Cats and dogs have a long standing rivalry. In fact, it seems like they can’t even share the same yard without getting into an argument about who gets to poop on whose lawn.
Dogs love to eat cat poop because of a parasite that cats carry called Toxoplasma gondii. This is why you should never let your dog run free in your garden or backyard if you have a cat! Read this blog post for more information on how you can protect your pets from each other.
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Cat poop, or feces to give it its scientific name, is the waste from a cat’s body. That means that if your dog eats some this won’t necessarily be be a good thing for them because they need all the nutrients and calories they can get with their food. Dogs will also eat other things like grass and dirt – a dog’s eating habit can seems strange to us, but the behavior is quite natural for them.
Feces is just another source of nutrition – there may be some nutrient deficiency that they are also trying to capture, so a dog’s behavior in this regard may make sense. Always look out for signs though that a dog’s health remains okay and if their behavior remains stable.
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Why Does My Dog Eat Cat Poop?
While it may sound disgusting, dogs eat cat poop as a result of natural dog behavior. Dogs like to eat something with a strong smell, like that of cat poop, or even better, cat food. When it comes down to it, anything strong smelling is attractive to dogs – which is why they also love rolling in fox poop – dogs get off on it even if we think it’s pretty gross and even if it becomes a habit then speak to the vet about any health issues.
Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop?
No one knows why dogs eat cat feces. It could be because it tastes like cat food. It could be that they dog thinks it has nutritional value or it helps their digestive system. It could be that it’s a way of marking territory between and dog and cat, and a way of showing dominance. Or it could just be old fashioned boredom.
Of course, anyone who’s had a dog knows that most dogs will eat anything given half a chance. Normally it might be a bit of chicken – which is more of a delicacy than cat poop but it doesn’t stop a dog if there’s cat poop around.
Clean the Litter Box ASAP
One way of preventing dogs from eating cat poop is to clean the litter box as soon as possible – a dog can’t be eating cat poop if the cat poop isn’t there any more. By doing so, you also prevent the nasty poopy smell from spreading all over the house.
Self-cleaning litter boxes that will clean and refresh the potty by itself can also be used to keep the poo clean. If cleaning every time is impossible, you can invest in a self cleaning cat litter box that will do the same thing by itself.
Is Cat Poop Bad for Dogs?
Many dogs eat cat poop, and they’re fine, but eating any poop carries the potential for the dog to contract harmful bacteria and parasites. Some bacteria, like salmonella, can be transmitted to humans. If your dog has eaten litter or clumping cat litter, keep an eye on him. If he has difficulty pooping, does not poop, or if his poop is abnormal, you should call your veterinarian and take your dog for a health check.
Despite these risks, in most cases, your dog won’t suffer any health consequences from eating cat poop but better to stop your dog from eating cat poop for lots of other good reasons.
Get Dog Proof Litter Boxes
The enclosing property of the litter boxes blocks the poopy smell from taking over the house. These dog-proof litter boxes prevent dogs from accessing the litter box and gives your cat the privacy it needs. Some of them have see-through layers so that your cat doesn’t feel claustrophobic or trapped inside the litter box. They may have self-cleaning properties and odor-preventing features built in. Some of these litter boxes are self-litter boxes that come with lids.
Conclusion – Is there anything to do?
This is a tricky one – in a dog eat dog world, that can usually involve dog eat poop as well, whether from the lawn, or the cat’s litter box. Poop eating is just something that dogs do, but it is not pleasant and there are things that you can do to minimise your dog’s habit.
The first thing to do is give your dog a chance to settle into his new surroundings. Dogs are social animals and need time to explore the area around them before they can feel safe enough in their environment. Cats will use this time of exploration as an opportunity for marking territory, so don’t be surprised if you come home one day to see extra poop from the cat marking its territory. While cats mostly poop behind bushes or somewhere discrete, dogs will get the smell and while it seems gross to us, they enjoy the taste!
Secondly try and clean up the cat’s poop wherever possible. Cats try to mark territory and have a strong sense of smell, so they will be drawn back if there’s still poop from them around. Cats are fairly clean animals anyway so this should not be a big problem.
Thirdly, find out what excites your poop-eating dog the most when he first gets home or after coming in from outside. Dogs need mental stimulation as much as they do physical exercise; provide him with a game – your dog may appreciate that!
So, it’s a case of managing the situation, keeping your door to the yard closed and trying to break the habit of your dog, whether it’s with food or exercise or a treat (if a treat is what your dog likes!). It may prevent them from getting sick and will free up your time!
PS in short it’s a little gross but for your pet there is only a small chance of it getting sick, and if it does eat feces because of a nutrition deficiency then it may be that eating feces actually does it some good.
Dogs Eating Poop FAQs
Will eating cat poop hurt my dog?
Eating cat poop puts dogs at risk of catching harmful bacteria or even parasites which may affect their health. Eating any poop carries a small chance of passing on these infections to humans, too.
Dogs can eat cat poop, but it is not a common occurrence. If your dog has eaten clumping or litter-type cat litter, you should call the vet. If your dog has eaten cat litter, keep an eye on him. After a few days, if he has difficulty pooping, or does not poop at all, contact your vet.
Most of the time, your dog will be fine. Though, for many other reasons it is best to stop your dog from eating cat poop.
How do I get my dog to stop eating cat poop out of the litter box?
To prevent dogs from in the litter box, you need a dog-proof litter box. Some of these may have see-through layers to ensure your cat can get up and walk around comfortably inside.
It is not uncommon for litter boxes to have optimal features, like self-cleaning qualities and odor prevention.
How do I clean my dog’s mouth after eating poop?
That one can be more tricky. Often dogs do not like their teeth being cleaned, so in the case of a dog eating any horrible stuff, you might just want to give him some other food. Dogs eat anything as we know and sometimes that can mean that they are sick but dogs are scavengers and have a tough digestive system.