Why Do Dog Eat Cat Poop? The Science Behind It And How to Fix It

By Davis Wilkins •  Updated: 02/15/22 •  8 min read

Have you ever wondered why dogs eat cat poop? This can be a foul subject to discuss, but I’ll give some insights into the behavior of your particular dog.

Is it a developed habit? Is he sick? A habit or not a habit?

Many dogs experience a fascination with cats and their waste. Dogs tend to be very curious and it’s important to understand that when they eat cat poop, they are not doing so out of spite or because they hate your feline friend.

Instead, every dog owner should be aware of the reasons behind this behavior.

Well, I know that this may sound disgusting. But there is a clear scientific explanation on why your dog will adopt this develop this awful behavior.

Science has it that your dog eats cat poop because it is attracted by the protein content in the waste.

The irksome behavior may also act as a clear indicator that your dog could be suffering from vitamin deficiency and may be in need of additional vitamin B.

Worse still, your dog could be visiting the litter box just because it is boring. The dog adds a little sense of excitement to their day just by visiting the litter box.

I will help you to understand dogs better because this situation can really amaze and disgust you at the same time!

Why do dogs eat cat poop?

  1. Your dog could be eating kitty litter because it enjoys the entire process, much to your disgust. Dogs are scavengers by creation. That said, cat poop is just one of the things your dog may scavenge and make a feast.
  2. Your dog could be eating cat’s poop because it’s protein-rich and has a mouth-watering taste. Cat’s poop has some nutritional value since your kitties don’t completely digest their food. However, your dog could ingest parasites when eating cat feces. This reveals why it’s a good idea to make sure that it stops before it’s late.
  3. Doggy eating cat’s poop could be a behavior it borrowed from its mother as a puppy. Mama dogs tending to their young ones consider collecting wastes in their environs as a crucial housekeeping chore. Puppies copy this trait from their momma. While some dogs outgrow this poor behavior, others chose to die hard with it.
  4. If a dog isn’t getting enough nutrients, he might turn to eating cat feces for additional nutrients.
  5. Eating cat feces can also be caused by a condition known as Pica. This is when an animal eats things that aren’t food and are often harmful to them. This can be a serious condition, so it’s best if you get checked out by the vet if you think this is the case with your dog.

Why do female dogs eat cat poop

Female dogs eat cat poop due to the reasons listed above. Both male and female dogs will eat cat poop due to more or less the same reasons.

What are the side effects of a dog eating cat poop?

Unfortunately, your dog could be getting much more than the kitty’s nuggets when it goes treasure hunting in the cat litter box.

Apart from the tasty treat, your dog could get infested with dangerous parasites just waiting for the best host to continue their lifecycles.

Inadequate circumstances, your cat’s droppings could create a favorable waiting point for infectious eggs laid by roundworms whipworms, and hookworms.

Research also reveals that protozoans like giardia consider the cat’s poop as a great place to wait for hosts.

Dog in suit

Will it hurt my dog to eat cat poop?

Yes, it will hurt your dog to eat cat poop.

If the cat has a parasitic infection, the parasites may be passed on to the dog in its feces.

Some of these harmful bacteria and parasites can cause diseases in your dog and end up hurting him.

Your vet may advise you to deworm your dogs and cats regularly as a precaution.

Symptoms of dog eating cat poop

The problem with your dog eating cat poop is that it can make him sick. Here are some symptoms to watch out for if you think your dog has been eating cat feces:

  1. Diarrhea.
  2. Pain in the abdomen.
  3. Vomiting.
  4. Dehydration from diarrhea and/or vomiting
  5. Lethargy
  6. Fever

My dog ate cat poop and is throwing up. What do I do?

Another symptom of a dog eating cat poop is vomiting. If your dog has eaten cat poop, then he might vomit it out.

This is the body’s way of getting rid of anything that is indigestible and cannot be digested well by the body system.

Contact your veterinarian immediately to seek medical help.

As a first-aid measure, rehydrate your dog by giving him fresh water.

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Cat Poop in the Garden

Adopting one or more of these tips could come in handy in ensuring that your dog puts a halt to this filthy trait.

1.    Use a dog proof litter box:

A dog-proof litterbox could come in handy when you want to prevent your pup from reaching the cat’s feces.

Most specifically, an enclosed litterbox could work miracles in this endeavor.

You could make the decision of ensuring that your litterbox is placed on a non-slip mat and putting it in a strategic location such that the opening faces a corner to assist in deterring your dog.

However, you must ensure that the space left is just enough to allow your kitty to move in and out of the litterbox at will.

This will ensure that your cat doesn’t poop in the garden and your dog doesn’t feed on the poop in the garden.

2.    Use a stool deterrent for cats:

A stool deterrent for cats is the best option for you if your dog won’t just keep its mouth away from the kitty’s poop in the garden.

You only need to sprinkle the cat poop taste deterrent on the cat food to make his feces less appealing to doggy.

Go for a deterrent that will alter the cat’s stool taste and smell without altering the flavor of your cat’s food.

Most of the cat food deterrents will not affect the kitty’s digestive process at all.

3.    Train your dog:

Even though this will require dedication, you must take a small portion of your time to train your dog to steer clear of kitty’s poop.

However, be sure to adopt consistency and patience as you initiate the training until you get the desired results.

Firmly discourage your dog from approaching the litterbox or digging any hidden treasure outside your house.

This will make your dog turn away from the cat’s feces and towards you.

Be kind to praise him and grant him a great treat once he succeeds.

dog looking across fence

How to stop dog from eating cat poop home remedies

  1. Clean up the dirty litter box as soon as possible after your cat has been in it. Your dog will be less likely to eat poo if it is not lying around for him to get his teeth into.
  2. Add a cat poop deterrent for dogs in the cat food that will alter the taste of the poop and deter your dog from eating feces.
  3. Keep the cat litter box in a separate room. Make sure the door to the room where the litter box is kept stays closed and locked at all times. Your dog should not have access to this room or the cat litter box at any time. Invest in a cat door that only allows the cat to pass through the door, but will lock your dog out.
  4. Keep your dog busy with toys and other activities to distract them from trying to eat cat poop.
  5. Consider purchasing a dog-proof litter box. This is designed to keep the dog from the cat’s litter box.
  6. Make sure your dog has adequate food, water, and minerals available at all times so he won’t be tempted by anything else.


I’m sure most dog owners have come across this situation before and at some point, it may happen to you too.

If you would like to find out why your dog eats cat poop, what you should do about it, and how to prevent your dog from eating poop, then this article is definitely for you.

While it may seem gross, there are a lot of reasons why most dogs do it. Most likely, your dog will continue this behavior regardless of its reason for doing so.

However, by knowing the reasoning behind the behavior, you can better handle and prevent it from happening again.

Which of these tips on how to stop a dog from eating cat poop do you think is most effective?

Davis Wilkins

Davis Wilkins is a dedicated cat lover, with three cats under his care. He grew up in a cat-loving family, nurturing these feline friends. As a result, he purposed to share his cat knowledge with the universe. Wilkins has been writing professionally for over four years, specializing in feline care with a keen interest in litter box care and handling. He hopes to help other feline lovers achieve their pet care goals.