Having both a kitty and a pup is not always as cute as it sounds. In reality, running a multi-pet household comes with many challenges. Moreover, some problems that arise are not only frustrating but also pretty nasty (pet parents you know what I’m talking about), such as your dog’s habit of eating your cat’s poop!
This is officially known as Coprophagia, but this is not the only litter related issue you might have with a pup in the house.
It’s equally frustrating if your dog is playing in the litter. It could stress out your kitty as well as dirty your floor with debris. We’re here to help you put an end to this cycle of bad behavior. Read on to discover our top ten tips and tricks for stopping your dog from getting into the litter box for good.
1.Clean the litter box ASAP
Dogs are naturally intrigued by your kitty’s litter box because of the smell. As soon as they get a whiff, they will go to investigate and often disrupt the litter bed. By cleaning the litter box straight after your cat has done its business, you can prevent the scent from reaching your dog’s nose and, of course, remove the waste before your dog does.
2.Ensure your dog is getting the right nutrition
A common cause of Coprophagia is lack of nutrition. If your dog is not getting the right nutrients, they will resort to eating waste as they are drawn to the high protein content it contains (Oh we know, gross).
To put an end to this concerning behavior, try switching their food to a better quality brand that has a higher protein content along with all the vitamins and minerals they need. Always be sure you are feeding sufficient portions too!
3.Keep your dog stimulated
Another reason why your pup may be hanging around the litter box is that they’re bored. This type of destructive behavior can be a sign that they lack stimulation and entertainment. Keep your dog busy with lots of walks and playtime to keep boredom at bay. This alone may be enough to curb this frustrating habit.
4.Buy a hooded litter box
Many hooded litter boxes on the market cover the tray with just a small entryway at the front. If you have a medium to large-sized dog, this could be a simple yet effective solution, as most entrances will be too small for your dog to get through.
Puppies and small breed dogs may still fit into the litter box, but the covered design could deter their interest. Furthermore, even if they get inside, they’ll find it harder to kick around and cannot scatter the litter across the floor.
5.Invest in an automatic litter box
What’s better than a hooded litter box is an automatic one! Many high-tech automatic litter boxes still have a hood covering the box, but they are much more hygienic. This is because you no longer need to scoop the litter yourself.
The cleaning process of each automatic litter box differs. However, many operate by separating the waste from the clean litter and then dumping it into a tightly sealed compartment. This traps all odors so your dog won’t catch a whiff nor will they have access to get at the poop itself.
Some of these advanced devices clean almost immediately after your cat has done its business. For example, the ChillX AutoEgg self-cleans just 5 minutes after each use, plus an additional four times a day. With an automatic litter box like this, your cat’s poop is taken care of before your dog has had the chance to get to it.
6. Train your dog
Unlike cats, you can abolish many dog behavioral issues by training them to obey you. Teaching the command to stay away could completely stamp out this frustrating behavior, though it requires some time and patience.
Every time your dog goes to the litter box, use a firm tone to issue a command to leave it. Reward them with a treat if they listen. If they don’t, repeat it in a louder tone. Once your pup starts to sense this is a command to stay away, they will follow suit.
7.Place the litter box on a higher surface
One of the many talents a cat has is the ability to jump high. They can typically jump much higher than dogs, so you can try placing your kitty’s litter box higher up. This could be on a table or counter, somewhere where your dog is not likely to reach.
This could be a smart solution if your kitty is young and active, but it’s not a suitable option for a senior or overweight cat with reduced mobility.
8.Install a pet gate
Many dog gates and child gates are designed in a way that lets cats easily slip through. You can prevent your dog from accessing the room with the litter tray by fitting one of these. This will be helpful for your kitty. They can do their business in peace, which could eliminate any litter box anxiety that your dog may be creating for them.
Depending on your home set up, this could be a great option, particularly for larger dogs. However, some young, energetic pups may still be able to jump over a gate with enough will.
9.Fit a cat flap
A similar option is to fit a cat flap on the litter box room door. This will give your cat lots of privacy and allow them to get to their box whenever they need it. Even so, it’s certainly not the most convenient option. You will need to keep the door closed at all times, and it will require cutting a hole in the door to install it.
So if you’re interested in a little home improvement project to benefit your cat this might be the option for you.
10.Feed your cat stool eating deterrent
Stool deterrents are chewable supplements specially made to stop your dog from eating poop by making it taste disgusting (even for a dog). By feeding your cat these supplements, their poop will start to taste so unpleasant that your dog will no longer find it appealing. Rest assured, they are safe for your kitty and pup too.
We know how frustrating our pets’ behavioral habits can be. But one thing’s for sure; as a pet owner, we learn as we go. We’re confident the above tips and tricks (sprinkled with a little patience) will bring more harmony and happiness into your multi-pet household.
This article has been brought to your courtesy of ChillX.co, to creators of the AutoEgg self cleaning litter box.