October 20, 2023

Keep Those Kisses Fresh: How To Keep Your Dog Out Of The Litterbox

Litterbox snacks really put a damper on doggie kisses and can lead to health problems. Learn why your pup loves the litterbox so much and ways you can prevent this at home.

Dog watching cat in the littervox

As loving pet parents, there's nothing quite like the joy of our furry family members greeting us with affectionate kisses. However, eating poop, whether from the litter box or outside, can put a damper on those delightful moments.

Understanding Coprophagia

Coprophagia, or eating poop, is a common behavior among dogs, often driven by their natural curiosity and exploratory instincts. Some dogs may engage in this behavior due to boredom or as a response to their keen sense of smell and taste. While it may be a natural inclination for some dogs, it poses potential health risks to our beloved pets.

Risks Associated with Litter Box Snacking:

Not only is coprophagia an unpleasant habit, but it can also expose our pets to various health risks. Dogs indulging in litter box snacks may contract intestinal parasites such as roundworms or giardia. Furthermore, the presence of Salmonella in feces can be transmitted to pet parents through kisses, posing a particular threat to young children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems. Additionally, the litter itself, with added essential oils or crystals, can be toxic, and excessive consumption may lead to issues like sand impaction.

Tips for Keeping Your Pet Away from the Litter Box:

Location, Location, Location:

Consider relocating the litter box to areas less accessible to your dog, such as a different level of the house, a bathroom, or spaces they don't typically frequent.
Explore options like cat doors or baby gates to create a barrier that allows cats easy access while keeping dogs out.

Enclosed Litter Boxes:

If you're not already using one, an enclosed litter box may be an effective deterrent for dogs. The barrier can make it less enticing for them to explore.

Distraction Techniques:

When you notice your dog heading towards the litter box, grab a favorite toy and engage them in play. This positive association can help shift their focus away from the litter box.

Consulting with The Pros:

Your veterinarian is a valuable resource for addressing behavioral concerns. They can provide insights into the specific needs and triggers of your dog and offer advice on deterring them from the litter box.
You may also benefit from contacting a qualified trainer who can work with you and your dog.

While these snacks may be a common behavior, understanding the risks and implementing preventive measures can ensure a healthier and more enjoyable relationship between you and your pet.