Ask Stetson (The Dog!): Dogs and Cat Poop – A Love Affair

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Our dogs love to get into the cat box and eat their poop. What can we do to stop this gross behavior? – Sherry

There are many names for the treats found in the chest of forbidden treasures. My favorites are “kitty crunches,” “kitty tootsie rolls,” and “kitty rocas.” Whatever you call them, we dogs like to eat them! Most of us love to eat cat food, and not every bit of the food is digested by the time it leaves the cat’s body. This makes the cat’s poop taste really yummy.

However, as much as we dogs love to eat cat poop from the litter boxes, it is important to stop us from eating it. Cat litter can cause havoc with our digestion systems, and it can even cause a blockage if we eat too much clumping litter with the cat poop.

Listed below are some suggestions to help curb our taste for this “exotic” food.

Move the box. Put the litter box in a space only the cat can access, perhaps in a different room. You can also place a baby gate in front of the door where the litter box is located. The cat can jump over the gate to go into the room, or you can place the gate about 3-5 inches above the floor so the cat can scoot under it. You can also install a cat door that leads to a room where you keep the litter box. Putting the litter box up and out of our reach on a sturdy shelf can also help keep us out of the litter box.

Buy a dog-proof box. There are some dog-proof cat litter boxes on the market. Cleaver Cat makes a top entry cat box with a lid that works well at deterring most dogs. There are also litter boxes that are circler in shape making it hard for us to reach the litter. Many online companies make dog-proof cat boxes that look like furniture. You can also buy a covered litter box with a swinging door. Many of us dogs can’t figure out how to get into these covered boxes. The ones that can may get their heads stuck in the lid and that may stop them from their treasure seeking.

Turn the box. If you have a covered cat box, try turning the box towards a corner wall. Make sure you allow enough room for the cat to get into the box.

By Tonya Landon

Tonya Landon is a professional dog trainer with Diamonds in the Ruff. She rescued and trained Stetson, a small terrier with aggression issues, to be cast in the title role of the 2012 Stetson, Street Dog of Park City, a short film adapted from the children’s book written by Jeanine Heil.

If you have questions for Stetson, please send them to askstetson@gmail.com.

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