How to Keep Your Dog From Eating Cat Poop
Dogs consuming cat poop is a fairly common behavior known as coprophagia and instinctively learn it early on in their life.
Avoid punishing your dog for raiding the cat litter box – punishment will only reinforce his behavior and make it harder for him to break out of it in future.
1. Educate Yourself About Coprophagia
Though it may seem gross, many dogs enjoy eating cat poop as part of a natural behavior called coprophagia. Scavengers like coprophagia as it indicates their diet needs replenishment or can indicate your dog lacks essential vitamins and nutrients.
Some owners have had great success breaking their dogs of this habit by teaching them a simple “leave it” command. This technique involves training your pup to associate eating poop with something more rewarding than eating it – you can use leash or nose halter to control him/her while giving verbal commands like “leave it. Over time this training will replace their undesirable behavior with more desirable actions.
Another method for breaking the habit is reducing stress levels for your dog. Anxious dogs may attempt to alleviate their discomfort by eating their own or their litter box poop; this can become a vicious cycle. Some owners use taste-aversion products like For-Bid to make stool less desirable to their pets.
Before taking any other steps, it is wise to consult a veterinarian. He or she can identify any underlying medical problems and develop a strategy to stop your dog from eating cat poop.
2. Check Your Dog’s Diet
Dogs that ingest cat poop can be at serious risk from its contents. Fecal matter may contain harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses which could make your pup sick, as well as cat litter which can block up his digestive system and potentially be toxic.
Before trying to stop your dog from eating cat poop, it is essential that you understand why they do it. While not ideal, many dogs consume waste produced by other animals for various reasons such as being under-stimulated, bored, or looking for treats; or it could even be that they’re trying to compensate for nutritional deficiencies by snacking on other people’s waste products.
At any rate, it’s wisest to act swiftly to prevent your dog from eating cat poop as soon as it becomes evident. Utilize positive reinforcement training and management techniques to stop him or her picking up on this unpleasant habit.
Start by placing the litter box out of reach from your dog. Additionally, try giving them plenty of exercise such as going for walks or enrolling them in puppy obedience classes to keep them busy instead of digging through cat poop. This will tire them out while giving them something else to occupy their minds instead.
3. Talk to Your Vet
Consuming cat poop is gross and could potentially pose health risks to your dog. Therefore, if he or she is regularly eating cat feces then consult a vet as soon as possible.
Your vet can assist in understanding why and how your dog is eating cat poop, and devising strategies to stop this behavior. For instance, if it appears to be due to boredom then more exercise and play time may help – something which should also apply when dealing with cats who eat their poop as food!
If your dog is eating cat poop to satisfy their hunger, you will need to transition them onto a more nutritious diet and deworm them regularly as this could expose them to intestinal parasite eggs that cause illness in their gut.
One way to discourage your dog from eating cat poop is to cover its feces with pepper spray, making them smell bad and taste unpleasant. Baby powder or cornstarch coating could also make the poop less appealing to your pup, though remember not punish your dog as this may increase their interest in such behavior.
4. Keep the Cat’s Litter Box Out of Your Dog’s Reach
Nothing beats seeing your dog with his mouth full of cat poop or inhaling that pungent scent of it! Not only can it be gross and unsafe for him/her but it may also pose health risks like fleas, worms and Salmonella which can have adverse health impacts for their bodies.
Though it may come as a shock, your pup’s interest in eating cat poop may not be abnormal – coprophagia refers to the natural instinct for some dogs to forage for food in any available source, often caused by exploration or boredom/lack of exercise.
Keep your dog’s litter box out of reach to stop him eating cat poop! Most pet stores carry lidded litter boxes which help contain the smells, as well as making entry harder for dogs. Moving it to another room might also work, while positive reinforcement training and interactive toys may tire your pup out so he becomes less inclined to raid his litterbox!
5. Keep Your Dog Busy
If your dog has taken to eating cat poop, it is essential that steps be taken immediately to stop this behavior. Not only is it disgusting for both pets, but eating contaminated cat feces can cause stomach issues, parasite infestation and potentially deadly diseases if consumed regularly.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all dogs who eat cat feces do so due to illness or nutrition deficiencies; many simply do so out of boredom or curiosity and younger dogs are more likely than adults to demonstrate this behavior.
One effective way to keep your dog entertained is to give them lots of toys to play with. Rotate the toys each day so they have something new to explore. Also try giving your pup chew toys or food puzzles as ways to occupy his time.
Moving the litter box out of reach may also prevent your dog from eating cat poop. Install it somewhere your pup cannot access, such as in a bathroom or spare bedroom – installing a doggy gate may also help!
6. Try Adding Pepper to the Cat’s Poop
Nothing could be grosser than watching your dog consume cat poop. Not only is this act unsanitary and potentially hazardous for their health, as cat feces can contain bacteria and parasites which could make your pup sick; additionally, ingestion of litter could block up their digestive system, leading to blockages. If this behavior persists in your pup it’s essential that it stops immediately!
Your dog could be eating cat poop for various reasons, including boredom, an underlying health condition or lack of nutrients. There are various things you can do to stop their behavior such as keeping litter boxes out of reach or using stool deterrents to help your pup kick this bad habit.
Consuming cat poop may seem harmless to dogs, but it can be dangerous for their health. Eating cat poop may expose dogs to infections and parasites as well as lead to other issues. If you are worried about what your pup is eating, consult a vet immediately as this behavior could potentially become habit-forming; also use some of the tips above in order to help break their unwanted habit.
7. Put a Muzzle on Your Dog
Dogs may consume cat poop for various reasons, from boredom to nutritional deficiency. While it could potentially pose risks in terms of parasites or diseases being inhaled by your pup, the behavior can be corrected with management techniques and positive reinforcement training.
Find a muzzle that comfortably covers your dog’s snout without pinching or chafing, then place some of their favorite treats (frozen peanut butter, cream cheese or baby food can all make good choices) into its gaps and allow your pup to nibble through it for several days as this helps create positive associations between wearing a muzzle and positive experiences instead of fear or punishment.
Once your dog has become comfortable wearing their muzzle, ask them to perform an engaging trick that keeps their mind off poop while wearing it. A sit or target might do just fine; or train them to perform exercises while wearing their muzzle such as giving you paw or lying down.
If your dog still seems to be eating cat poop, consult with your vet. He or she can recommend a behaviorist who can assist in training them not to.