- Why do dogs go to the litter box and is it dangerous?
- What to do
- Other methods to keep dog out of litter box
- Summary: Tips to keep your dog out of the litter box
If a dog lives in the same house as a cat, then most likely it will want to explore the cat litter box. Dogs have a weakness for such places and especially for cat poop. This 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 and is it dangerous?
Even though it might be harmful for humans, dogs can still eat cat stool. Dogs are naturally scavengers and will eat anything that smells strong, even poop. Cat poop smells just like cat food to dogs, and that is why it is special. It’s almost like your dog has discovered the delicious nuggets in their litter box.
This behavior can be fun for your dog but should not be encouraged. 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 a parasite called toxoplasmosis. This can cause a condition that can provoke severe illness in humans.
If your dog is exposed to cat litter in sufficient quantities, it can cause intestinal obstruction.
This article provides more information for pet parents about why dogs eat cat poop and poop of other animals.
What to do
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 methods work.
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 to 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 are unable to do this, please try again and speak louder.
The dog will soon notice your intentions and follow you. This can take several days or even weeks to achieve.
Watch video about how to teach dog to “leave it”:
Limit access to 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 to. Indoor dog gates allow cats to slink freely while keeping dogs out. After installing the cat door, you can place the cat’s litter box in a spare bedroom or bathroom. Then, the regular door can be closed.
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 certain amount of space will be required to allow your cat to use it.
Install a gate
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 is unable to 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. This 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.
- When keeping large or medium-sized dogs outside, covered boxes are the best. 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 keep the lid on, you will need to be more careful when scooping out and cleaning your litter box.
- There are many other options for dog-proof boxes. Some cat litter boxes can only be accessed through the top. This means that any size dog or cat can enter them.
- You can search the internet to find the best litter box for your cat and your dog.
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.
Other methods to keep dog out of litter box
An invisible fence is possible
With an electronic collar you can install an invisible fence around your cat’s litter box. This is a more extreme and expensive option. The collar will stop your dog from getting near the litter box.
Jolts from the collar are safe, but some people don’t like the idea of shocking their dogs. You will need to make this decision, but there are other options that can prevent your dog from getting shocked.
Fit your dog with a muzzle
If all other methods of training and deterring have failed, muzzling your dog may be an option to prevent him from eating cat poop. You don’t have to use the same muzzle that you use for aggressive dogs. At some pet shops you may buy special elastic bands.
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. In case 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 so that it doesn’t become bored. This will keep it interested in trouble and prevent it from becoming complacent.
- Before you leave the house, make sure your litter boxes are cleaned.
- 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, this is not the best solution. Cats don’t love being enclosed when they’re pooping.
- You can use a cat door to allow your cat access to a room but not your dog. This is a more expensive option. Indoor doors are also available. They require a microchip to be opened. This will allow you to control access for small dogs that are similar in size to your cat.
- Try different blockade combinations to find the best combination for you and your pet. However, you should also use positive training techniques.
Tell me: What are some other ways you have to prevent dogs from using the litter box and cat poop?