If you’re asking yourself, “Why does my dog eat cat poop?” rest assured – there is nothing abnormal about your dog!
Dogs eating cat poop is disgusting beyond imagination for us pet owners, but it is actually common canine behavior called “coprophagia”.
Why Your Dog Is Eating Cat Poop
For dogs, scavenging is survival. You’ve probably tried to stop your dog from eating off the floor, even on the street.
Cat poop is (unfortunately) no different!
Think about it from your four-legged furry friend’s point of view: since your dog would probably eat anything with an appeasing smell, like cat food, think of stool as the same. That being said, if there’s a bowl of cat food within range of your pooch, he will sniff his way to a meal.
Because cats’ digestive process is more or less ‘simple’, it produces stool with potentially undigested nutrients – protein, for example. This makes cat poop similar to cat food (for your dog, of course) in terms of both taste and smell, and therefore is what would attract him to eat it.
Could It Be Malnutrition?
Though coprophagia is normal and is the common justification, there might be underlying warning signs to your dog’s cat-poop-eating behavior.
There haven’t been a lot of studies done on this, but it is said that if your dog never misses a chance to eat a cat’s poop, it could be because they are missing some nutrients in their diet. This may not be the case, however, if you know your dog does get its adequate nutrients at home.
Also, look out for signs of intestinal malabsorption/maldigestion, diabetes, or diseases like Cushing’s disease: these health issues could make your dog perpetually hungry and would lead them to eat anything in their doggy sight.
Can It Make Them Sick?
Potentially, it can!
Though it often and thankfully passes as harmless, cat poop could possibly contain bacteria and parasites that could be transmitted to your dog via their cat-poop-eating habits.
So, try to avoid any possible health consequences altogether by trying to put an end to your dog eating cat poop.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Cat Poop
If you’re parent to both a canine and a feline, try placing your cat litter box out of reach from your dog. If your dog has access to almost everywhere in your house, it could be a good idea to invest in a baby gate that separates your dog from the general cat litter box area.
Sometimes, dogs will just eat cat poop they find on the floor in your neighbourhood when you take them out on a walk. Because there isn’t much to do there, make sure you just take your dog to the vet periodically to ensure he hasn’t contracted anything harmful from his cat poop scavenges.
We might not understand coprophagia, and it could be a very foreign, gross idea to us humans. But the relieving thing is that it does not pose a direct threat to your dog and does not mean there’s anything wrong with them.
Since it does come with some risks, just make sure to get them checked at the vet from time to time. Or for your peace of mind, try to prevent it altogether! But worry not – your dog is just exercising his normal canine nature.