5 min read

How To Get Your Dog To Stop Eating Kitty Litter Already

<p> <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/1d5wn9/my_friends_cat_and_dog_like_snuggling/" target="_blank">reddit/mdb7</a> </p>

Do you find yourself reaching for the litter scooper just to discover that someone has already cleaned the litter box (and it certainly wasn't your roommate)? Does you dog look on guiltily, litter stuck to his sweet, wet nose?

The struggle is real, and it's called "coprophagia"- the eating of poo. This behavior is common in dogs, especially puppies.

If your dog is raiding the litter box, you should speak with your vet to make sure it isn't an indication of boredom or poor nutrition. But most likely, it just means your pup enjoys protein-packed snacks and has never heard of personal boundaries.

While your dog is still learning that eating poo is a no-no, here are five tactics the ASPCA advises for preventing him from sneaky-feasting:

1. Make the litter box inaccessible to your dog by elevating it somewhere your cat can comfortably jump, but your dog can't reach.

Consider purchasing a carpeted kitty tree to help her with the transition.

Note: Be sensitive to your cat when relocating her litter box. Wouldn't it stress you out if you didn't know where your toilet was when you needed it? Make necessary changes gradually, and only if your cat seems comfortable with them.

2. Make the entire bathroom inaccessible to your dog and put the litter box there.

Install a baby gate high enough off the ground that your cat can slip underneath, but not your dog. Or - if you have a small dog (and an agile cat) - set up a landing so your cat can comfortably jump the gate. Carpeted kitty furniture on either side is ideal.

Again, consider your kitty! This is her special pooping space we're messing with here. And if you make it too challenging to access, she'll likely find a new one you didn't sign off on ...

3. Talk to your vet about adding a commercial taste deterrent to your cat's diet.

While safe for your animals to ingest, this stuff makes cat poop as unappealing to your dog as, well, it is to us.

4. Try adding a D.I.Y. taste deterrent such as hot sauce or black pepper to litter chunks.

Then restrict your dog's access to water for 10 minutes after he takes a trip to the litter box so he doesn't just wash it out.

5. Eliminate the litter box altogether by teaching your cat to use the toilet.

(Again, only if she's comfortable with it.)

If none of the above work, you have a very determined dog on your hands.