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How to Stop a Dog From Eating Cat Poop From the Litter Box (7 Options)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Corgi messed cat litter

Canines are attracted to strong odors, and we all know how dogs will eat anything. If you live in a multi-pet household, you may have noticed Fido sniffing around the litter box. Maybe you caught him in the act. His fondness for eating cat poop, a habit referred to as coprophagia, can be caused by a variety of reasons. It may be due to a dietary deficiency, a bad habit, or simply a product of exploration.

Though it’s quite natural for dogs to eat cat poop, it’s not “healthy” by any measure. Cat feces may contain harmful bacteria or parasites, and ingesting litter could cause problems in a pup’s digestive tract. Plus, it’s just gross. Think about that next time Fido comes in for kisses!

If your dog is eating cat poop, here are seven ways to put an end to this bad behavior.

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The 7 Ways To Stop Your Dog From Eating Cat Poop from the Litter Box

1. Access: DENIED

According to our team of in-house veterinarians, the easiest and most effective way to keep your dog out of the litter box is to deny access. Move the litter box into a bathroom or spare bedroom and put up a doggy gate to prevent your pup from gaining access to the litter. Installing a kitty door to your basement is also a good way to prevent Fido from getting into the cat poop.

2. Clean It Out

A dirty litter box is more tempting to your dog than a clean one is. Keep your cat’s litter box as clean as possible by scooping it daily and changing out the litter weekly. Use crystal litter to better control odor. This kind of litter easily clumps and is simple to scoop.

person cleaning cat litter
Image Credit: gaikova, Shutterstock

3. Keep Him Busy

A bored dog can develop bad behaviors. Keep your pet physically and mentally engaged with daily doses of exercise and plenty of interactive dog toys.

4. Buy a Hooded Cat Litter Box

To give your kitty more privacy and to discourage your dog from getting into the litter, buy a hooded litter box. It’s not as foolproof as our #1 method, but some dogs may be reluctant to an enclosure, especially if they’re too big for the opening.

cat inside a hooded litter box
Image Credit: Zoran Photographer, Shutterstock

5. The “Leave It” Command

When your dog goes to stick his nose in the litter box, it’s time to teach him the “leave it” command. Whenever you see your pet trying to explore the cat’s potty, tell him to “leave it” in a firm tone. If he obeys, give him a treat. If he ignores you, say the command again, but louder. It’s important to be diligent about saying the command so your dog gets the hint.


6. Use Stool Deterrents

NaturVet – Outta My Box Soft Chews

One way to keep your dog from eating cat poop is to make it unappealing for him to do so. A stool deterrent will make cat feces less attractive to your pup.

7. Add a Pinch of Pepper or Hot Sauce

It may sound odd to sprinkle spices in the litter box, but black pepper or hot sauce will keep your hungry dog away. Not only do they dislike the smell, but they hate the spicy taste.

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Final Thoughts

Dogs that eat cat poop not only have bad breath, but they’re also susceptible to parasites and bacteria. Curb your dog’s attraction to the litter box by keeping him occupied, investing in a hooded cat box and doggy gates, or by using black pepper or stool deterrents.

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