How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Cat…Poop

Susan: I just adopted a Pomeranian last week from Harrisburg, PA Humane Society (great people) and I love her to pieces but she has one really bad habit, she eats cat poop. I understand it is common but how do I break her of it? She is 2 yrs old approx. according to the HS. Also her paperwork says she’s a long-haired Chihuahua but two breeders have told me she’s a pom, how do I tell what she is short of DNA test, it doesn’t really matter to me I would just like to know.

Doctor Debbie: The greatest difficulty in dealing with dogs that graze from the kitty’s litter box is that the behavior rewards itself. It sounds crazy to us, but dogs find enjoyment (reward) from eating the poop. It makes it very difficult to stop a behavior that is self rewarding especially since few of us can patrol the litter box 100% of the time. The way to fix this behavior is entirely about preventing access to the litter box. If your dog is prevented access to the area, then the memory of the “reward” will fade with time. Do not use scent or noise deterrents to keep your dog away from litter pan as this can have the unwanted result of keeping your cat out of the box and end up with urine/feces elsewhere in your home!

Methods that you can use include:

  • elevating the litter box area
  • restricting access to litter box area with a baby gate that cat can jump clear, but dog cannot
  • restrict access with a privacy barrier that blocks visual access to litter area like a piece of cardboard
  • keep litter box in separate room & install a kitty door that opens only with remote cat collar

As for figuring out the breed background of your pooch….I definitely recommend the DNA tests. Otherwise, you would just compare your pet’s appearance to that found in a dog breed book. Poms tend to have more of a “mane” than long haired Chihuahuas. But with mixed breeds all the typical guidelines on appearance get swirled together!

Good luck with your litter pan diving doggie! Let us know if you have any further questions!

Listen to Dr. Debbie on Animal Radio®   Animal Radio is a Radio Station that is “all animals”, and once featured President Pamela Spock from Affordable Agility as a special guest during a 6 week long agility training segment.