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Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop?

Close up of a blue litter box with scoop

When you see your dog eating any kind of feces it just does not look attractive. Nor does it encourage anyone to go buy a pizza or have lasagna. This is a good appetite killer if there ever was one.

But some dogs eat cats or any feces because they need the bacteria in that waste to help them digest food. Puppies are not born with this bacteria and they need to get it from somewhere and feces is the best source for it.

While it sounds and looks gross, it is a vital part of your dog’s diet as long as those feces is free from all diseases.

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What do I do if my dog eats cat poop?

There are several things you can do to stop this trait from becoming a habit.

  1. Keep Your Dog Away From The Cat Litter Box- You may have to hide the litter box to achieve this objective.
  2. Buy A Litter Box With A Lid- This will keep your dog from sticking his nose inside and getting a treat.
  3. See If Your Dog Is Getting All The Nutrition It Needs- A lack of nutrition will drive your dog to eat cat feces.
  4. It May Be An Intestinal Issue- If your dog has a health problem then that can trigger this new habit. Have your dog checked out by a vet and get the right treatment
  5. Play With Your Dog More- They may just be bored and look at investigating the cat litter box as some adventure. Playing with your pet more keeps them from being bored

What are dogs lacking when they eat cat poop?

Jack Russell Terrier laying on a dog bed with a kitten

It could be they are lacking in nutrition. If they are not getting a well-balanced meal every day, dogs will search for and eat different things to balance their nutrition levels.

You may have to change their dog food in order to give your dog all the nutrition they need. But ask your vet first and let them advise you on this issue. There is a more important reason why you see your dog eating cat feces.

Your pet may have contracted a serious disease. If they are still hungry after getting their regular meal, it could be a sign of diabetes or Cushing’s disease. When you see your dog eating cat feces after eating their regular meal, then you should have the vet examine your pet.

The final thing your dog may be lacking is entertainment. They may have gotten tired of the toys you gave them, or you are not at home a lot, so they look for other things to keep their minds busy.

Often, that is when they go to the cat litter box and do some exploring. If the first two sources are not causing this problem, then maybe you need to get some interactive toys to keep your dog busy during the day.

Will my dog be OK after eating cat poop?

Golden Retriever sitting next to a woman on the floor with a cat in the woman's lap

Aside from the fact that our dog is eating cat feces, generally, it is not going to harm your pet. It is a natural thing, in many cases, for your dog to do but it is not something you can continue.

The reason you do not let it continue is that cat feces may be contaminated with the wrong type of bacteria or germs. If it is, then your dog will contract the same disease and end up being sick.

Even though puppies are born without bacteria in the intestinal tracks, it is a good idea to keep them away from eating any type of feces. They are very vulnerable to diseases and have no immunity built up to protect them from harm

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Do dogs outgrow eating cat poop?

Golden Retriever and a cat under a blanket

It does not seem like they do outgrow this fetish. The reason they may not outgrow it is that they may still be lacking nutrition in their diet, they may be sick, or they still get bored.

The best thing to do is either not have a cat in the house or keep the cat litter box somewhere your dog cannot reach it. This is good when you are indoors but when you take your dog outside for a walk or exercise, then you have to be careful where you walk your dog.

The biggest issue will be keeping your dog from eating anything with germs or parasites in them.

Some final words

Close up of a German Shepherd and and orange cat

When you own a cat and a dog at the same time, it is best to take precautions. Either put the litter box in a different room away from your dog or make sure he or she is fed a very nutritious meal.

Also, make sure your cat is healthy and has no parasites, etc. That way if your dog does eat cat feces, you know they won’t get sick.

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