Dogs seem to have an affinity for finding, eating and enjoying
cat poop. While this will never make logical sense to you, there
are some reasons why dogs eat cat poop based on health or
behavioral issues. If you are concerned about your pooch eating cat
feces out of the litter box or while out and about, identify the
reason so that you can create the solution.
Some dogs seem to just have a nose for this, going on a walk and
out of nowhere finding a new source of cat poop. Stop wondering,
“why do dogs eat cat poop,” and take a proactive approach. If
it isn’t a medical condition leading to the cat poo craving, you
can deal with the issue with dog training. As with most dog
behavioral issues, the earlier you start the process and the more
consistent you are with training, the more effective the solution
Is Cat Poop Dangerous for My Dog
In most cases, dogs eating cat poop will not have any negative
health effects from doing so. However, if they eat cat feces from
the litter box, they may ingest kitty litter that can lead to a
blockage in the intestines. In rare cases, dogs can contract
internal parasites from cat poop even when household cats don’t
demonstrate any signs of infection. As a dog owner, you might be
less inclined to accept a bath of slobbery dog kisses making it a
top priority to stop the behavior.
Although most situations of dogs eating cat feces are benign,
keep in mind that poop is poop and often attracts flies, bugs, and
icky parasites. Ill cats may increase the chance of your dog
getting sick. Even if your dog doesn’t get sick, he may pass
something to his human pals through contact. You could avoid the
kisses, but what happens if he licks his paw and then gives you
five. All in all, stopping the cat poop eating habit is a must for
Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop
The three primary reasons that dogs will seek out and
eat cat poop: a nutritional deficiency, taste, and boredom. To
figure out which of the three is the underlying problem, start with
a visit to your veterinarian.
Puppies actually start eating their own poop when in the litter.
Mom has an instinct to eat her puppies’ poop to help keep the den
clean and to prevent predators from sniffing the litter out. Even
domesticated dogs have this trait, so you will want to start early
to remove the urge of any feces consumption by your dogs.
Since one of the reasons many dogs eat cat poop has to do with
medical issues and dietary deficiencies regardless of what happened
in the litter, you’ll want to schedule a visit with your
veterinarian. This visit will identify any health issues such as
worms, digestive enzyme issues, or medications that could lead to
Poop Eating: Coprophagia
Stool eating is known as
coprophagia or coprophagy. While it defines the act, it
doesn’t identify the cause. However, this practice of stool
eating goes back to their scavengers traits of canines that ate any
feces when there were no other readily available food sources. To
this day, wolves and coyotes will still consume poop in order to
supplement their diets.
Stool eating is normally something that puppies outgrow with
proper training and diet. The timeframe for this is usually when
mom weans them from her milk and the puppies begin to eat solid dog
food. Making sure they eat often and vitamin-rich food helps the
weaning process go smoothly.
Nutritional Deficiencies and Eating Cat Poop
When eating feces (including cat poop) is the result of a health
issue, it often has to do with the body not absorbing vitamins and
minerals properly. One common cause is exocrine pancreatic
insufficiency. This condition comes with symptoms of loose stool,
foul-smelling feces, and unexplained weight loss. The veterinarian
will conduct a blood panel to determine if medication or a dietary
change will help alleviate the problem.
Some medical conditions that use steroids or have extreme
dietary restriction also reduce your dog’s ability to properly
absorb nutrients. Diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and thyroid issues
are the most common culprits. Dietary restrictions may also leave
your dog hungry, thus looking for food to satiate his hunger pangs.
Supplements, changes in medication, or new foods often help
alleviate the cat poop eating in these types of cases.
Intestinal Parasites and Worms
Not only can your dog get
intestinal parasites from eating cat poop, but this will
increase their desire to eat the cat poop. The parasites steal the
nutrients from your dog leaving him to want to eat more, be
lethargic, and even lose weight. That’s right; he can eat more
and lose weight without increasing activity.
If you suspect your dog has been exposed to worms or may have an
intestinal parasite infection, seek veterinarian care immediately.
Most parasites are easily addressed with medication and supplements
can be provided to help your dog get his right nutritional needs
met and gain some of the weight back. The sooner you nip this issue
in the bud, the less likely a diet craving will become a habit.
Lack of Mental Stimuli and Boredom
Dogs are naturally curious and will find trouble when they
aren’t properly stimulated. Providing your dog with ample mental
stimulation and exercise helps him get his energy out and reduce
his need to investigate everything. This extends to the cat litter
box where he may innocently go to investigate smells and realize
there are little treats waiting for him.
Dogs and Stress
Similar to being bored,
stressed dogs develop behavioral problems. Stress could be in
the form of moving to a new home, getting adopted by a family, or
having a new puppy or kitten join the pack. Pay attention to your
dog’s anxiety. If he has never been a cat poop eater and suddenly
starts when the family dynamic changes, this is the sign that he is
reacting to household stresses.
The earlier you can address the stress and adapt to a new
household and behavioral solutions, the easier it will be to stop
the stress habit from becoming a long-term bad habit. Baby gates
are great to prevent your dog from accessing the litter box, but
they are also great to set home boundaries. Use this tool when a
new puppy or even a baby are brought into the home. Your dog will
appreciate having his own space.
What to Do To Stop Dogs Eating Cat Poop
Cat poop in the home should be an easily controlled issue. If
your dog is eating cat poop from a litter box, this is often a dog
owner’s fault. Limiting access to rooms where the cat litter box
is the easiest way to reduce and eliminate your dogs taste for cat
poo. A baby gate or small cat door that your dog can’t fit in is
a simple solution that lets cats have their space to go into the
litter box while your dog no longer has access.
If your dog is eating cat poop on walks or in the yard, you’ll
need to be very proactive about the issue. Walking dogs on a leash
help you control them and redirect them. In the yard, limiting the
areas where cats may poop limits the opportunities your dog will
have to eat cat feces.
Consider Dietary Supplements
If your dog is eating cat poop because he is missing something
in his diet, it’s time to change his diet or add something to the
mix. Start with his dog food to make sure his food is full of the
nutrients that he needs. Pups, in particular, will have issues if
they are eating adult dog food rather than puppy formula. If after
changing the diet to more hearty food, ask your vet if a digestive
enzymes supplement is a good option for your dog.
Dogs that don’t break down minerals properly can’t absorb
them. By taking a digestive enzymes supplement, many dogs are able
to better metabolize the food they consume and reduce the desire to
eat cat feces. A dog’s diet may also include some human, foods
that help to improve digestion and enzyme breakdown.
Meat Tenderizers for Dog’s Diet
Many behaviorists and dog experts suggest using meat tenderizers
to help dogs break down the proteins in the dog’s diet. By
sprinkling a little on their dog food, dogs are able to get more
nutrition from the same dog food quantities. This helps keep weight
down and improve energy levels while dealing with the dog
behavioral issue of eating cat poop.
Pineapple for a Dog’s Diet
Pineapple is a safe fruit for a pet to eat that is high in
fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The fiber helps keep dogs stool
regular and all digestive tracts moving smoothly. Dogs like the
taste of pineapple and will readily eat it. Do be careful about
giving dogs too much pineapple because it is high in sugar and can
lead to issues with diabetes or obesity.
This fruit is thought to help dogs reduce the craving of eating
cat poop. The reason pineapple is recommended for poop eating is
because it contains bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that helps
break down proteins. If the dog is eating poop due to an enzyme
deficiency, pineapple in moderation can help based on anecdotal
evidence. If the issue is a behavioral issue, don’t expect
feeding your dog pineapple to do much of anything to solve the
Making Feed Time Habits
Humans may lose track of time when it comes to meals, but dogs
are very much driven by an internal clock of hunger. If you are not
feeding your dog at a regularly set time or feeding him enough, he
will get hungry and seek out something to satisfy his craving.
Puppies eat two to three times a day as their body builds bones and
muscle while adult dogs eat one to two times a day.
Be consistent with meals so your pet can rely on the schedule.
If you have an erratic work schedule, invest in an automatic
feeder. This helps especially if your dog has a dog door with
outside access and will look for places where cats, deer, or
chickens have pooped. When feeding time is habitual, your dog’s
own poop habits become more routine as well. This curbs his desire
to eat his own poop as well as cat poop.
Eliminate Pet Boredom
Every dog trainer will tell you that boredom is the single
biggest reason dogs find trouble. Dogs are curious canines. If you
are not giving your dog enough exercise or the right type of mental
stimulation, he will find trouble. This might be in the form of
tearing up your sofa, getting int the trash or gnawing on your
It also leads to finding and consuming cat poop. While this
behavior may start with boredom it could develop into an unwanted
habit. You may adjust the mental stimulation but if your dog has
developed the habit of eating poop, you’ll have more work to do.
Clean Up After Your Dog and Cat
Keeping everything clean is the best way to stop your dog from
eating dog and cat poop. This means regularly cleaning out the
litter box and picking up feces found in and around the house
immediately. The less temptation there simply means you have
eliminated more instances of your dog eating cat poop.
If you have a problem with your cat (or neighborhood cats)
defecating in your backyard where your dog plays, think about
covering sandboxes, planting lavender or thyme to deter cats, or
reduce the number of areas a cat can dig. Adjust the landscape to
reduce the chance of your dog getting into cat poop you didn’t
know was there.
There are also cat sprays and repellents that are designed to
keep cats from certain areas such as flower beds. Read the labels
of these to make sure your dog won’t be harmed if he somehow
consumer the repellant off the plants in the area.
Leashes: A Good Walking Habit
Walking your dog on a leash is a good habit for many reasons.
Animal behaviorists and dog trainers always talk about how you can
control the dog better when they are on-lead. It helps with
training for things like heeling and recall. It also helps in
changing behaviors issues such as dogs eating cat poop on
Many dogs, especially canines with exceptional noses, tend to
find cat poop where dog owners don’t think of looking. In a split
second, a crafty pooch can have a mouthful of cat poop leaving dog
owners desperately trying to get it out without touching it. The
habit of walking your dog on a leash gives you control over how far
away from the path he will go.
If your dog starts to zero-in on something he smells, then
gently pull on the leash and redirect him. Tons of positive
reinforcement and consistency teach your dog that staying on track
is rewarding. This helps with more than just dogs eating cat poop;
it can prevent snake bites, poison ingestion, and a million other
accidents that happen daily on walks and hikes.
CBD Oil Dog Treats
There is a new trend of supplements for dogs that uses CBD oils.
There is still a lot of research to be done on the various benefits
and potential dangers of using
CBD oil treats and supplements for dogs although some anecdotal
evidence suggests that it can help with the absorption of minerals
to reduce dogs desire to eat cat poop.
Before starting a CBD oil treat plan for your dog, check with
your veterinarian. You’ll want to research the right dosage and
be sure that the CBD oil has no THC. While humans can metabolize
this, dogs can’t. Do your research before you add anything new
and virtually untested to your dog’s diet. While cannabis has
been around for centuries as a medicinal plant, take the time to
understand its full effects and side effects before jumping in.
Check In With Your Dog Trainer
Animal behaviorists know that good training starts young and has
results that last when consistency is maintained. Even dog with
some medical conditions that would have them inclined to eat cat
poop is known to lessen or stop the habit. If a litter box is a
culprit, make sure to use baby gates and keep dogs away from the
Meet with your vet to confirm that your dog is healthy and then
set an appointment with a dog trainer. Dog trainers help evaluate
the situation, assist with home layout remedies, and provide you
with the training tools to stop your dog from eating cat poo. The
longer the habit has been in place, the harder it is to remedy it;
this is true for all dog behavioral training and eating cat poop is
no different. Make it a point to deal with this immediately.
Source: FS – TheDogTrainingSecret
Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop