How to Keep a Dog Out of a Litter Box? 10 Proven Ways to Keep Dog From Eating Cat Poop

Pet owners that love to have cats and dogs in their home will probably have this common dilemma. It is the fact that their dog pet would find their way into the cat litter box and have a taste of what’s in there. You would find it gross but your pet pooch will not think any of that. Be a responsible owner and keep your dog away from the cat’s litter box.

Here is the method’s you can do to stop your dog bad habits:

1. Raise the Cat Litter Box away From the Floor

Cat’s can climb and jump thus it will not be a problem if you keep the cat litter box away from the floor. Raise the cat litter box on a table, countertop, or any place that wouldn’t have your dog’s access. Be sure to train the cat on where the Litter Box is and get them familiarized with the right place. 

You have to be careful especially with larger dogs that are taller when standing. Another downside to this is you might get gross because you can easily see it plus the bad smell will be more obvious.

2. Have an Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box

There are modern litter boxes now that you can use in your home. This one will automatically clean the waste which can be a good alternative for busy cat owners. In addition, your dog will not be able to eat anything inside because it is clean and maintained.

3. Install a Pet Gate for Cats

One of the obvious ways to keep your dog away from the cat litter box is by installing a gate around it. Cat’s are small and flexible so you will not have a big problem giving them access. There are pet gates in the market that are designed to let cats pass while the dogs cannot.

4. Clean The Poop Immediately

You can opt for this method if you are a pet owner that is always around the house and diligent enough to clean. Besides, it is really your responsibility to clean to avoid unpleasant smells around the house. Unfortunately, not everyone can do this because of many personal reasons but it’s gonna be effective as well as efficient. Furthermore, you won’t need to buy an expensive self-cleaning litter box because that traditional litter box is enough because of the frequent cleaning.

5. Cover The Litter Box

The easiest way to avoid the dog from scavenging in the cat’s litter box is by putting a cover in it. Although you may think that it is wonderful and proper to look at, the thing with the covered litter box is that your cat may have found it challenging and scary. Most felines love mental stimulation that’s why opening the litter box will not be a problem. However, some felines will look at it as a trap and a danger.

Your cat may experience stress because of the confined spaces. Although, if your cat is trained and fine with the covered litter box then it’s good. But if your cat is not okay with it then it’s best to find other options to do.

Furthermore, there could be a problem with a closed litter box because your dog might be curious and shake the entire thing. It will be a disaster plus a headache for you.

6. Entertain Your Dog

You won’t be having a problem if your dog has a  bad habit if they are well entertained and active. Dog’s that have an eventful and well-exercised life will spend most of their time playing, exercising, or sleeping because they are tired. Boredom will cause the dog to be curious and they may find the next kitty litter box to explore.

7.Provide Enough Food

No matter how full stomach the dog can be they will still love to have treats and snacks for themselves. Some dogs are content with their meals. Thus you have to make sure that you provide dog food that is enough for your dog. In addition, to prevent them from looking for food when hungry, try to feed them at the same time each day to create a routine.

8. Train Your Dog

Another solution but requires a lot of patience is training your dog not to do it. Watch out if the dog starts to get near the litter box and command him to “stop it”. When the dog obeys your command, reward him with treats. Do it repeatedly until your dog starts to get used to it and completely avoid the litter box.

Be sure to keep an eye on the litter box all the time because your dog might be tricking you and they will get near it when you are gone.

9. Dog Proof Door Latch

Dog proof door latch will open a door with just enough space for the cat to pass through. The provided space by the latch will be too narrow for your dog. However, it might not be ideal for dogs that are almost the same in size as your feline companion. 

You can keep the litter box in the next room without allowing the dog to come inside. 

10. Keep Your Dog in Crate

If you decide to clean the litter box frequently without the aid of an automatic or covered litter box then you can keep the dog in a crate. You can do this if you still have something to do and you decide to clean the box later on.

Why Does My Dog Eat Cat Poop?

Your dog eats cat poop because of the strong smell coming from the cat’s waste. The smell of Cat food appeals to them. That’s why they are always ready to scavenge in the litter box. Furthermore, dogs have this natural behavior to eat anything they’ve found.

Your dog might still see the cat poop as cat food since your dog loves to munch on your cat’s meals too. They may not see the difference and still view the cat’s waste as something they could eat.

Photo from: (@pawkwardcats)

Can Dogs Get Sick by Eating Cat’s Poop?

There is a possibility that your dog may get sick because feces contains a lot of bacteria. Your dog may be exposed to pathogens that can cause harm if it continues to be taken by your dog. A cat’s waste may contain salmonella, campylobacter, clostridia, and parasites. Your dog can have a disease called Toxoplasmosis and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Cat’s feces may be non-toxic to you but it does not mean that your dog is allowed to eat it.

1. Toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a single-cell parasite called T.gondii that can be acquired by ingesting feces or raw food. The parasite does not complete its life cycle on dogs but it can cause serious infection throughout the dog’s body.

Once the dog ingested the parasite through the cat’s stool it will enter the gastrointestinal tract of the dog. It will clone and replicate itself and spread to all areas of the dog’s body. Consequently, it will create cysts in various tissues and organs of the dog.

Moreover, the following symptoms are evident on your dog once the parasite is in the body:

*Eye Infections

*Inflammation

*Weight Loss

*Partial or Complete Paralysis

*Weakness in Muscles or areas of the Body

*Lethargy

*Depression

*Diarrhea

*Cough

*Fever

Look out for these symptoms especially if you have a cat inside the house. You should have a regular check-up with the vet so that you always know the condition of your dog’s health.

Can You Get Toxoplasmosis From Your Dog?

Technically, toxoplasmosis can be contracted by humans but because your dog can’t be a host to the parasite. You will not get toxoplasmosis from your dog. Humans can get the disease from consuming raw meat and from not washing their hands before eating. In addition, pet owners should clean their hands properly after cleaning the cat’s poop to avoid toxoplasmosis.

2. Giardia

It is a protozoan organism that can be passed on through a cat’s feces. Giardia comes out in the poop as a cyst and it can cause your dog to be extremely ill. The parasite does not have to be ingested by your dog, because even if your dog is just sniffing the poop, it will go inside the dog’s nose. It will then stay in the body for a long time and cause damage.

Thankfully, giardia can be treated through medication plus if the dog’s immune system is strong then they will not be easily defeated by the disease.

3. Ringworms

A cat may have worms on its body and may come out in its poop. Ringworms may multiply in the body and cause serious damage to your dog.

4. Salmonella

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause diarrhea in your dog. In addition, it will weaken the dog if the salmonella enters the bloodstream.

5. E.coli

E.coli may cause diarrhea to your dog. It will be a major discomfort and can affect your pup’s life.

What Should I Do If My Dog Just Ate Cat’s Poop?

Yes, seeing your dog eat cat’s poop can be horrifying and gross. But before you even vomit on the side, consider your dog’s safety and health first. You might get confused about what to do next,  but we’ve got the following list to help you.

1. Isolate Your Pup

What you need to do is to isolate your pup so that he can’t eat more. In addition, you have to set them aside because you may not want a dog licking furniture or you after they’ve eaten the cat’s waste.

2. Clean The Dog’s Mouth

As much as possible you will have to clean your dog’s mouth by brushing its teeth to avoid the Poopy smell. Let them drink water or wash their mouth to avoid parasites and bacteria.

3. Observe The Dog’s Well-being

You can’t make your dog vomit what it just consumes thus you have to carefully observe your dog’s wellbeing at this stage. Increase its immune system and give them lots of fluid.

4. Consult Your Vet

The most efficient solution is to bring your dog to the vet right away. When you do this, the doctor can immediately check your dog’s health. So that if there is a parasite it can be avoided immediately.

Photo from: (@familyofchow)

Can Cat’s Poop Kill My dog?

Yes, there’s always a possibility that your dog will die if they ate cat poop. The parasites, worms, and bacterias can slowly kill and damage the dog’s immune system. Negligence to your dog’s behavior may also be the reason that they’ll die. It’s possible that you did not bring your dog to the vet or you just allowed the behavior to continue until the disease got worse. Furthermore, the effect also depends on your dog’s age, health, and lifestyle.

Dog’s that are malnourished will have weaker immune systems and older dogs may have deteriorated health as well. These are the ones that will be easily affected when they ate cat poop. In addition to that are dogs that have no exercise and an active lifestyle. You should always provide your dog with healthy foods and exercise so that they can fight diseases and illnesses that arise.

There are times that your dog will eat cat poop when you are not around. To avoid painful loss and more expensive medication, make it a point to always separate the cat litter box or put a gate around it. You can try the precautions above and choose the solution to your cat and dog’s living situation. Furthermore, if it happens to your dog, do not scold them right away. Clean them and make sure that it won’t happen again. Cat poop is harmful as well as the litter, therefore stay away from your dog to avoid them from eating toxic litter from the box.

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