Coprophagia is a habit in which a dog will eat poop. It can be dog poop, cats poop, or poop from anyone else. Why do some dogs eat cat poop? This is going to be the main topic for today. We will give you specific answers and we are going to tell you what you can do. Sadly, this habit is more common than we would like to see and many dog owners do need help. If you are one of them, you are on the right page.
Here’s why dogs will eat cat poop
The main thing to understand is that this is normal behavior. It is not strange or extremely problematic. Why do some dogs eat cat poop? Well, dogs are scavengers and they will eat almost anything they can. This is something they had to do while living in the wild. Today they live in our homes so there is no need to do this but it is in their blood and it is stronger than you may think.
The main reason why dogs eat cat poop is the fact it smells like cat food. All dogs love cat food and they will always eat it without questions asked. Cat poop has a similar smell as the food hence they will like it as well. Another reason why they will eat cat poop is due to dietary deficiency. It means that your dog needs specific nutrients that are not present in his diet and he will eat poop so he can obtain those nutrients. It is a rare reason but it is a valid one.
An interesting fact is that normal maternal behavior is eating the poop of the puppies. All female dogs do this when they have small puppies and you don’t have to worry about them. This is another trait they had while living in the wild.
Cat poop can be dangerous for dogs
Many of you believe that there is no risk at all of a dog eating cat poop. Others believe that it is an extremely severe issue and countless health-related problems will appear. The reality is somewhere in between.
Eating cat poop sounds gross but usually, it is not a problem. A dog will digest the needed nutrients and remove the waste. But, cat poop can contain certain parasites and bacteria that will come in contact with the dog’s stomach. They can infect him and cause all sorts of issues. The most common example would be salmonella which can also be transmitted to people. All kinds of other bacteria can be found in cat poop so the risk is there. Try to remember that just because your cat doesn’t have any symptoms or issues it doesn’t mean the poop is safe for a dog to eat. It is still possible that bacteria and parasites are present in the poop.
Cat litter is another issue here.
If digested in massive amounts it can cause blockage in the dog’s intestine. A good thing is that your dog would have to eat a lot of litter and this is not something that usually happens. But the risk is once again present. If the blockage is present your dog will have a hard time pooping and he will be sad. He will be upset as well and you will have to take him to a vet. Even if his poop is abnormal and you know he ate cat poop you need to take him to a vet!
Regardless of how this sounds, cat poop is not very bad for dogs and almost all of them will be perfectly fine. However, it is something most dog owners don’t like and something that still carries a certain amount of risk. That’s why you need to read the next section.
What you can do if your dog eats cat poop
The first thing you will have to do is to try and position the cat’s litter box away from the dog. It sounds obvious and it is actually the main thing vets will recommend. Using a baby fence or any other way try to place the litter box somewhere where your dog won’t find it. It is a simple method that works the best.
You can also use dog-proof litter boxes. Basically, they will allow a cat to poop but the poop won’t be exposed to a dog so he can’t eat it. This is a more preferable method if you cannot use the first one due to some reason.
Sadly, some owners have a bigger problem. They have a neighbor with a cat and keeping the cat poop away from the dog is not an option. In that case scenario, you should try and repel the cats from your home or yard. There are all kinds of methods for this and usually works well. You will also have to take the dog to a vet on a regular basis. This is done to detect any possible issues as soon as you can and deal with them while they don’t cause something more severe.
You will have to teach your dog the ‘’leave it’’ command as well. Every single time when he tries to eat cat poop you will issue the command and he must stop. Of course, it means you will have to keep your eye on the dog most of the time.
Keeping your dog busy with toys and healthy food can help the problem. Some dogs eat the poop of the cats because they are curious. When they are busy, they are less likely to do this.
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The final word
Why do some dogs eat cat poop and what you can do about it? We have provided you with all the needed answers. In general, this is not a huge problem but can become one. Luckily there are a lot of things you can do and most of them are 100% effective and easy to implement. Just make sure to try all of them until you find the one that works the best.
Also, learn here Your Cat Hates Dogs: Is There Something You Can Do?