Dogs can be very loving members of the family, but can also have some very bad habits now and then. They may howl or bark too much, they might chew on furniture or your favorite shoes, and may enjoy tipping over trash cans.
But when you have a dog that gets into your cat litter box, finding a way to solve this disgusting behavior is important.
Why Do Dogs Engage in this Gross Behavior?
There are a couple key reasons why your dog may insist on eating what they find in the litter box. It could be part of their normal behavior. Dogs are scavengers and willingly eat anything that remotely smells like food.
In the case of cat feces, it may still smell very much like the food they ate. A cat’s digestive tract is much shorter than some other animals, so many of the nutrients they ate are passed through their body.
A dog smells this and thinks it might be a suitable snack. Which creates the bad habit of them using the litter box as their own personal snack jar.
Another reason dogs may eat from the cat litter box is due to potential health problems. Cushing’s disease, intestinal maldigestion, or diabetes may leave your dog feeling hungry all of the time. If this is the case, they may attempt to eat anything they can find whether it’s in the trash can or litter box.
Ways to Stop Dogs Digging Around in a Litter Box
Keeping your dog out of the litter box is the easiest and most straightforward way of stopping this behavior. You can restrict their access to the box itself by using pet gates, or interior cat sized pet doors. Keeping your cat’s litter box in a different room and restricting how much the door can open can also keep the dog away from the box.
Cleaning your cat’s litter box often can also help. If you remove the feces as soon as they are left, your dog won’t have any chance of finding them to eat. However, this requires you to be able to clean the box at all hours of the day and night. This is not exactly the most reasonable solution for most people.
Training your dog to stay away from certain areas can also be a viable solution, but is the most time consuming. If you’re dealing with a puppy, however, training may be the best way to combat this bad behavior before it becomes a daily occurrence.
For older dogs, training may simply not work. Even with training, they may still attempt to sneak a few snacks when you aren’t looking or when you are sleeping or away from the house.
Dogs are wonderful companions to have in the family, but can have their own set of bad habits. When your dog gets into the cat’s litter box, you should try to break this bad habit as soon as possible through training, restricting access, or other methods.