How to stop your dog from eating poop

It is not uncommon for dogs to eat their own feces or poop of other animals. This is their natural behavior, although it is very disgusting for us humans. The professional term for this is called Coprophagia, and why dogs eat poop can be related to numerous reasons. Anyhow, you are probably wondering about how do you stop your dog from eating his poop or how to stop your dog from eating cat poop. The answer to those questions can be seen below. The following are some main reasons why dogs eat feces and the solutions about how do you stop your dog from eating his poop.

Reasons Why the Dog Is Eating PoopDogs shake heads white

One of the most common reasons for a dog to eat its own poop is hunger. If the dog had not eaten his meals regularly, or if his dog food is not enough to satisfy his hunger, then the dog may start eating the feces of other animals. Besides hunger, excessive intake of food can also lead to a dog eating own poop or poop of another animal. The third reason for eating poop is because of worms and parasites present in the dog`s stomach. These parasites can deplete the nutrients, so the dog can start searching for alternative foods. Bad dietary habits are another reason why dogs eat poop. If the food lacks enough vitamins, minerals, and proteins, then the dog will naturally start looking elsewhere to replace the missing nutrients. Stress is another common reason for dogs to eat their poop because that can be seen as a way to divert their attention from stress. Boredom, experimentation, and lack of attention are a few other reasons for dogs to eat their poop.

An interesting fact is that female dogs are used to eat feces of their small puppies after they get born. This is their natural instinct to keep their puppies clean and to remove evidence of puppy scent. They do this in order to protect them from predators.

Some Ways to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop

People often ask how to prevent this disgusting dog habit. Below we have highlighted the best ways how to prevent your dog from eating feces. If you have a dog that is exhibiting this kind of behavior, you have a few options to fix the problem. The first thing you can do is to observe and manage the things every time your dog relieves himself. If your dog takes a poop in the yard, then always make sure that you will clean after he is done with his excretion. If the dog has a habit to run off and eat his poop after defecating, then keep him secure on the leash near you until he stops running and eating poop.

Training your dog
Another way of how do you stop your dog from eating his poop is to teach him commands when to ‘leave’ and when to ‘let go’. You can use toys to train your dog. Just give the dog some of his toys for him to play with and hold the one part of the toy. Give the dog a command to ‘let go’ and if the dog gives up pulling the toy, you can give him a nice treat as a reward.  Do this over and over again and your dog will learn to obey the command you give to him.

Diverting dog’s attention
When you go out on a walk with your dog and if your dog sees feces and wants to eat them, try to divert the attention of the dog by giving him some nice food treat. Reward him for his good behavior and eventually, you will learn how to stop your dog from eating cat poop easily. If your dog finds poop of another dog or cat and starts eating it, try to be patient and give a proper command to the dog. Avoid being angry or frustrated, and avoid yelling at the dog because he might get mixed signals about why you are yelling and may continue to eat the poop.

Changing dog’s lifestyle –  exercise and diet
Training dogIf you believe that your dog is not exercising enough, then you may consider taking him out for a longer time. That way he can run and walk with you, play games with you and if you give him good attention then the dog may stop going after poop and be more focused on you. If you think that the reason for your dog to eat feces is because his diet is not right, check out the food you are giving to him. If the food has low nutritional value and high amount of carbohydrates, then change his diet. Give the dog a better food with a larger number of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. You can ask your local veterinarian for advice about a good diet for your specific type of dog(Learn more about dog diet in our dog appropriate HP-LC diet article).

So instead of wondering how do you stop your dog from eating his poop, be active and do something for your dog. Another good thing to do regarding the eating habits of your dog is to add meat tenderizing ingredient to his meals. These ingredients have many enzymes that help the dog to better digest the food he eats. That way the dog will be less likely to eat his own poop or to run and eat someone else’s feces.

Making feces unpalatable
Additionally, a good method for how do you stop your dog from eating his poop is to add some pineapple juice to his regular food. One large spoon would be enough for most types of dogs. The pineapple juice works well in preventing your dog from eating feces. If you want to try more professional ways then you can buy some specially made liquids or other additives from a pet store. The natural additives have a good effect on most dogs in preventing them to go after eating their poop.

Pineapple juice

Finally, if none of the methods seem to work and you believe that your dog is eating poop because of some medical reasons, then schedule an appointment in the veterinarian office and get your dog examined. The vet will be able to determine the root cause why your dog is eating feces and will suggest the best ways for eliminating that bad habit.


Hopefully, after applying some of these solutions, you will be able to withhold your companion from eating feces

How To Stop Your Dog from Eating Cat Food

Most dogs like to eat, I mean a lot! Sometimes we can’t stop wondering because a dog with a weight of about 30lbs seems to eat as much as a full grown human adult would. Dogs often find cat food more appealing than their own kibbles. Why so? First, there is a difference in nutrition when comparing dog food with cat food. Food that’s made for cats have way more protein – a higher percentage of meat which may be one of the causes. Your dog also might want some extra food because of improper scheduled feeding. At the end, there are a ton of reasons with many answers, but for most, it’s just because they are dogs and food in their eyes is and stays food. Therefore in this article, we will learn how to stop your dog from eating at food and can it do any harm for your barking friend.

Things to do to stop your dog from eating from cat’s bowl:

  •  Training dog for not eating from cat’s bowl
    The first is the most reasonable thing to do – training your dog. With a proper training, your dog will know that it can only eat from its own bowl. This can be done similarly as training your dog not to take food from the ground.
  •  Place your cat’s bowl on a higher surface
    Placing your cat’s bowl somewhere higher where your dog can’t access it is a superb and easy solution. All it takes is placing the bowl in a different location and that’s it. Cat’s are natural climbers, they can jump and climb there where your dog never could. A good idea is placing a bowl with cat food on a cat tree or a large enough shelf where your cat can climb safely.
  •  Scheduled feeding
    Not only dogs can have scheduled meals. We advise feeding your cat and dog at the same time so they are busy eating their own food. To make it more effective, feed each of them in different areas. Scheduled feeding is a way to go.
  •  Using pet doors or gate
    At last, you can use a pet gate or doors so only your cat gets to pass it. In the result, a dog won’t be able to access cat’s bowl.

What if my cat eats dog food?Dog with cat food

In most cases, this isn’t anything to worry about as all premium dog foods will be just fine for your cat, even for yourself. If your cat steals a kibble or two once in a while, it’s completely normal. However, with time this can develop into a habit and there is a risk of obesity. One thing to note is that you can’t feed your cat with a dog food alone. As we already learned there is a difference in nutrition. Dog food lacks some vitally important things for a cat like taurine and A vitamin as well as has lower protein levels. All these three things are very important for your cat to be healthy.

Are there any health concerns if my dog eats cat food?

To calm you down – in most cases there will be no complications from a dog eating cat food. Dog’s eat some cat food all the time. By the way, you may feel free to give your dog a small pack of cat food if you have one laying around. However, all dogs are not the same and some may have some symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea especially if they eat cat food in large amounts. To cure this, just limit your dog from accessing cat food with one of the methods shown above.

Dog health care

Medical aspect
Cats are carnivores. Felines have a very protein oriented nutritional needs. Dogs on the other hand, just like bears are more omnivores despite being classified as carnivores. They will do the best with starch-rich diet. For a healthy cat, it’s vitally important to have taurine and amino acids in their diets. Both of these can be found in animal flesh. Dog’s can do just great with a diet that contains less protein and their bodies can produce amino acids from vegetable oils. A sudden large dose of protein can cause your dog to feel sick. However, in long term, a great amount of protein can be hard for your dog’s liver.

Another thing to mention that large amounts of cat food can build up fat, especially if your dog lacks exercise. This can lead to obesity. Kitten food is more harmful of all as it has an extra high dose of protein and fat.

You can learn more about dog diet in our Why dogs are carnivores and the appropriate HP-LC diet article.

Final words

At the first sight dog and cat food might seem the same, but if we take a closer look, we will see that they are completely different.

Eating few kibbles of cat food won’t harm your dog. However, if this happens regularly, you should use some solutions and bits of advice mentioned above. In long term, cat food usage with its protein-dense nutrition can make it hard digestible and upset your companions stomach. Unlike cats, dogs don’t need so much taurine and can create their own arachidonic acid. Research has shown that dogs can digest starch-rich diet as they are domesticated over the years.

So to make it simple – if your dog consumes cat food in large amounts, you have to find a way how to stop this. However, eating few chunks of food that are meant for your cat won’t do any harm.

How do you keep dogs out of cat litter box?

Sometimes I’m surprised what dogs can eat – ranging from eating cat food, human food, raw vegetables and so on. Unfortunately, dogs have a reputation also for eating poop. Let’s face it, a dog at least few times in its life have tried to eat feces. Maybe it was as a puppy or sometimes even as an adult dog, but that’s what they do. Reasons for dogs feasting with the content of litter box can be various.

Dogs like to have their home clean, so if a litter box is near by, they won’t hesitate. Same as human babies want to taste everything, puppies love to explore the world around them and try different new things. Does your dog really like the taste of cat feces? In fact, they might as cat food contains a lot more protein than dog food does, therefore, even a poop might seem like a good snack for your barking friend. In this article, we will explain how to stop your dog from visiting cat litter box and eating cat feces.

Why dogs eat poop?

At first, this might seem strange and disgusting. Why doesn’t my dog understand that it is a poop and it’s not made for eating. The real answer is: they do so because it tastes good. Cats, as well as other animals, may not process and digest their food properly leaving some valuable nutrition (dogs are mostly after protein). Eating poop is very common in puppies but as the dog gets more mature, it loses this nasty habit.

Can it harm my dog?

dogs eat poop

In most cases – no. Your dog will be just fine if it has eaten cat feces. In the worst case, this can result in vomiting and diarrhea. There shouldn’t be any serious health concerns. Just make sure your cat has had worming medicine and has no internal parasites.

However, if cat feces doesn’t hurt your companion, you shouldn’t think it’s fine for your dog to snack once in a while. If this happens on daily basis, there definitely needs something to be done. First of all, owners find it very disgusting. Dog’s breath isn’t the most fragrant by its own, even more, if it eats cat poop. You sure don’t want your dog to lick you after having this kind of feast.

How to stop it?

Mostly all dog owners who face this issue want to fix it as it’s just disgusting. There are many ways how to do this starting from placing cat litter box in the area that your dog can’t access up to training your companion not to eat what isn’t allowed.

HM tip: Before performing anything, think a while if it affects your cat. For example, will your cat be able to access its litter box? Cat doesn’t have to suffer from your dog’s nasty habits.
  1. Keep your cat’s litter box as clean as possible.
    If the litter box won’t contain any feces, there simply won’t be anything your dog could eat. Most cat owners scoop their boxes once a day. I bet living with your cat day by day you know it’s daily rhythm. Scoop as often as you can. When leaving, block your dog from accessing litter box.
  2. Train your dog not to eat what’s not allowed.
    If you have time to devote training your dog, this is the best option as you won’t have to change anything in your daily rhythm and cat litter box location. To do so you will have to watch your dog and whenever it wants to visit litter box, call him and say no. If he obeys you, give him a treat. A proper dog treat should look more appealing in your dog eyes than cat feces. Over time and with some patience, your dog won’t visit cat litter box anymore.
  3. Make your dog busy doing other stuff.
    If your companion is bored, naturally it will look for things to do including visiting cat litter box. To prevent this you can get your dog an interactive dog toy or spend some time playing with it yourself. Make sure there are enough physical activities. The busier your dog will be, the less often it will visit cat litter box.
  4. Place litter box there, where the dog can’t access it.
    Cats are natural climbers and jumpers. They can access the highest shelf with ease when your dog can only dream about it. However, this doesn’t mean you have to place your cat’s litter box somewhere extremely high. Just place it on an elevated surface. Overall we don’t recommend this as its impractical and your cat might not like it. However, we have heard reports that small elevation helped.
  5. Using a covered litter box.
    A great solution is using a litter box with a cover. It’s great especially if your dog is larger than your cat. If not, this probably won’t be so effective. One thing you have to keep in mind that cat might not be accustomed to a closed litter box at the start.

The best solution – blocking dog’s access to litter box

The most sensible choice is limiting your dog’s access to cat litter box. For an example, you can use cat door or a baby gate. Your dog won’t be able to get past it (small dogs might manage to). When you are leaving your home you can separate your pets. Combine this with regularly cleaning cat litter box and this issue should be solved.