If a dog lives in the same house as a cat, then it will most likely want to explore the cat litter box. Dogs have a weakness for such places and especially for cat poop. It can become a real problem and even cause the spread of the infection.
Here’s the good news: there are a few ways for you, how to keep dogs out of the litter box! You can feel happiness and harmony in your household by choosing the best option.
Why do dogs go to the litter box? Is it dangerous?
Don’t think your dog is particularly foolish. Almost everyone has a poop problem. Dogs are natural scavengers and will eat anything that smells strong, even poop. Cat poop stinks just like cat food to dogs, which is why it is special.
This behavior can be fun for your dog but should not be encouraged. Why is it dangerous for dogs to eat cat poop?
- Your dog could get sick from harmful bacteria in cat feces, such as salmonella.
- According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, it can also contain toxoplasmosis. This parasite can cause a condition that provokes severe illness in humans.
- Also, it can cause intestinal obstruction.
Learn more about - why dogs eat poop and how to deal with it?
How to keep a dog from a cat’s poop?
It might not be easy to keep your dog from the litter box. Your dog’s size, temperament, and training ability will determine the best method. You might have to consider whether your cat will be able to influence which strategies work.
I have prepared an infographic with all the ways to stop a dog from eating cat poop. Save it to your Pinterest, so you don’t forget it.
Try to train a dog
It is as simple as telling your dog to “stop it” and “leave it.” These commands can help your dog stop being a nuisance and improve its behavior.
Make sure you have enough treats on hand before you start dog training. Rewarding your dog for good behavior will reinforce its commands and help it behave in a certain way.
These steps will teach your dog to “leave it”:
- Keep an eye on your dog to teach the commands. Stop it from approaching the litter box by giving it a “stop it” command or “leave it”.
- Reward it if it obeys your commands and does the right thing.
- If you cannot do this, please try again and speak louder.
The dog will soon notice your intentions and follow you. It can take several days or even weeks to achieve.
Watch the video about how to teach a dog to “leave it”:
Limit access to the cat litter box
It might be worth considering to keep your cat’s litter box locked up in an area only you and your cat have access. For this, you can use:
- cat door (allow cats to slink freely while keeping dogs out);
- a dog-proof door latch (can be purchased that allows a cat to pass through the door but is too small for a dog. If your dog is very close to your cat, this won’t work);
- a pet gate can be used to prevent your dog from getting into the litter box. Your cat should be able to jump well enough to pass the gate. If your cat cannot jump, place the gate in the doorway so your cat can crawl underneath.
If your cat is much smaller than your dog, a pet gate placed a few inches above the ground will work. You can set the gate up at the floor level if your cat is about the same size as your dog and place a stool or box next to it so that your cat can jump over.
Get rid of poop immediately
If you spend enough time in the house, just clean up cats’ poop as often as possible. It can be enough to keep your dog away from the litter box. It won’t work for everyone.
Some cat litter boxes can be programmed to automatically clean up after the cat has purged itself. Even so, dogs that are fast may still be able to get in on the cleaning process.
Buy kitty litter box with cover
There are many dog proof litter boxes on the market. It comes with a special lid that can be placed over regular litter boxes.
Although the opening is large enough to allow a cat to climb into the box, it is also small enough to prevent a dog from getting in the box beyond its limit. Smaller dogs may be able to enter the litter box more easily.
A covered litter box will keep your dog safe, but it can also trap the smell. If you own the lid on, you will need to be more careful when scooping out and cleaning your litter box.
Good advice: Keep Your Dog Occupied. You could find your dog eating poop out of boredom. In this case, distraction might be a solution. Dog owners can keep their pet busy with toys.
Summary: Tips to keep your dog out of the litter box
- To stop your dog from eating the poop, teach it the “Leave It” command. If you are a bit late, and your dog already has cat poop in its mouth, teach it the “Drop It” command. Teach your dog to wait, and make sure it doesn’t go in the litter boxes, even while you clean them.
- Keep your dog active and busy when you are away to not become bored. It will keep it interested in trouble and prevent it from becoming complacent.
- Before you leave the house, make sure your litter boxes are clean.
- Try using gates or a lock. Do not punish your dog for eating poop.
- Some fur parents use covered cat boxes to stop dogs from eating cat feces, but this is not the best solution. Cats don’t love poop in enclosed spaces.
- You can use a cat door to allow your cat access to a room but not your dog. It is a more expensive option. Indoor doors are also available. They require a microchip to be opened. It will allow you to control access for small dogs similar in size to your cat.
- Try different blockade combinations to find the best variety for you and your pet. However, it would be best if you use positive training techniques.
Tell me: What other ways you have to prevent dogs from using the litter box and cat poop?