may also consider providing toys for your dog to play with. Engage in interactive play if you are looking to stop a dog from boredom that may lead to eating cat poop.
Make poop unattractive
Your dog is definitely attracted to the litter box because of the smell of cat poop. This is why he will rush to the box right after your cat eliminates. I mean, not only do dogs enjoy eating cat poop but they make it a routine. Do you see how problematic this can turn out to be?
In order to make cat poop unpleasant for your dog, then you should consider seeking advice from your vet. The vet will recommend some of the best deterrents that you can add to the cat’s diet. This way, your cat will eliminate poop with an awful smell and therefore deter your dog from desiring it.
Alternatively, you can also use your homemade dog deterrents. For instance, you may apply red pepper on the litter box, just a small amount. Since dogs detest the smell of red pepper, there is a chance that your pup is going to completely avoid the latter.
Trying to stop a dog who enjoys dining on cat poop is a nightmare. In most cases, people will end up choosing to keep one pet of the two; either a dog or the cat. However, you do not have to eliminate any of your pets as the above tips should help you solve this problem.
The key to curbing undesirable behaviors in dogs is to remove the stimuli. Therefore, always make sure that you have all the litter boxes cleaned at all times. Consider scooping the soiled litter every time your cat eliminates. This will help keep cat poop off your house and thus there will be nothing for your dog to dine on.
All in all, make sure that your dog is healthy, both emotionally and physically. Take him for a check-up in order to check and eliminate worms in dogs. In addition to this, have your vet recommend a diet for your dog in order to curb any deficiencies.
The goal is to keep a happy and well-behaved dog, so do not under any circumstances try to punish your dog in efforts to make him stop eating cat poop.