"My dog eats cat poop!", a voice in your head screams. Yes, your dog eats cat poop... and other animals poop, and even his own feces. Why? Why does he do that? We explain everything to you and even more important, we answer your question: "how to stop my dog from eating cat poop?"
Why do dogs eat cat poop?
Although it may seem a bit weird (and disgusting) to us, many dogs enjoy eating cats and other animal poop. Even their own poop! The truth is that it should not surprise us because dogs are capable of eating many foods that are far from being food, such as rocks, a shoe, or the carpet.
While the exact causes why a dog eats poop have been resolved by science, specialists agree that your dog's attraction to your cat's poop may be due to its protein content and even its aroma.
In 2012, a study on dog poop eating, or coprophagia by its scientific name, was presented at the annual conference of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.
Scientists studied more than 3,000 dogs and concluded that 16% could be classified as "serious" stool eaters (they were discovered eating poop more than five times), and 24% were discovered eating poop at least once.
Thus, they concluded that eating poop is a natural reflex for dogs that is related to their oldest survival instinct. We must consider that eating everything that they could find has made dogs continue to exist to this day.
Causes of coprophagia
Eating poop may be natural, but it is still disgusting for humans. Knowing the causes that can lead to this behavior can help you prevent it.
Basically, your dog is believed to eat poop (his, another animal's, or cat poop) because:
- Your dog has a food deficiency.
- He is exploring the world around him, and this is his way of relating to it.
- He is bored.
- She has become a mom, and eating her puppy's feces is a normal part of the cleaning process.
Now, let's get back to today's topic: how to stop your dog from eating cat poop?
How to stop my dog from eating cat poop?
There are many little things you can do to prevent your dog from eating your cat's poop. Next, we share with you the best tips for puppy and dog owners.
1. Suppress your dog's access to cat poop
The first step is to prevent your dog from being in the same area as the cat litter to minimize the chances of eating cat poop. If you leave your dog and cat alone to poop for long periods of time, you should think of a way that your cat can access his bathroom but your dog cannot. Maybe install a cat door that your dog can't get through?
On the other hand, there are dog-proof cat litters on the market. These are much more expensive, but maybe worth it. Check with your trusted store.
2. Avoid boredom
Do you think your dog eats dog poop because he is bored? So the answer to avoid this behavior is simple: find entertainment.
We know this can be difficult, especially if you work outside your home and your dog spends a lot of time alone. Take a look at these options to entertain your dog:
- Buy new toys that your furry friend can chew on
- Opt for a treat dispenser
- Buy dog puzzle toys that occupy your dog's time both physically and mentally.
3. Train your dog
Remember when you trained your dog to use a leash? Well, this training is similar because you will teach your four-legged friend to obey a "cue."
You can choose the cue that you like. The secret is to repeat it every time your dog gets close to the cat's poop. "Leave it" may be a good idea. Use a firm voice until your dog learns it.
4. Clean the cat litter constantly
If the cat litter doesn't have poop, your dog won't be able to eat it. It may not be a practical option because it increases your workload a lot, but carrying out this activity during the first stages minimizes your dog's temptation.
5. Use pepper
This homemade solution is very effective, as long as it does not disturb your cat. Putting pepper in the cat litter will mask the smell of cat poop. Also, if your dog tried it, it would no longer be so attractive.
6. Modify the diet
What if the problem is a food deficiency? Talk to your vet about it. Perhaps the solution is to modify your dog's diet so that he does not seek to compensate for the dietary deficiency by eating cat poop.
We hope we have answered your question: "how to stop my dog from eating cat poop?" Be patient! We wish you good luck!