Schertz Animal Hospital’s Blog
So, Your Dog Eats Cat Poop?
Do you have a peaceable kingdom made up of dogs and cats in your household? If so, you may not mind the cats sleeping on the dog beds, and the dogs playing with cat toys. All in all, the joys of having a mixed household of dogs and cats is great.
Except for when your dog eats cat poop.
It’s amazing how much dogs like this, and to what lengths they will go to be able to do so. But if you’re tired of the litter on the lips, the potty breath, and the general “eww” factor, stay tuned. Schertz Animal Hospital shares how to solve the problem of dogs in the litter box.
When your Dog Eats Cat Poop
There are any number of contraptions you can try to keep your dog out of the litter box. Some of them involve your home, and some involve the litter box itself. Here are some popular methods.
Take it from the top – You may be able to deter litter box raiding with a top entry cat litter box, like this one. Make sure your cat can get in!
Go up – You could also put the litter box within reach of the cat, but out of reach of the dog. If your cat is able to jump and climb, try placing the litter box on top of a sturdy piece of furniture. Of course, you have to watch carefully to make sure that the cat is willing to do this to use the litter box so you don’t run into urinary problems with your cat.
Behind closed doors – If you can place the litter box in a separate room, you can potentially use a heavy object behind the door that bars the dog from going in, but that still leaves access for the cat.
Baby steps – Some people use pressure mounted baby gates positioned about 5 inches off the floor. This allows the cat to go under to get to the litter box while preventing the dog from getting to it.
Door latch du jour – There are no shortage of door latches that work to keep the door to the litter box cracked only so far as the cat can get in. This one seems to be good at keeping the dog out, but allowing easy access for cats (and humans).
If Your Dog Is Eating Cat Poop, Change the Behavior
When dogs eat cat poop, there is usually a behavioral component to consider. It may take more time and effort to address the issue, but if you’re tired of replacing baby gates every time you go in and out of a room, it may be a worthwhile endeavor.
Here are some tips for how to stop your dog from eating out of the litter box, for good.
- Teach your dog the “Leave It” command, to stop him from eating the poop.
- Teach your dog the “Drop It” command in case you’re a moment too late.
- Teach your dog to “Kennel” or “Wait”, so that he doesn’t come into the room when you’re cleaning the box.
- Exercise your dog before you leave the house, so she’ll be more tired and less likely to go looking for trouble.
- Keep your dog busy and active when you are not at home, so she’ll have something else to do besides looking for a “poo poo platter”.
- Make sure litter boxes are kept very clean, especially right before you leave the house.
Never punish your dog if you find him snacking on poop. Use only positive reinforcement in your training. Experiment with a combination of blockage systems, and use positive training as well.
If you have questions about how to keep your dog out of the litter box, or you have general pet health questions, please give us a call.
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