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Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop?

Every dog will probably eat cat poop at some point in their life. Gross, right? Although it is unthinkable to us humans, eating feces is actually fairly normal behavior for dogs at certain points in their lives.

dog doing downward dog yoga pose

However, eating cat poop poses a number of health risks for dogs as it can contain harmful bacteria and parasites. Not to mention it isn’t pleasant when your cat’s litter box is raided by the dog. 


Here are a few methods you can try to keep your dog away from cat poop for good. 


Determine if there is an Underlying Health Issue 


Sometimes, dogs eat things they’re not supposed to when they’re not feeling well (like eating grass or cat poop). 


A trip to the vet is a good idea to rule out any nutritional deficiencies or other health issues that might be causing this behavior. 


Teach Your Dog the “Leave It” Command


Teaching your dog to “leave it” is an important step in keeping them away from cat poop. 


Anytime you see them lingering around the cat’s litter box or reaching for poop during a walk, you can use this command to stop them n their tracks. Here’s how you can teach your dog the “leave it” command:


  1. Hold a treat in your fist in front of your dog and allow them to try and get it by licking or pawing at your fist.  
  2. As soon as they stop trying to get the treat, use a marker word like “yes” or a clicker, then open your fist and say take it when they take the treat. 
  3. Once they start to ignore the treat in your fist, move on to the same steps but with the treat in your open hand, saying the words “leave it” and finally, “take it” when you are ready for them to take the treat. 
three dogs in a dog bed

Keep Your Dog Busy 


Your dog may be eating cat poop out of boredom. Make sure your dog is kept busy with walks throughout the day and interactive toys they can play with on their own. 


Installing a pet door is also a great way to give your dog free access to and from the yard throughout the day. 


Ask Your Vet About Stool Eating Deterrents 


There are a number of stool deterrent chews and tablets for dogs on the market. These supplements claim to reduce coprophagia (eating feces) in dogs. Ask your vet if this might be the right option for your dog. 


While eating cat poop likely won’t harm your dog, it is definitely not a healthy habit and should be addressed with your vet or a behaviorist. In the meantime, here’s how to brush your dog’s teeth at home to keep their mouth fresh.  


Dog-Proof Your Cat’s Litter Box 


If your dog refuses to leave the cat’s litter box alone a great idea is to have the litter box in a cabinet or laundry room that can only be accessed by your cat through a cat door


The Endura Flap is a great option for cats that can be used to allow your cat access to their litter box while keeping your dog out. 


Ultimately, keeping the litter box out of your dog’s reach is the best way to prevent them from eating cat poop. 

Elizabeth Muenzen

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Content Specialist
DOG PERSON🐶

Pets: My dog Benji is mixed Yorkie, Poodle, Chihuahua, and MaltiPom (YorkiPooChiMaltiPom?), yet he mysteriously bears no resemblance to any of these breeds.
Fun stuff: I love to cook!

Content Specialist
DOG PERSON🐶

Pets: My dog Benji is mixed Yorkie, Poodle, Chihuahua, and MaltiPom (YorkiPooChiMaltiPom?), yet he mysteriously bears no resemblance to any of these breeds.
Fun stuff: I love to cook!

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