If you have cats and dogs in your home, you might find your canine friend nose deep in the cat’s litter box. While this can seem unsettling and gross to us, dogs do have a reason for this. There are ways to keep your dog out of your cat’s litter box.
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Why Do Dogs Raid The Litter Box?
Dogs are known to be very clean animals, they like their surroundings to be clean and organized. When there is feces in the litter box, their instincts tell them to get rid of it. It could also be that your dog actually likes the taste of cat feces. As long as your cat and dog are up to date on shots and have regular vet visits, the feces shouldn’t cause your dog to become sick.
Some dogs might gain some nutrition from the cat’s feces that they need. Unfortunately, your dog taking some snacks from the cat’s litter box might cause issues between the two. Your cat might not want to use their litter box anymore, or they might become wary and go in other places around the house.
It’s more common for puppies to raid a litter box than it is for an older dog to do so. This can be due to impulsive actions in puppies. Some dogs will even get into the litter box just because they are bored. No matter the reason, your dog should try and avoid eating your cat’s feces.
How To Keep The Dog Out of the Litter Box?
One thing to remember when trying to keep your dog from the litter box is this: will your cat still be able to easily get to it? You don’t want to accidentally keep your cat from their litter box because you want to keep the dog out.
Keep the Box Where Your Dog Can’t Go
There are different ways to block your dog from a certain area of the house. Many people will use a pet or baby gate, which still allows your cat the chance to easily jump over the gate. Others will install cat doors to the room that holds the litter box. While a cat door is a good idea, it might not work if you have a smaller breed dog.
If you choose to use a gate, you should find one that it easy for humans to get through as well. It can be a hassle to have to remove a gate and put it back every time you want to access a certain area of your house. There are baby gates that will block a doorway, but they have a swinging door that you can easily walk through and lock.
Clean the Box More Often
Now it’s impossible to scoop out your cat’s poop every time they go, but if you try to scoop it two or three times a day, this can keep your dog out of the litter box. If there’s nothing in there for them to eat, they’ll most likely leave it alone. This can also help to keep your cat happy. No one likes going into a bathroom with poop left in a toilet, cats don’t like it either.
Try a Covered Litter Box
There are so many different litter boxes to choose from when buying one. There are a lot of covered litter boxes – some that even have stairs for your cat to enter a completely enclosed area, some that your cat can just walk through a little door into and some that your cat can jump in from the top.
Depending on your cat, you can try one of these to keep your dog out of the litter box. Some cats don’t like to be trapped, so they might not like a covered litter box.
Train Your Dog
If you got your dog as a puppy, and you start to notice them going into the litter box, you can train them. It’s easier to train a puppy than it can be to train an adult dog.
Also, you are more than likely already training them other commands, so you should add an easy one to stay out of the litter box. Something simple, such as, “that’s not for you”, “no treats”, or “leave it alone”. These simple commands can help to teach your dog that they shouldn’t eat out of the litter box.
Place the Litter Box Higher
This one might seem odd to some people, but cats typically like to climb. If you have or make a flat platform for the litter box, you can put it somewhere that your dog can’t reach it.
This won’t work for every cat, especially ones that are older or have a hard time climbing or jumping. You should set up a cat tree or something similar nearby so that your cat can easily get to their litter box without any worries.
It’s not a guarantee that any of these solutions will work for your dog, but you can try some of them. It might take a while and some trial and errors before you find out what works best in your house. Just remember that you still want your cat to be able to easily access their litter box. The next time you see your dog going for the litter box, try one of these ideas.