Your Dog Is Suffering From Stress
As weird as it might sound, stress might trigger behaviors like poop-eating. This is known as coprophagia and its never a good thing for anybody or any animal involved. The stress could be anything from being isolated to being confined in a small space for long periods of time.
Additional family members or other pets in the household could be the stress trigger as well. If you think your dog is eating cat poop due to stress, its important to try to eliminate that stress if possible. You also could try to play with your dog more and give him more mental and physical stimulation to help decrease his stress.
When To See The Vet
If your dog only ate poop once, then you wont have to see the vet. This could be a simple mistake and its best to stop him/her and say no. If you find that your dog is constantly eating cat poop or searching for it, then its time to see the vet. The vet will complete a physical exam and some blood work on your dog to find out whats going on.
If they detected a nutritional deficiency, then the vet will likely recommend certain supplements or food for your dog’s diet. The vet will also check your dog’s feces to look for a potential bacterial or parasite infection in your dog.
If you notice abnormal symptoms from your dog such as:
- Abdominal pain
Definitely bring him or her to the vet. The veterinarian will need to check if this is an infection or a G.I. obstruction that will require immediate surgery.
Either way, its not fun to see your dog eat cat poop and the consequences that they may get from it, so its vital to stop them and find ways to prevent this from happening again.
Is Coprophagia Bad For Dogs
It can be.
Even though most dogs are still fine after eating cat poop, this habit puts dogs at risk of contracting harmful parasites and bacteria. Bacteria like Salmonella, for example, can be transmitted to humans.
They can also contract different species of internal parasites from feline poop. Even if a cat may appear healthy and shows no signs of parasite infection, it doesnt necessarily mean its not there.
Cat litter can cause problems for your dog when eaten in large quantities. Luckily, eating cat litter can only cause blockage when a dog eats too much of it. Your dog is probably fine if they still have regular bowel movements.
However, if your pooch appears to have difficulty with his bowel movements or doesnt poop, you should call your vet.
On the plus side, besides these minimal risks, dogs dont suffer severe health consequences from eating cat poop. However, it is better than this habit to be a one-off thing for both yours and your dogs health. Consult your vet once you notice that your dog is experiencing bowel issues from eating cat poop
You May Like: How Long Do Tuxedo Cats Live
Why Does Your Dog Eat Poop How To Stop It
Scientifically known as coprophagia, the poop eating habit of dogs is just not disgusting for humans, but also has numerous side effects to dog health. If your dog has a similar habit, its nothing to be shocked about. According to a research held by University of California, it was found that 16% dogs, that means 1 in 6 dogs have been caught eating stool more than five times, classifying as serious stool eaters, and 24% of dogs, that means 1 in 4 dogs have been caught in the act once. This concluded that the habit is derived from their ancestors who lived in natural habitat, that states its in a dogs DNA!
On the other hand, another study shows that since dogs have evolved as scavengers, they naturally eat anything they find on the ground, so eating poop was one of a behavioral change over time to survive through starvation. Though, unlike many other species, eating fecal is not an important source of nutrition for dogs, and thus even if its in their DNA, they can be restricted from doing so.
Adult Dogs That Have Learned To Eat Their Poop
If a dog has learned to eat poop because they are scared of being punished for having an accident, the first step is to stop using punishment and then take active measures to prevent them from having access to the poop. It might be the case that the dog was punished by past owners, and in this case, you will still need to restrict access to the poop.
Once the behavior has been established, it’s crucial that you remain patient and consistently use positive reinforcement to encourage alternative behaviors for your dog to perform other than eating the poop.
Redirect Your Dogs Attention
When you have an adult dog that has been eating poop for a long time, then its very important that you go out with your dog whenever they need to defecate.
As soon as they are finished, call them over to you for treats and then either put them back in the house or toss a toy for them to chase while you pick up the stool.
If your dog immediately turns around to eat their poop and does not listen to you, then you will need to keep your dog on their leash and lead them away as soon as they have defecated.
To truly discourage your dog from eating poop, you will need to continue to manage your dog and restrict access to the poop to prevent a relapse.
Some people are successful in teaching their dogs a leave it cue and then a come or automatic sit by their owners using positive reinforcement.
Utilize Dog Training Tools
Make the Poop Less Appealing
Recommended Reading: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food
Why Do Dogs Do It
So why on earth would a dog do something as nasty as eat poop? According to the American Kennel Club, the simple explanation for this is that dogs are scavengers – they are not too proud to eat garbage, poop, a decomposing animal or any number of things that we humans would find utterly disgusting. When it comes to eating cat poop, experts explain that the poop actually carries the aroma of the cat food very recently digested by your furry feline. Thus, a dog is attracted to its scent and views it as a potential snack.
Can Cat Poop Make Dogs Sick
Exposure to potential pathogens is probably the most serious health concern regarding dogs eating cat poop. Cat poop contains tons of bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridia, other culprits that cause disease and are capable of making your dog sick.
Another potential problem is parasites found in the cats poop and the fact that they can cross species boundaries. Simply because your dog doesnt appear to be ill, you cannot assume that cat feces are incapable of passing on diseases to your dog.
Another concern is that lots of cats may be asymptomatic carriers however, they can still shed microorganisms that make pets and human beings sick.
You May Like: Is Dawn Soap Safe For Cats
Diabetes And Cushings Disease: May Cause High Hunger
Some dogs develop conditions like diabetes or Cushings disease, which change many elements of their behavior.
For example, both of these illnesses can cause extreme hunger in dogs and make it hard for them to stay satiated.
As a result, they may turn to cat poop as a way of managing this impulse or even drink excessive amounts of water to keep themselves healthy.
If you fear that your dog has one of these diseases, talk to your veterinarian right away.
You may need to give them injections of insulin or other types of treatments to keep them healthy.
Often, youll notice your dogs eating behaviors decrease heavily, including eating less food with each meal.
This change is a huge benefit and will likely help your dog lose weight and stay out of the cat box.
The Research & Studies Behind Coprophagia
If your canine buddy is eating feces, do not be alarmed. In 2012, Dr. Benjamin Hart DVM and his team of researchers at UC Davis presented a survey study that found some initially alarming statistics.
- 1 in every 6 dogs are classified as having serious coprophagia .
- 1 in every 4 dogs have been caught eating their feces just once.
These statistics suggest that 16% to 24% of all dogs have coprophagia to a certain degree. With that in mind, can we conclude that it is completely abnormal for canines to eat their own poop?
Think about it. Many other species of animals, such as guinea pigs and rabbits also eat their own poop. In fact, it may be detrimental to their health to NOT consume the nutrients in their feces.
Dr. Hart and his team concluded that eating stool is an innate predisposition stemmed from the past, when wild canines would need to protect the pack members from parasites in the feces.
It is essentially a survival behavior from when dogs had to live in the wild and werent spoiled with fancy treats, quality brand food and medical attention. From our point of view, it is disgusting, but not so much from the canine perspective.
You May Like: How Old Is A 12 Year Old Cat
Anxiety & Stress Relief
As mentioned earlier, dogs, like people, also suffer from anxiety and stress. If your dog is experiencing extreme amounts of anxiety, he could eventually develop behavioral issues like Coprophagia.
If this unfortunate habit in your dog is being triggered by anxiety, you will have to do more than just placing the litter box where your pooch cant access. Unless anxiety is addressed at the root, it will eventually lead to other behavioral issues even when the poop-eating dilemma is addressed.
Dog owners must get to the bottom of what is causing their dogs stress. It could be due to separation anxiety or due to new environmental changes like change in the household or changes as a new family member.
It could also be that your dog is picking up your anxiety. Dogs are highly sensitive creatures hence if anything is affecting you, it will probably affect them as well.
Add Hot Sauce Or Black Pepper In The Litter Box
Although this may seem like quite a cruel solution or remedy to your dog eating cat poop, in order to keep your dogs away from the cat litter, you can add some hot sauce or black pepper in the litter box. Your dog is obviously going to hate it, and hopefully, that will be enough to keep him away from the litter box for a while. In fact, the smell of the hot sauce and pepper will repel him for sure.
You May Like: How Old Is A 12 Year Old Cat
Add Variety To Their Diet
Nutritional deficiency can be a common problem for your dog. This can cause them to search for feces to prevent starvation or fatigue. The best thing to do is to add variety to your dog’s food. You can talk to your veterinarian regarding supplements that you can add to your dogs food, so they get all the nutrients that they need.
Some dog owners provide a raw food diet that mimics what wolves and coyotes eat. After all, your domesticated canine friend originates from them, and a raw food diet may be a good idea to stop the poop-eating habit.
Dope Dog offers a variety of nutritious dog treats and food to supplement your dogs health. Check out their full line of products.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?
Will My Dog Be Ok
In the majority of cases, dogs will be fine after ingesting cat feces. But very occasionally a harmful pathogen or parasite could be consumed. If your dog does become sick then seeking prompt treatment should ensure he recovers well.
Although less common, if a food allergy or any dietary sensitivities are present, then be aware that eating cat feces could potentially trigger these. Food substances that your dog is allergic to may be present in a partially-digested form in the cats feces, and could cause a flare-up of their symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Is Peppermint Oil Toxic To Cats
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.
Its amazing how much dogs like this, and to what lengths they will go to be able to do so. But if youre 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.
Q: Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Cat Poop
A: Yes, they can. Cat feces contain a lot of bacteria, which can be harmful to dogs. Some bacteria may cause various infections. Also, beware about the risks of catching parasites by getting parasite eggs. They can also be present in cat poop. Of course, it doesn’t mean that this will happen to your dog however, the risk is high.
Don’t Miss: Why Are Black Cats Unpopular
Keep The Litter Box Clean
Another way of keeping your dog from consuming cat poop is to keep the litter box clean after your cat has done the deed. If the litter box is constantly kept clean, then there is no reason for your dogs to be drawn to it and eat the poop. This also prevents odors from spreading around the house. If it is not possible to clean the litter box often, or each time that your cat uses it, then consider self-cleaning cat potties that will take care of that for you.
What Does It Mean If My Dog Eats Cat Poop
Coprophagy is the term used to describe the act of eating poop. It is common for people to think a dog eats cat poop because they have some sort of nutrient deficiency, this is usually not the case. Poop scavengers are typically eating poop as a sign of dominance, indicating to others that they are in charge.
That being said, there are some health conditions that can make your dog extremely hungry all the time. And this can be a reason they may try to eat poop out of the litter box. Some examples are Cushings Disease, Diabetes, and certain malabsorptive intestinal disorders.
Usually, if your dog has developed one of these health conditions, you will also notice other changes. These may include unexplained weight gain, unexplained weight loss, increased thirst, increased urination, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Its always a good idea to have your dog checked out by their veterinarian if they all of a sudden start eating cat poop.
You May Like: Do Chinese People Eat Cats And Dogs
They Like It: Hard To Imagine
If your dog eats cat poop continually, theres a good chance that they just like the taste of it.
That might seem hard to imagine for some dog owners.
However, it is crucial to understand that dogs have different taste buds and senses of smell than people.
What smells bad to you often smells very good to them because dogs have a powerful and capable sniffer.
For example, your dog might smell the underlying cat food that makes up the bulk of a cats poop.
Rather than noticing the potent odor that drives you away, they detect this alluring aroma and cant help but want to eat cat poop.
This situation often requires you to condition your dog away from the area, such as spraying a poop spray around the area.
Unfortunately, this spray produces a potent odor designed to annoy dogs.
Are Dogs That Eat Cat Poop Malnourished
However, cat poop-eating is not always normal for dogs. Health problems can be to blame in a limited number of cases.
Disorders like Cushings disease, intestinal malabsorption/maldigestion, or diabetes mellitus can make dogs ravenously hungry, and they will basically try to eat anything that has even the slightest resemblance to food.
Another frequently mentioned cause is that cat-poop-eating dogs are missing nutrients in their diets. In fact, theres not a lot of evidence to support this, particularly if a dog is eating adequate amounts of a nutritionally balanced food made from high-quality ingredients.
A good first step when faced with a dog eating cat poop is to make an appointment with your veterinarian. The doctor can diagnose or rule out any diseases or dietary issues that may be playing a role and also check for the health problems that can result from this behavior.
Read Also: Is Blue Buffalo Bad For Cats
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 dont 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 .