Why Is Your Dog Eating Cat Feces?

To the disgust of dog owners everywhere, dogs love eating cat feces. Dogs consider the litter covered kitty nuggets to be the best treat around. The name for this habit is coprophagia. It's often hard to stop a dog from engaging in this behavior, but there are ways you can stop it from happening.

Not only is eating cat feces disgusting, but the dog's behavior can bother your cat. If the cat notices the dog is always in his litter box, the cat may try to find a new area for his urination and defecation, because his litter box has been invaded. To prevent this potential issue, you must take action as soon as you discover your dog is eating another animal's stool.

Eating Cat Feces Is Scavenger Behavior

Dogs by nature are scavengers. Many animal experts believe a dog is simply giving in to his subconscious behavior when he eats cat excrement.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Some dogs eat cat excrement seeking vitamins and minerals not found in their own food. Because cat foods are rich in protein and often contain seafood, many dogs are drawn to that food source because they don't get it in their own food.

Boredom and Anxiety as Causes

Some dogs eat cat excrement when they are bored or anxious. It may be a way to get the pet owner's attention. Often, these dogs are left alone for long hours and simply don't have much else to do. Dogs do not seem to care that the attention they are getting is negative.

Dangers of Eating Cat Feces

Eating cat stool is often dangerous. Commercial kitty litters are filled with chemicals, plus the clay in many litter brands can cause blockages in the intestines if too much is ingested. Dogs are susceptible to parasites. If a cat has a parasite, by ingesting that cat's feces, a dog is now at risk for worms.

Stopping Your Dog from Eating Cat Feces

Younger dogs often respond better to the command "No. Leave it." This is not a guarantee that it will always work, however. It's often most effective to simply move the kitty litter boxes to an area the dog cannot reach. This includes putting the cat litter box behind a baby gate or in another room with a closed door.

Purchasing a litter box that has a snap on lid small enough for only the cat may also help. Be cautious of this method, though. Some dogs will stick their head through the entrance hole and then become stuck.

Try feeding your dog canned pumpkin or MSG. Veterinary experts believe the ingredients make feces taste bad. There are also commercial products you can add to the cat's food to make their feces bitter, but they don't always work effectively.

If the dog is eating cat excrement outside, don't leave him unattended. Take him for walks on a leash, but don't let him roam freely in your yard, even if it's fenced.

Clean your cat's litter box several times a day. If you take away the excrement before the dog can eat it, you'll solve the problem before it can happen.