Dogs are adorable and affectionate, but sometimes they do some gross things. One of these gross behaviours is stealing your cat’s litter box and eating whatever they find. Find out why your dog is so inclined to raid the litter box and how you can keep them out of it.
My dog eats cat poop from the litter box.
According to dog behaviour is normal, although it can be a nuisance to humans. Dogs are natural scavengers and eat anything with a strong scent, even cat poop. Cat poop smells just like cat food to dogs, and that is what your dog considers a special treat. It’s almost like your dog has discovered the delicious nuggets in their litter box.
This behaviour can be fun for your dog but should not be encouraged. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that cat faeces can also contain a toxoplasmosis parasite, which can cause serious health problems for humans. If your dog is exposed to cat litter in sufficient quantities, it can cause intestinal obstruction.
How to keep dogs out of the litter box
It might not be easy to keep your dog from the litter box. Your dog’s size, temperament, and training ability will determine the best method. You might have to consider whether your cat will be able to influence which methods work.
Keep the litter box clean often
PetSafe suggests that scooping the litter box frequently is one of the best ways to keep your cat safe. It might not be possible to scoop the litter box every day, but it will reduce your dog’s chances of getting into trouble. A self-cleaning robotic litter box could make this easier if your cat can tolerate it. You could switch to an odour neutralizing litter to discourage your cat from using it.
Train your dog
Training your dog to ignore the cat box is the best way to keep them away. Make sure your dog has high-quality dog food before you start. This will ensure that they are not lacking any nutrients. You should ensure they get enough exercise and mental stimulation to avoid boredom. These are the steps to help your dog learn the “leave-it” command.
- Place a treat on the ground under your hand, and let your dog sniff it.
- If your dog loses interest or gives up, you can say “leave” to let them go.
- Please give them a better treatment with your free hand than the one covered.
- Gradually, you can tell them to “leave” the treat while they are still looking at it. When they leave, reward them with a better treat.
- After they have learned to associate the command to get a better reward than the one they are investigating, they can practice letting their noses sniff the litter box before telling them to “leave it.”
If all else fails, you might need to limit your dog’s access to the litter box. This might be as easy as lifting the litter box from your dog’s reach or placing it in a tub. You might consider a covered cat box if your cat can tolerate a lid. Installing a pet gate to the area where the litter box is kept might be the best thing for your cat.
Whatever method you choose, remember your cat’s preferences. To allow your cat to adjust to moving the litter box, you should do it slowly and in small steps. You should also gradually change the litter. Start by adding a small amount of the new litter to the old, slowly increasing the amount.