Why Does My Dog Eat Cat Poop – Explained

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
How normal is it for dogs to eat cat poop? Do they enjoy it? How can they stop doing this? Read on and discover.

Dogs do unusual things.

Some things that dogs love are unusual or even strange to people, but that does not mean that dogs will enjoy them less.

If you are a cat owner already you know that dogs and cats have a bit of an unusual relationship.

In most cases, when raised together from an early age, cats and dogs should get along just nicely.

Of course, this won’t be the case if your dog has strong hunting instincts, but there still could be a good connection between these two frenemies.

As a dog and cat owner, you must know that feeding them correctly, providing the right kind of care, and enabling safe interaction between these two is what keeps them happy.

In some families, cats and dogs will just tolerate each other.

In practice, this means that both cats and dogs will be mindful of mutual and individual territories. Furthermore, this means that cats will stay away from dogs’ crates, while dogs will stay away from cats sleeping bad and other accessories.

However, on some days you may see your dog coming to you with a few crumbles stuck around the dog’s mouth or in some other hair spots.

Of course, since a cat litter box isn’t something that dogs usually use, ever one must ask- what is happening?

First, you should know that this kind of behavior is common in dogs.

You may do your best to keep the box away and your dog will still find a way to grab it.

Gross, right? Well, this may seem gross to you, but Your dog will have a completely different opinion.

Is It Normal For Dogs To Eat Cat Poop?

The answer to this question may surprise you because the answer is yes.

At certain stages of their lives, dogs will choose these ear feces, as this is quite normal to them.

Mother dog licks their puppies to keep them clean. This is how puppies ingest fecal matter in the process.

Since young dogs are without bacteria in their intestinal tract, they need bacteria to properly digest food.

The quickest and most efficient way to achieve this is by eating stools from animals that already have bacteria in their system.

What is happening here is that the mother dog actually teaches puppies to eat stools when she cleans them.

That being said, sneaking inside the cat litter box may be disgusting to you your dog sees it as a natural process.

No, you may ask – Ok, so puppies do it for a reason, but why do adult dogs do it as well?

Why Dogs Eat Cat Poop

There are different reasons why dogs choose to eat cat poop, and some of them will really surprise you. So, let’s elaborate on this one further.

1. Behavioral Reasons

In most cases, dogs have a reason for everything that they do.

Dogs are simple creatures, guided by simple needs and rules to follow. It is also important to notice dogs do a lot of things they’re used to doing it.

This is why dogs are easy to train. When a certain number of repetitions happens, certain actions will become a habit, hence adult dogs may choose to eat cat food.

Plus, If you really look closely at dogs while they are eating cat poop you will see that some of them really enjoy eating cat poop.

When this happens, it should be obvious that this habit will be difficult to break.

For many dogs, poop is like a reward, so they will go after it again and again. Another common reason for this kind of behavior is boredom.

Dogs tend to do most unusual things when they’re bored. In most cases when bored, dogs made become destructive.

In some homes, this means going after the cats.

To understand this kind of behavior it is important to acknowledge that dogs explore the world with their mouths. Cat litter box is not an exception.

To stop your dog from doing this out of boarding you should provide enough exercise time.

Exercise time next to interactive time with family members and well-implemented dog training should be enough to keep your dog engaged.

Dogs can feel pain and stress. In some situations, dogs may choose to eat cat poop during stressful moments.

When dogs are stressed, for different reasons like moving from another city to a different area or house, they may choose to eat feces.

In some rare cases, dogs may start to eat cat poop as a form of an ‘accident’ in the house. Leave your dog alone with a cat litter box and he will check what is inside.

To punish your dog in some way, like yelling at your Fido, Your dog made choices to get some revenge and check what is inside the cat litter box.

2. Medical Reasons

In some rare cases, dogs may eat cat food due to different medical reasons. This is not something that is common, but it is definitely possible.

If this happens your dog might be going through some sort of malnutrition. What does it mean? This means that your dog might be on a diet that doesn’t bring in enough nutrients.

For dogs to thrive, they need specific food, a well-implemented feeding schedule, and enough exercise to meet their physical needs.

If your dog is fed a homemade diet your dog might be fast to grab that cat poop.

In some rare cases, dogs may eat cat poop if they have difficulties which intestinal parasites, or some sort of hormonal imbalance.

Also, senior dogs may suddenly develop this habit and it is usually a sign that a dog is suffering from cognitive dysfunction. The good news here is that this can be treated.

Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Cat Feces?

Simply said yes. Dogs do get sick when eating another animal’s feces.

If the other animal has any intestinal parasites or any sort of bacteria such as Salmonella, it is possible for dogs to get sick.

Also, if Cat is On any sort of medical treatment, dogs still may get sick. should worry about this?

As a dog owner, you should always be well-informed about your dog’s health.

Dogs can spread bacteria through saliva bacteria, but this is rather a possibility than a firm rule.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Cat Feces?

Dogs will always try to eat cat poop. No matter how well-trained they might be, they will still see the cat poop as a price.

Since this is very hard to break, even through training, you should focus on prevention.

Before we elaborate on how you can prevent this, know that this won’t be an easy habit to break.

In fact, this will be a very hard habit to deal with. The maximum is achieved through work and patience. Here is what you can do.

1. Switch To Positive Training Methods

Dogs love training. But… More than training, dogs love rewards. For training to be successful, dogs need to be offered treats.

If you see your dog sneaking around the cat litter box do not punish him.

Dogs should never experience any sort of negative behavior.

If your think that you could use help training your dog think about hiring a professional dog trainer.

This option may be a bit pricey, but it will save your time, speed up the training process, and provide more than important training tips for the future.

When punished dogs will become scared and react negatively to stress. In some cases, some may even become aggressive.

To avoid any sort of problem you should do your best to break this habit without punishment.

2. Clean The Litter Box Often

How often do you clean the litter box? Experienced cat owners know that with cats one thing matters more than the other and that is cleanness.

Cats are clean animals, and they are capable of spending hours and hours grooming themselves.

This is not something that is common to dogs, although there are some breeds that cats like such as Basenji.

Even if they clean themselves for hours cats only use their litter box, they do not clean it.

This is something that is truthfully reserved for their owners. If a cat goes out it is possible that she will do her business outside or wait for you to open the door and let her reach her little box.

On the other hand, if your dog is an indoor cat only, she will always use her litter box first.

One of the best ways to keep your dog away from the litter box is to always keep it clean.

Make sure that you clean the leather box frequently.

What does it mean in practice? In practice, cleaning the litter box perfectly means cleaning the box after your cat uses the little box.

Sounds like too much work but if you want to keep your dog away this is your best solution.

However, if this sounds like too much and it puts you under a lot of stress, then you should for example clean a little box at least three times per day.

Of course, you can always invest in self-cleaning later boxes that are available on the market.

Part of this kind of item is that your cat may decide not to use it. This is why you should be careful about choosing the litter box. In other words, your cat might be impressed with the box. Or not.

3. Keep Your Dog Active

If your dog seems to get bored easily you need to think about making his daily routine more engaging.

Think about indoor games, provide enough walking time, and include exercise time in your daily routine.

Do you have a breed of high energy levels such as Borador or Border Collie?

If so you should know that maybe including them in some dog sports such as agility or obedience is the best solution for them.

Before you get any dog make sure that you do an appropriate search on the breed and that you know for sure how much exercise time specific breed needs.

In your free time and whether you’re more of an outdoor or in their person, based on your lifestyle.

Not sure whether is it for you? If that is the case you should use this compare dog breed and find the breed that will feature your home, your time, and your lifestyle perfectly.

4. Check Your Dog’s Diet

Dog experts cannot stress enough how important proper nutrition in dogs is.

Feed your dog with high-quality food you can expect to see a thriving dog with great hair, a strong coat, and overall using presentative of the breed.

If you choose to feed your dog with a poor diet and nutrients that cannot meet their needs you can expect to have a dog of poor overall health.

This is why when you notice anything unusual such as eating cat poop you should think about the dog’s diet.

Make sure that you are serving your dog a balanced diet. You are not sure how to choose the food that is great for your dog?

If so, make sure that you talk with your area first. In the meantime, you can check our guide on the best feeding tips.

Dogs should eat food that is specially designed to meet their needs. The best dog food is food that he’s created based on the dog’s size energy and activity levels.

Should you feed puppies with food for senior dogs? Puppies need food that will deal with their energy while providing enough proteins. Senior dog foods cannot provide that for them.

The same applies to senior dogs. If you serve your senior dog puppy food he won’t get any of the needed nutrients.

5. Try Medications

The pet market is rich in many products that pet owners need. In fact, that market is so wide in its offer that pet owners yet have to discover what are the available solutions.

For example, did you know that actually there some sort of supplements, medications, and even food additives can be used to change the flavor of cat poop?

Yes, the pet market has a lot to offer. Since some dogs really enjoy the taste, the flavor may lead to a desirable solution.

Of course, before you include any sort of medication in your dog’s routine make sure that you talk with your veterinarian first.

Experienced dog owners will tell you that any sort of medication would be your last resort.

Now, many would disagree with this one as basket muzzle is according to many a last resort.

Basket muzzles are carefully designed to stop dogs to pick up items such as cat poop, while at the same time they are able to drink and eat.

This is something that many found to be effective and solution-oriented while others find it hard and an unnecessary item that will disturb dogs.

If you want to avoid this solution which is something that we recommend focus on more traditional approaches.

This means that you should do your best to stop your dog from regular cat poop eating.

Think about separating the dog’s crate and the cat litter box keeping them away from the dog’s reach.

If possible and if the weather allows it keep the cat litter box outside somewhere where your dog cannot grab it.

Think about placing it in a different room and training your cat to ask you to open the door so she can use the litter box.

Sounds unbelievable? Cats can be trained as well as they enjoy treats as much as dogs do.

Do not forget that dogs have long memories which is why you need to be patient and offer treats whenever your dog acts appropriately.