Poop eating behavior is something that our dogs may engage in and involves the consumption of feces. It’s a disgusting habit but it happens more than you think; if you have both cats and dogs in your home, there’s a chance you may have already seen it. As such, you’re probably wondering, “Why does my puppy eat cat poop” and what can you do to stop it?
Below are the answers to these questions.
Why Does My Puppy Eat Cat Poop?
Unfortunately, when left to their own devices, dogs will eat all kinds of items that they shouldn’t, including carpeting, rocks, trash, and all kinds of poop, even their own poop. It also doesn’t help if there are all kinds of animal poop in your home that will be tempting to your dog. However, there are many reasons dogs eat cat poop, which include the following.
Before you judge your dog, it’s imperative that we first understand the various reasons why our pups might start craving something other than their dog food. Struggling with a nutritional deficiency is the most common reason dogs may be eager to snack on your cat’s poop. If your dog lacks protein, fat, or fiber in its diet, they will do what they can to get these nutrients.
This includes eating your cat’s feces, which contains proteins and nutrients.
It Tastes OK
While this may sound crazy to humans, a dog’s sense of smell isn’t bothered by the smell of cat feces, and the taste isn’t that bad for them. To dogs, cat poop has a smell and taste that’s similar to your cat’s food — both dry and wet food is appealing to them and can encourage your dog to give the poop a taste. Once it passes their standards for what is edible, they’ll be more likely they are to continue this bad habit.
Most dog owners will think that giving their dogs physical exercise is enough to keep their dog occupied, but the truth is that they also need mental stimulation. Without constant entertainment, adult dogs can get bored quickly and will turn to their natural behavior which is to explore everything. When this happens, this will probably be the time when you see your dog eat cat poop, or something equally as bad, their own feces.
You might spot your dog eating out of your cat’s litter box, but it can get a lot worse than this. When dogs get bored, they may display odd behaviors such as destroying furniture and other items around your home. If you reach this point, whatever’s inside your dog’s mouth might be the least of your worries.
Is Eating Cat Poop Normal Behavior?
It might be surprising but eating cat poop is completely a normal thing for dogs to do because they love the strong smell it has. The smell alone can trigger canines to eat it, and when they do, poop-eating dogs become the by-product of your dog’s behavior. This is because dogs are scavengers and aren’t picky about how they make up for their dietary deficiency.
Sometimes, dogs will also be attracted to the protein content in your cat’s diet but this could point to signs of illness, or signal that your dog isn’t getting enough essential nutrients. Finally, it could mean that your dog has a particular vitamin deficiency.
Is it Bad for Dogs to Eat Cat Poop?
It’s completely understandable that you’re worried about your dog eating poop — it’s not just gross but it may also have a long-term impact on your dog’s health. As you may have guessed, consuming fecal matter can present a wide range of health issues for our dogs. So even if you notice them eating it and nothing seems to be wrong, it’s still a good idea to remove them from your dog’s space.
A cat’s poop will contain many internal parasites and harmful bacteria, which will be bad for your canine companion if it starts eating poop on a regular basis. The scary part is that these germs could be transferred to humans without you knowing. As such, it’s important for you to find out the underlying condition behind your dog’s need to eat poop and to stop it from happening.
How to Help Your Dog Stop Eating Cat Poop
If you want to stop your dog in its tracks when eating poop, the key is in the cat litter box. Here are some things you can do.
Teach it to Leave Poop Alone
When you want to control what’s included in your dog’s diet, you need to teach your canine friends the command to leave things alone, especially if they’re not edible. Most dogs will eat anything once they get their hands on it, so it’s a great idea to train your pup to stop whenever you’re not happy with something it’s about to do.
Keep Them Stimulated Always
Pet parents have the responsibility of keeping their dogs stimulated as much as possible, which includes both physical and mental stimulation. When a dog is contented, it won’t get the urge to scavenge as much — giving your dog new toys can help with this. Other things you can do to change up your dog’s routine include teaching them new tricks or taking them on a new walking path.
You should also tire out your pooch by giving them 30 to 40 minutes of exercise each day and if they don’t get tired, ramp up the levels of their physical activity.
Look for Stool Deterrents
You can look for specially formulated stool deterrents that will discourage them from eating anything. These are taste-aversion products that smell and taste bad to your pets so they’ll have no choice but to leave poop alone. All you need to do is add these products to cat poop to make them less appetizing to your puppy.
Invest in Dog-Proof Litter Boxes
If your dog keeps making daily trips to the cat box, the best way to get them to stop is to get covered litter boxes with a closed top or dog-proof litter boxes. With these, your dog won’t be able to reach your cat’s poop and will find the task too challenging; hopefully, they’ll give up their search for poop.
Use Fences to Keep them Away
A baby gate or fence is a tool that pet owners can use to stop a large dog from getting access to places they shouldn’t be in. For this option to be effective, ensure that you set up these gates on both sides of the room that contains your cat’s litter box.
Clear Out the Litter Box ASAP
While this may sound like a lot of work, it’s important that you clean your cat’s litter tray or box as soon as it finishes with its business. This is a great way to effectively keep your dog away from your cat’s poop, which is essential if your dog eats large quantities. Luckily, you can invest in a self-cleaning litter box that will make the job much easier for you.
Use Hot Sauce or Black Pepper
Sprinkling some black pepper or misting some hot sauce is the easiest way to discourage your pooch from eating things that it shouldn’t be. It’s not only easy but also a convenient way to keep your dog from coming up to the poop and smelling it.
Distract it with Something Better
Dogs are suckers for peanut butter, so if they start looking for something to munch on, be sure to offer them something yummier that they won’t find in your cat’s littler box. You can also try some new dog food that has enticing gravy, or give them some tasty treats that will have them asking for more. However, keep an eye on how much you feed your puppy; you don’t want to give too much and get surprised by how much weight your dog has put on.
Give Your Pup Proper Nutrition
This is probably the most important thing you can do for your dog to ensure it doesn’t become interested in cat poop. Making sure that your dog has a well-balanced diet is vital, because not only does it keep them away from poop, but it also helps to keep health problems away. Create a meal plan that will cater to your dog’s needs and will provide them with nutritional value so they don’t go off looking for it elsewhere.
There are many possible reasons why your dog would want to eat cat poop but you should always take it seriously. Not only can they cause medical issues, but your dog may also contract intestinal parasites that can spread. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to help stop this behavior; the suggestions on this list, along with positive reinforcement will go a long way!