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Home » Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop And 10 Tips To Stop It

Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop And 10 Tips To Stop It

You have probably been thinking why do dogs eat cat poop?

Well, the answer is not far from the fact that dogs love to eat anything they come across (including cat poop), which makes them scavengers by nature. This is certainly not good behavior because eating everything and anything could spell danger to a dog’s health. 

Dogs eating cat poop (coprophagia) is one of the unhealthy habits dogs have. According to Merck Veterinary Manual “as part of exploratory behavior, many dogs are attracted to and may ingest feces, compost, prey(dead or alive). 

Many researchers have explained that the major reason why dogs eat cat poop is that it smells like their food. It is a proven fact that most dogs love to eat cat food because of their protein content and like many critters, cats don’t fully process their food so a little nutrition from the food is left in their poop. This explains to a great length why dogs eat cat poop.

However, even though cat poop contains nutritional value it is very dangerous to your dog’s health when consumed. Most times cat poop contains parasites that could be of great harm to your dog’s health. 

When dogs eat cat poop regularly it becomes a habit that may be really difficult to stop. It is not so wrong and pretty understandable if your dog just got her first cat poop bite, this is because dogs are naturally attracted to things with a strong smell. The problem is when your dog gets used to looking for cats’ poop regularly. This is when you need to take action. 

Imagine a scenario where your dog comes to you, anticipating some kisses and play, then you see a few crumbs of cat poop on her mouth. You immediately would feel disgusted knowing that the mouth you are about to kiss just came out of a cat’s poop. 

So to help cat owners not to experience or keep on experiencing this scenario, we created this guide which will show you all the things you need to know about Coprophagy (dog eating cat poop), and tips to stop coprophagy and its nutritional deficiencies on dogs, etc.

Reasons Why Dogs Eat Cat Poops

1. Curious Nature: Dogs tend to be curious about things and they most times satisfy their curiosity using their mouth. They are known for chewing on anything when they are puppies. This is similar to the behavior of human babies, everything they touch goes straight to their mouth. However, unlike human babies, dogs never grow out of this habit.

A dog could chew on cat poop in a bid to explore and never touch it again, they may also snack on it a couple of times and get done with it which is normal for dogs due to their nature. However, with some dogs, their curiosity tends to last longer thereby making it turn into a habit. 

  1. Malnutrition: Another reason your dog is eating a cat’s poop could be because she is malnourished. Cats don’t fully digest the nutrients in their food so some of it remains in their poops. Their poops contain proteins, fats, and even vitamins, a nice blend of nutrients.

If you feed your dog a diet that does not satisfy its nutritional needs it would turn to look for a substitute and a cat poop may be the available option. 

Low-quality dog food is most times the cause of your dog being malnourished. 

Apart from low-quality dog food your dog may also be having some health problems that are associated with malnutrition. It could be that your dog is not able to collect the right amount of nutrients from its food. It could also be a health condition that requires them to seek more nutrients that a cat poop boasts of. You should see a vet in these situations.

  1. Boredom: Dogs require regular entertainment. Being highly intelligent pets, they require a good share of mental stimulation. If your dog gets bored she will try to create fun which will lead to her touring her surroundings. In the process, she may come across a cat litter box and end up raiding it. So eating cat poop may be what your dog finds as an escape from boredom. 
  2. Stress: Dogs are very much busy like humans. It is natural for humans to grab things they enjoyed before when they are extremely stressed. It is the same for dogs, they may decide to eat things they enjoyed when they were puppies which may include cat poops.
  3. Taste: As disgusting as it sounds to humans some dogs would love to always have a taste of cat poop. Cat poop is not only nutritional – in a dangerous way, but they also possess a strong smell which is a deal-breaker as dogs love things with a strong smell. Cat poop taste can become addictive when your dog eats it regularly. 
  4. Accident at Home: As funny as it may sound your dog may be eating cat poop because she once accidentally spilled over the litter box. If your dog knows you would likely scold or punish her for the accidents, she will likely eat up the cat poop so she doesn’t leave a trace. If she eats up the feces because of the accident, she could like the taste of it and regularly go to the litter box afterward. 

Read Also: 18 Best Outdoor Dog Beds In 2022: The Ultimate List

How To Stop A Dog From Eating Cat Poop

Now that you know what is likely to make your dog eat cat poop, you are probably thinking about how you can stop this unhealthy behavior in your dog. Well, guys! We have got you covered. We have come up with multiple tips on how to stop coprophagy.

1 Clean The Litter Box Regularly: Cleaning the litter box regularly will reduce coprophagy because your dog is unlikely going to be attracted to an empty litter box. Preferably you can clean the litter box immediately after your cat finishes depositing its feces. However, if you are not always home and can’t clean it regularly you should invest in a self-cleaning litter box. Although not all cats are fans of the self-cleaning litter box, it probably will save your dog from constantly putting its face into the litter box.

  1. Buy Dog Proof Litter Box: This litter box comes with a lid. It is impossible for your dog to raid it because it is enclosed. This litter box also stops the odor of the cat poop from spreading all over your home. It is transparent so it doesn’t give your cat the feeling of being trapped inside. It would also give your cat its privacy and space. 
  2. Always Keep Your Dog Active: Keeping your dog active would erase any funny thought from its head especially if it engages in coprophagy due to boredom. Always keep your dog engaged, toys and extra attention would ensure your dogs are not bored and don’t get crazy ideas. 
  3. Get Stool Deterrents: A stool deterrent designed for cats will make their stool unattractive to dogs. These products were primarily made to keep dogs away from cat poops and other dogs poop.
  4. Teach Your Dogs to Listen to Simple Commands: Words like “leave it” or “stop that ” said firmly should be able to make your dog stop whatever it is doing immediately. If you are wondering how to go about this, it all starts from when they are puppies (it is possible in mature dogs too, but it is a bit difficult).

 Whenever she does something you don’t like, tell her “leave it” or “stop that” in a firm tone. If she listens, give her something she enjoys (a treat) as a reward but if she doesn’t listen say it in a louder tone until the message is passed. This may take time to achieve but she will eventually get the wind of it and starts listening to basic commands.

Once your dog can listen to these commands it will be a piece of cake to stop her from coprophagy.

  1. Ensure Your Dog’s Diet Is The Appropriate One: One way of stopping coprophagy in your dog is to make sure your dog’s diet is balanced. Most dogs engage in coprophagy because of the nutrition cat poops have. To curb this behavior you have to find the appropriate food diet for your dog that will provide all the nutrients it requires. 

You should consult a vet before choosing your dog’s diet. After you have gotten the right food for your dog, make sure you feed them properly every day. 

  1. Make Use Of Retractable Dog Gates: Retractable dog gates are designed to control the movement of your dog in the house. It ensures she does not go to the “out of bounds” areas of your home. A retractable dog gate can be used to keep your dog from the litter box. If you have a cat and a dog remember to get a gate large enough to allow your cat out and small enough to keep your dog in.
  2. Use Food Additives: There are several food additives that will change the taste and flavor of cat poop, make it unattractive to your dog, and also stop her from enjoying it. However, these food additives need to be fed to the cat. Before you feed your cat any additive make sure you consult your vet on the best food additive for your cat. 

NOTE: This method should be used only if other methods have failed to stop your dog from coprophagy. 

  1. Use Positive Training Methods: If you find your dog snacking on cat poop or you see crumbs of cat poop around her mouth, you will probably be pissed off. 

However, slapping and shouting are not good ideas for correcting this habit. It is not advisable to adopt punishments as a means of correcting your dog, and your dog could also be eating cat poop because of stress. Positive training methods are instrumental and the best in correcting your dog. If you don’t know these methods you can consult your Vet to get you a good dog trainer that will teach you these methods. 

  1. Hot Sauce and Black Pepper: Add hot sauce or black pepper to your litter box, this will chase your dog from the litter box. Whenever she gets close to the litter box, the smell of hot sauce of black pepper will chase it away. Dogs hate the smell of these two things.

I have shared a number of helpful tips that would prevent your dog from eating cat poop. Now we are going to be answering some important questions about dogs eating cat poop. 

Is Cat Poop Bad For Dogs?

Dogs eating cat poops can lead to them coming in contact with some very harmful bacteria and internal parasites. Some of these parasites are even harmful to humans such as Salmonella. 

Also, dogs eating a large amount of cat litter can cause a blockage i.e they will have difficulties pooping. 

Where Can I Get a Well Balanced Diet For My Dog?

When buying commercial dog food you should look for dog foods that have been certified by the AAFCO.

Conclusion

Eating cat feces is not abnormal among dogs because they are scavengers by nature. But regular consumption of cat feces can be of harm to your dog’s health. The first thing to do when you have a coprophagy situation is to first find out the cause, then take the appropriate measures to stop it. 

  • In this guide, we have explained what you need to know about a dog eating cat poop and we hope you found it helpful. Cheers!           

 

 

 

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