Imagine owning and training two different pets at the same time! Sounds good, right? It sure feels great when you’re the parent to a cat and a dog altogether but everything comes with its consequences and your dog eating your cat’s poop might be the only one disgusting thing you want to get rid of. The question arises, “Why do dogs eat cat poop?”
Well, in this article you will find out the reasons for your Fido eating cat poop and the solution to overcome the problem. However, know that it’s completely normal for your dog to eat poop!
The Mystery of Why Dogs Eat Cat Poop
It might trigger your OCD but dogs eat everything accessible to them. Be it rocks, carpet, shoes, and much to our disgust, all kinds of poop. They are scavengers by nature and love to scavenge on everything disgusting to us. Therefore, if you’ve discovered your dog eating cat poop, there is nothing to worry about.
Coprophagia is just a fancy medical term for dogs eating poop. While the term Coprophagia is not restricted to the habit of eating cat poop but rather any species’ feces including their own. The habit alone is revolting and might cause a repulsive behavior, however, according to veterinarians, it is completely normal in dogs in some cases and therefore, shouldn’t be a matter of concern for you and your pooch.
Two Normal Poop Eating Scenarios
Almost all dogs eat poop in two common scenarios:
- The mother dogs when they nurse their puppies eat their poop to keep their den clean.
- Dogs eat other animals’ poop for the beneficial nutrients that are missing in their dog food. (This behavior, however, normal should be discouraged by the owners as they can transfer harmful bacteria and viruses through feces.)
Uncommon Reasons Why Dogs Eat Cat Poop
Eating their poop or cats poop is unusual for healthy, well-trained dogs, therefore, if you come across them practicing this behavior, discourage them and seek medical help. But before, know the answer to “why do dogs eat cat poop?”
They do it for several reasons:
To Seek Attention
During their puppyhood, when they eat cat poop and you started running after your pooch to drop it and cleaned him, he thought of it as a game to seek your attention. Therefore, your Fido, in his adulthood, eats cat poop to get your attention and play with them.
Vitamin deficiency is the most common cause of this behavior. If you notice a frequent loss of weight and appetite of your pooch, consult with a vet as it indicates vitamin deficiency in your dog’s diet.
The cats’ feces is foul for us because we don’t like to eat cat food either. However, your dog loves cat food and as surprising as it sounds, the cats’ litter smells like cat food and thus entices your dog.
Dogs are highly energetic animals so they need ample physical and mental stimulation. When you leave your pooch alone for longer periods, they get bored and explore things on their own to kill boredom.
One such exciting hobby they find is your cat’s litter. And hence, dogs eat cat poop to deal with boredom and stress.
Serious Medical Conditions
Medical conditions such as Diabetes mellitus cause increased appetite and when dogs feel hungry, they feed on cat poop.
You might discover your well-trained, graceful dog that never in his senses, ate poop flouting all the rules and start eating cat poop. This might come as a shocking surprise to you, however, understand that when dogs get older, there is a decline in cognitive functions colloquially known as dementia which leads them to scavenge on litter and garbage.
Signs Your Dog Eats Cat Poop
No matter how well you keep an eye on your dog’s activities, he might trick you and make his way to cats litter.
How would you know if you suspect your dog may have eaten cat poop? Watch out for these signs!
- Painful abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Bad breathe and teeth
How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Cat Poop?
Even if your dog has been eating cat poop since his puppyhood, nothing is impossible to change for good. There are preventive measures to take through which you can discourage poop eating habit in your pooch.
1. The Cleaner the Litter Box, the Better
We all have read the medicine label now and then, didn’t we? And we all have read the “Keep out of reach of your children” label on all the medicines, right?
Preach this message while training your dogs, so they never develop the habit of eating cat poop.
Keep your cat’s litter box away from the dog’s reach. There’s a reason why cats can climb high and dogs can’t. Take advantage of that and keep the litter box high above somewhere your dogs can’t reach.
While doing so, be gentle on your cat and don’t keep it too high. Imagine what would happen when you wouldn’t be able to find your toilet when it calls.
All in all, always keep your kitty’s litter box clean to maintain good hygiene.
2. Add Some Spices
Dogs hate strong smells and everything spicy!
Therefore, to discourage this behavior, add hot sauce or black pepper to the cat’s litter box to repel the dog from cat poop.
3. Keep Him Engaged
What would you do if you have nothing to do? Of course, poke your nose into someone else’s private matters! It’s a bad practice, we reckon! And so, you should avoid it!
And just like that dogs eat cat poop out of sheer curiosity when they have nothing to do.
To cater to this, offer him some great dog toys to keep him mentally and physically engaged for longer periods.
Dogs make the best pets and once they are home, there is no going back! Even after you’ve come to learn that your dogs eat cat poop!
Gross, isn’t it? But it is what it is.
Dogs are scavengers by nature and feed on everything they assume edible. However, you can prevent this behavior by following some steps mentioned in the article as the tips here are not as challenging and works 100% if followed with determination and devotion!