Dogs like to eat poop. Sounds disgusting? Yep. But it’s natural for them. So what are the main reasons for such behavior?
They just explore the world
Our four-legged friends eat everything: garbage, paper, rocks and… yeah, poop as well. So coprophagia (the scientific term for eating poop) is their way to explore the world. For example, cats with disabilities usually have easily-accessible litter boxes which become an easy target for a dog.
They need more protein
The cat’s tract is quite short, so their droppings contain a high percentage of undigested protein. Dogs are very carnivorous. So their body requires a lot of protein. That’s why cat poop is just another kind of food for them. This can be a sign for you to include more fat and protein to your pet’s diet. Your dog may also need more Vitamin B.
P.S. Consult your veterinarian before changing the dog’s diet.
They are bored
All dogs need to stay physically and mentally active all day. If you leave your dog alone for some hours, get ready for a surprise. Your pet won’t miss a chance to explore the cat litter box and taste its contents. You may be surprised at this, but dogs are having fun watching your reaction when they eat poop. So it’s just all about having fun for them.
If you leave your dog for a couple of hours or more, make sure you prepare a complex toy which will occupy his attention until you are back.
They get used to it when spending time in the streets
If you got your dog from a shelter, she might have spent a lot of time in the streets before you adopted. So your dog may have gotten used to eating poop just in case there wouldn’t be other food in the next 24-48 hours. It’s just a behavioral trigger.
Is cat poop bad for dogs?
Cat feces contains a lot of bacteria and parasites such as clostridia, salmonella, campylobacter and many more. They can cause a number of diseases. Moreover, salmonella can be transmitted to humans.
If your dog eats poop in large quantities, it can lead to a blockage. Pay attention to your dog’s behavior. If he doesn’t poop or poops very often, you should definitely call your veterinarian.
Here are some signs your dog needs treatment after eating cat poop:
— lack of appetite
— bad breath
— remains of cat faeces between your dog’s teeth
How to prevent your dog from eating cat poop
1. Place the litter box in a place only your cat can reach.
You can also install a “cat door” or a baby gate high enough for your cat but not for your dog.
2. Clean the litter box once it is full.
Or just purchase a self-cleaning litter box if you are too busy to do it yourself.
3. Add more mental and physical activity.
Veterinarians highly recommend adding a couple of extra walks a week. You can also buy interactive toys to keep your dog busy all day. If you have a lack of time, you could hire a dog walker. These animals can experience stress and separation anxiety when you are away, so they will be glad to have a human being next to them.
As you know, all dogs are different, and so are the reasons why they eat cat’s poop. We recommend you to visit a veterinarian to find out why it happens and make a plan of saying goodbye to “poop snacks.”
Your four-legged companion can definitely get rid of this habit! Good luck!