While it may sound downright disgusting to you, dogs naturally like to dine on cat poop. Canines are attracted to things with a strong odor, like that of cat feces, or even better, cat food.
If you live in a multi-pet household, you may have noticed Fido sniffing around the litter box. His fondness for eating cat poop, a habit referred to as coprophagia, can be caused by a variety of reasons. It may be due to a dietary deficiency, a bad habit, or simply a product of exploration.
Not only is feasting on cat poop gross, but it can also be an unhealthy habit for your pup. Cat poop may contain harmful bacteria and even parasites. Moreover, ingesting litter could pose a problem for your pooch. Eating cat litter can cause a blockage in his bowls.
If your dog is eating cat poop, here are seven ways to put an end to this bad behavior.
1. The “Leave It” Command
When your dog goes to stick his nose in the litter box, it’s time to teach him the “leave it” command. Whenever you see your pet trying to explore the cat’s potty, tell him to “leave it” in a firm tone. If he obeys, give him a treat. If he ignores you, say the command again, but louder. It’s important to be diligent about saying the command so your dog gets the hint.
2. Clean It Out
A dirty litter box is more tempting to your dog than a clean one is. Keep your cat’s litter box as clean as possible by scooping it daily and changing out the litter weekly. Use crystal litter to better control odor. This kind of litter easily clumps and is simple to scoop.
3. Keep Him Busy
A bored dog can have bad behaviors. Keep your pet physically and mentally engaged with daily doses of exercise and plenty of interactive dog toys.
4. Buy a Hooded Cat Litter Box
To give your kitty more privacy and to discourage your dog from getting into the litter, buy a hooded litter box. Not only will a hooded cat box help to combat stink, but it’ll keep your dog from sniffing around and snacking on cat poo.
5. Create a Barrier
If your kitty’s litter box is in a room that your dog has access to, he’ll probably try and get into it. Move the litter box into a bathroom or spare bedroom and put up a doggy gate to prevent your pup from gaining access to the litter. Installing a kitty door to your basement is also a good way to prevent Fido from getting into the cat poop.
6. Use Stool Deterrents
One way to keep your dog from eating cat poop is to make it unappealing for him to do so. A stool deterrent will make cat feces less attractive to your pup.
7. Add a Pinch of Pepper or Hot Sauce
It may sound odd to sprinkle spices in the litter box, but black pepper or hot sauce will keep your hungry dog away. Not only do they dislike the smell, but they hate the spicy taste.
Dogs that eat cat poop not only have bad breath, but they’re also susceptible to parasites and bacteria. Curb your dog’s attraction to the litter box by keeping him occupied, investing in a hooded cat box and doggy gates, or by using black pepper or stool deterrents.
Featured Image Credit: Stephanie Ho, Pexels