Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop?

Mar 22, 2024 | Dogs & Puppies | 1 comment

Written by: Dmytro Kovalenko. βœ“ Medically verified by a licensed veterinarian: Mykhailo Ozmenchuk, DVM. Explore our editorial process.

Ever caught your dog red-pawed chowing down on cat poop? πŸˆβ€β¬›πŸ’© Yeah, it’s gross – but guess what? There’s a reason behind this bizarre behavior!

In this chit-chat, we’re getting cozy with the question: “Why do dogs eat cat poop?” Buckle up because we’re unraveling the mysteries, discussing potential harm, keeping an eye on symptoms, exploring how to break the habit, and, most importantly, how to lock down the litter box feast.

Why Does Your Dog Nom on Cat Poop?

Our modern dogs, with all their dog food options, would steer clear of the litter box, right? But nope, it’s not about hating their kibble – it’s about their wild side. Back then, their ancestors were hardcore scavengers, grabbing whatever they could to fill their bellies.

Cat poop, as nasty as it sounds, packs a punch of nutrients and protein due to those finicky feline diets. So, it’s like a little ancestral treat, if you will πŸ˜‚

my dog snoops in cat litter box

Is Cat Poop a Canine Catastrophe?

Time to address the elephant (or should we say, dog) in the room: Is your pup’s poop-snacking spree a health hazard? The good news is that it might not be a one-way ticket to doggy disaster. Most dogs won’t fall ill from the occasional litter box raid. But wait, there’s a twist!

“The caprophagia could have biological reason, which is normal in some life period, but also could be due to medical or behavour reasons (nutrition deficiency, anxiety,ect), which could have bad consequence for the pet, make them sick, etc. I would recommend don’t avoid this pets habbit and talk to your vet asap.” – Veterinarian Mykhailo Ozmenchuk.

Cats can carry some not-so-friendly parasites, like Toxoplasma gondii, that could hitch a ride into your dog’s tummy. While your pup’s immune system usually has their back, younger pups and those with weaker defenses might face some unwanted guests.

In addition, dogs eating poop can cause salmonella. Salmonella infections are most common in dogs who have a compromised immune system. – Food & Drug Administration (FDA) research.

How to Tell if Your Pup’s Been Sneaking Snacks

It’s time to put on your detective hatβ€”spotting the signs of a secret litter box rendezvous isn’t as tough as it sounds. Watch for strange behaviors, like newfound interest in your cat’s private bathroom affairs, sudden friendship with your feline friend, or an impressively bad case of doggie breath.

Call your vet if you’re scratching your head – they’re the real pet detectives!

Besides the litter box, ensure your home is safe from other dangers, such as poisonous plants for dogs, to keep your furry friend healthy and out of harm’s way.

Training Your Pup to Quit the Habit

So, you’ve caught your pup with their paw in the poop jar – now what? Breaking this unique habit takes some teamwork and a sprinkle of patience. First, double-check that your dog’s getting all the nutrients they need from their regular chow.

Sometimes, nutrient gaps can spark this odd behavior. Now, when your dog decides the litter box is their snack bar, swoop in with a fun toy or a drool-worthy treat. Positive vibes all the way, folks! And don’t skimp on the praise when they choose more civilized munchies.

dog cat poop

Tactics to Keep the Litter Box Off-Limits

Here’s the game plan – let’s stop the poop-eating party before it starts. Prevention is key, pals!

  • Elevate the Throne: If your cat’s bathroom is on the ground floor, lift it. Cats are like little gymnasts, while dogs might fumble the moves.
  • Training Bootcamp: Teach your dog cool commands like “leave it” or “drop it.” These magic words can work wonders when you catch them mid-cat-poop snacks.
  • Clean Sweep: Make litter box cleanup a regular gig. The less appealing the setup, the less tempted your dog will be.
  • Barrier Enchantment: Do you have a multi-pet household? Use baby gates or crafty setups to keep your pup away from the forbidden buffet.
  • Referee Mode: When your cat and dog are sharing space, play the referee. Keep watch to make sure no “treats” are exchanged.


You’re in on the inside scoop now – why dogs eat cat poop πŸ’© isn’t just a quirky canine mystery. Your dog isn’t trying to gross you out; they’re letting their wild side shine.

Armed with the info on why they do it and how to end it, you can lead your four-legged friend away from the litter box buffet and into a more refined, less stinky world. Here’s to a future filled with fun, fetch, and fewer facepalms!

In addition to addressing unusual eating habits, ensuring your dog has a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial. Did you know about the benefits of bone broth for dogs? To be a well-aware pet owner, discover the nutritional benefits of incorporating bone broth into your dog’s diet.


American paws divider



Why do dogs get obsessed with cat poop?

Dogs’ attraction to cat poop harks back to their ancestral scavenging instincts. Thanks to their protein-rich diet, cat feces hold an allure that’s hard for dogs to resist.

Can eating cat poop make my dog sick?

While not guaranteed to make your dog sick, there’s a risk. Cat poop can contain parasites like Toxoplasma gondii. While most dogs handle it fine, young pups and those with weak immune systems might face complications.

How can I tell if my dog’s been dining in the litter box?

Look for unusual behavior like heightened interest in the litter box, sudden closeness with your cat, or lingering bad breath. These might be signs your dog’s had a secret snack.

Is it possible to train my dog to stop eating cat poop?

Absolutely! Train your pup with “leave it” commands and reward them when they avoid the litter box. Ensuring a well-rounded diet can also help reduce the urge to snack on unsavory items.

What’s the harm in my dog eating some cat poop occasionally?

Occasional snacking might not cause harm, but it’s best to avoid it. Parasite exposure is a concern, and ensuring your dog gets all the necessary nutrients from its regular diet is essential.

Any tips for keeping my dog away from the litter box?

Elevating the litter box or using barriers like baby gates can help. Teaching “leave it” commands and cleaning the litter box regularly are effective strategies, too.

Should I worry if my cat and dog share space?

Not necessarily, but keep an eye on their interactions. Cats might not appreciate nosy dogs around their litter box. Use supervision and training to ensure harmony in your pet-filled home.

While it may concern pet owners, understanding the underlying causes can help address and prevent this habit. Remember, consulting with a veterinarian can also offer personalized advice and solutions tailored to your pet’s needs, ensuring they stay healthy and happy.


1 Comment

  1. PoopPatrolPaula

    Ugh, the cat poop dilemma! Our dog has this weird obsession. Your article shed some light on it. Anyone found a way to break this habit?


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