Yes, it sounds gross and disgusting to us as humans, but to our utter surprise, it is regular dog behavior to eat cat poop. And, we humans can’t help but wonder why do dogs eat cat poop?
Well, not just cat poop, dogs love feasting on anything with a strong smell, it doesn’t matter if it is cat poop. This behavior is so common that it has a name to itself – coprophagia!
So, what is the science behind this and what is it about cat poop that dogs just can’t stay out of the litter box?
Let’s dig deeper into this, investigate and find out!
Why Does My Dog Eat Cat Poop?
Dogs are Scavengers by Nature
Although you may have noticed your dog eating cat poop only, the fact is that dogs love savoring all kinds of poop as much as they love cat poop.
Well, the primary reason behind this is that dogs are scavengers by nature. Eating poop is a normal scavenger behavior. Thus, when your dog ate cat litter last week, it was natural for him.
Rather, it’s not just poop but a lot of other stuff as well (garbage, compost, and feces, to begin with) that we humans find disgusting, but dogs love eating.
Cat Poop Appeals to His Sense of Smell
Another reason why dogs eat cat shit is that it smells pretty much like cat food to it! Dogs have a strong sense of smell.
Not just cat poop, but anything that appeals to the sense of smell of your dog, it may feel tempted to consume. Yes, that’s science!
Your Dog is Extra Exploratory
Sometimes dogs consume cat poop out of sheer exploratory behavior. While in some rare cases, it may be a sign of a dietary deficiency, in most cases, it is just normal exploratory behavior that you don’t need to worry much about.
Puppies and dogs of certain categories are generally found habitual of trying to explore their surroundings and find potential sources of nutrition. They try eating almost everything and anything available in the immediate surroundings to see if it is good/nutritious enough.
While a lot of puppies outgrow this habit, some of them keep eating poop through adulthood as well.
A fun fact – sometimes your dog may resort to eating cat poop just because it’s bored!
Does Eating Cat Poop Pose Any Health Hazards?
Eating cat poop is some gross behavior. But, is it bad for your dog? Or, are there any specific reasons that you must stop your dog from feeding on the litter box?
Although we haven’t seen dogs getting hurt due to eating cat poop, eating poop may introduce the dog to certain harmful bacteria and parasites.
If your dog has consumed cat poop in very large amounts, then you need to keep a check on his bowel movements, because a large volume may cause a blockage.
Also, dogs may come in contact with various sorts of internal parasites from cat poop, which may later pose health problems. Thus, although it is common dog behavior to eat cat poop, you should dissuade the dog from eating it.
There are ways that you can employ to stop your dog from eating poop. Let’s see what those ways are!
What Can I Do to Stop My Dog from Eating Poop?
Wondering how to keep dog out of litter box? One of the easiest and accessible ways is to keep the cat litter box out of the dog’s reach!
While you keep the litter box out of your dog’s access, you help the dog resist the temptation. And yeah, keeping the dog busy always helps.
Apart from that, you may also use a self-cleaning litter box. But, again in this case you need to be sure that your dog doesn’t have access to it before the cleaning cycle starts. And, you can always teach the “Leave” command to your dog!
The above approach may work just fine but only if your cat’s litter box is your dog’s source of having cat poop. In some cases, the dogs feed on cat poop freely lying in the yard or garden.
Such a case can be a challenge because it’s tough to keep stray cats away from the yard. What’s the best way out? Well, you can modify the yard in such a way that either the cats cannot enter or stay away themselves, if at all they can enter.
Also, be sure to prepare some poop bags to easily clean your garden.
Additionally, your dog may suddenly feel hungry and couldn’t stop himself from feasting on the litter. Make sure that you keep feeding your dog properly at all times with food rich in all the necessary proteins so that it doesn’t feel the urge to eat cat poop out of hunger.
Despite all the attempts to control your dog, there may be times when you just can’t stop him. In such a scenario, it is recommended that you take the dog regularly to the veterinarian doctor for check-ups. This will help ensure that the dog hasn’t contracted any parasites.
Having dogs is fun. But, it’s also true that Coprophagia sounds disgusting. Eating cat poop does not necessarily indicate that your dog is sick or something is wrong.
However, just to be on the safer side, it is essential that you keep a check on your dog’s behavior and contact your veterinarian for further advice, as and when required.
And yeah, we hope that you found the answer to the question that had been troubling you – why do dogs eat cat poop! You might also want to find answers to a few other commonly googled questions about dogs. Explore the answers here.
Last but not least, don’t forget to check out our Dog Category to read the latest articles about your precious canine!