How To Stop A Dog From Eating Cat Food and Cat Poop

Dogs like to eat. And they will eat ANYTHING. That includes cat food and cat poop. Gross, I know. But it happens, and I’m sure every owner who has a cat and a dog can agree that this does happen. Today we are going to discuss how to stop a dog from eating cat food, and cat poop. This happens all the time and can be a bit frustrating. No one wants a dog kiss from their dog that has just had poop in its mouth. 

If you want to stop a dog from eating cat food and cat poop, there must be some rules and preventative measuresKeeping your cat food behind a gate, or placing it on the top level of your cat stand are a few suggestions. Read on my friends to find out more. 

Dogs seem to like the smell of unpleasant things. And cat food and cat litter fit that bill. I know we don’t like this, but the fact is our dogs will try anything to get into that litter box. And they will try to steal a bit or two of our cat’s food.  

I’m sure your cat does not appreciate having its food dish taken over by a messy sloppy dog. And your cat probably does not like your dog invading its toilet and personal space. We all know cats love their own space. 

Now, let’s get into why you are here, shall we?

Personal Experience With A Dog Eating Cat Food and Cat Poop

Rocky The Jack Russel 

I had a dog named Rocky when I lived at home with my parents. This dog loved to get into anything and everything. I also had a cat named Gizmo. The cat mostly stayed downstairs because well, she didn’t really like Rocky. She was also your typical cat, who didn’t like anyone bothering her. Except for feeding her and cleaning the litter box. Don’t get me wrong though, she was a great cat, and I loved her to pieces.

Anyway, Rocky decided that he liked the cat food over his. So, when the cat was not around, he would sneak down to the basement and have a snack. That snack consisted of cat food and cat poop! I know this because I caught him on numerous occasions. I don’t know what possessed him to do such things and had to expel him from the basement eventually. 

Kiki The Yorkie

My dog Kiki is an awesome little dog. However, she also likes cat food and cat poop on her menu. Any time she gets a chance, she will try and get on the cat stand and steal Mel’s (my cat) food. I used to know when she’d been eating cat poop. She’d come out of the litter box room, licking her lips. Gross!. Kiki is no longer allowed in this room. There will be no more poop treats in this house!

So there is my experience with dogs eating cat food and cat litter. I’d love to hear your stories. Leave us a comment.

Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop?

There are a lot of dogs out there that love eating cat poop. And it doesn’t stop there. They even like bird poop. I’m sure you have witnessed this with your dog. A dog will find a place in the grass, and then suddenly, they are rubbing their face in the grass. They have discovered bird poop, and now they want to eat it. And it takes a lot of pulling to get them away from said bird poop. 

Female canines will lick the behinds of their puppies to induce them to poop. After the puppies have finished their business, the mother will then eat it. The mother will consume the feces and urine to cover up any smell that may attract predators to her babies.  

Dogs will eat poop because this is in their nature. Dogs are scavengers. It is built into their genetic code. A dog will eat things like garbage, bird poop, rugs, rocks, and the list goes on. You may be wondering what kind of dog eats rocks? This can’t be true. Well, it is true. My husband had a Jack Russel Terrier growing up. This dog’s name was Skylar. And, Skylar loved to eat rocks. Cray cray, I know, but it’s the truth!

For The Love of Smell

Cat poop is on the list of a canine’s ideal menu. They love the smell of cat poop. A cat has a relatively short digestive tract. So in most cases, the cat produces poop that is undigested. To a dog, this smell smells just like cat food to them. So when the dog discovers the litter box, it can’t believe their luck, and away they go munching on it, much to our horror!

Bored Doggo

Another reason why your dog may be taking a dive into the litter box out of boredom. If your dog is bored, then taking it out for some exercise may help. It is recommended to take your dog on at least two walks a day. Walks, along with playtime, will help your dog release some of its energy.

Dietary Deficiency

Dogs may also eat cat poop because they have some sort of dietary deficiency like protein. Although most cases just end up being, they just like it. In fact, this can become a nasty habit for your dog if not taken care of swiftly. Make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your dog may need to switch food that has more fiber, fat, protein, and even vitamin B. Never change your dog’s diet without consulting your veterinarian first.

Can Cat Poop Harm My Dog?

Bacteria and Parasites

Your dog can get sick from eating cat poop. Cat feces can carry a lot of bacteria like salmonella and parasites. Toxoplasmosis a parasite can be found in cat feces. This parasite can be found in other animals as well, but only in cats, they can go through their full life cycle. 

By eating juvenile forms of this particular parasite that is contained in organ tissue or muscle of infected animals like the mouse, is how cats get infected.  

The parasites then turn into adults and grow in the intestine of the feline. Alas, they are pooped out by the cat. Any other animal that then goes and eats the poop is now infected.

Adult dogs that have a good and healthy immune system control the spread of this nasty parasite. Because of this, there are usually no signs of toxoplasmosis. Puppies, on the other hand, are a different story. Toxoplasmosis can spread throughout the entire body of a puppy. Signs to look out for:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Death (Yikes!)

If you notice any of these signs in your pup, contact your veterinarian right away.

Problematic In Large Quantities

A dog that eats cat litter in large quantities may be in a bit of trouble. Eating cat litter that has clumped can cause a blockage. A blockage can cause problems with your dog’s bowel movements. If you know your dog has eaten a good amount of cat poop and litter, then you need to monitor your dog. If your dog is having an issue pooping, then it may have a blockage, and you should contact your veterinarian. Blockages are very serious and can even cause death if not taken care of in time.

In conclusion, in most cases, your dog should be fine if it eats cat poop. However, it is a pretty bad habit that should be corrected. Even though your dog should be fine, you never know. For more information, contact your veterinarian. 

How To Stop A Dog From Eating Cat Poop

Gates and Dog Proof Litter Boxes

The best way to keep your dog out of the litter box is to set the box in an area where your dog can’t get to it. Try some baby gates or try making your own out of wood. Having a barrier up will not interfere with your cat, as cats can just jump over them. Plus, it gives your cat an area of its own. 

Another good way to stop a dog from eating cat poop is to invest in a ‘dog proof’ or closed top litter box. These types of boxes make it very hard for a dog to access. 

Regular Check-Ups 

Sometimes you cannot avoid your dog eating cat feces. There may be some in the backyard, or when you take your dog out for a walk. And we all know how fast a dog can put something in its mouth. As mentioned earlier, if your dog is healthy, then it may not show any signs of parasites. It is recommended to make regular visits with your veterinarian, just to make sure your dog doesn’t have toxoplasmosis.

Keep Your Dog Active

Dogs eat cat feces sometimes out of sheer boredom. Take your dog out for long walks so they can expel their energy. A few playtime sessions a day like fetch and other fun games will keep your dog busy and attentive. Your dog will be having so much fun that it won’t have time to think about a poop snack.

Clean Litter Box A All Times

If you keep the litter box clean, there will be nothing your dog can get its teeth on. Litter boxes should be cleaned every day. They are smelly, and it can spread through the house rather quickly. With a clean litter box, your dog will have no reason to venture into it. Try to clean it soon after the cat has done its business. I know, seems like a lot of work, but a little cleaning is better than having your dog eat cat poop. 

If you don’t want to clean the litter box every day, you can purchase a self-cleaning litter box. However, you will have to clean that, and you don’t want it piling up, as it will start to smell. But it should buy you a few days of not cleaning the litter box. 

Make Sure Dog is Getting Its Nutrients

Dogs will eat cat poop if they are not getting the proper nutrients it needs. Check with your veterinarian to make sure the diet your dog is on is providing it with all the nutrients. If it isn’t, then go with your veterinarian’s recommendation for a new diet. 

Poop eating is nasty, but dogs do it, and it is in their nature. Try using these tips to help prevent your dog from eating cat poop, and contact your veterinarian for more info and advice.  

Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Food?

Dogs love to get their teeth on cat food. They seem to love it more than their own food, in fact. If your dog eats cat food, it is not the end of the world. Most likely, it will not cause any harm to your dog. But it is a habit that should be corrected. 

Dog Food VS Cat Food 

Cat food has a higher meat-based protein than dog food dogs. Since cats are carnivores, they need to eat meat. It is said that dogs are omnivores, so they eat both meat and vegetables. Therefore, a dog will need more than just meat to get their daily nutrient requirements. 

 Dogs may find the smell and taste of cat food much more appetizing than their own, due to the meat that is in cat food. However, this does not mean that a dog should be allowed to eat cat food. Check with your veterinarian for more advice.

The best thing to feed your dog is dog food, not cat food, and not human food. Well, you can give your dog human food from time to time. Just don’t make a habit out if. And if you are going to feed human food to your dog, make sure you know what is safe.

Drawbacks for Dogs Eating Cat Food

Some complications could come about if you feed your dog a diet of cat food. Cat food does not contain the right amount of fiber, protein, and all the other goodness your dog needs regularly.

Dogs can live on cat food if necessary. This means if you have run out of dog food and the stores are closed. Replace the cat food with dog food as soon as possible. If a dog overeats cat food, it can cause gastrointestinal upset, weight gain, and pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a serious condition and will require an immediate visit to your veterinarian.

Symptoms of Pancreatitis:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Distended abdomen
  • Fever

Your dog may not be showing any of these signs, but the liver and kidneys can be damaged by high protein that is found in cat food. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Cat Food? 

Dogs seem to get into cat food all the time. I know my dog loves the taste of cat food over her own. She does get diarrhea, though, so I try to keep the food away from her at all costs! If your dog gets just a few bites of cat food, then it should be okay. However, if your dog shows any signs of discomfort after eating some cat food, get in touch with your veterinarian.

Some dogs just can’t help themselves and seem to always get into the cat food. If this sounds like your dog, then you should make the cat food in a secure place. You could change up the location of where you feed your cat as well.  

How To Stop A Dog From Eating Cat Food 

Keeping your dog away from the cat’s food is very important for your dog’s health. Training your dog to stay away from cat food may be a long quest since they love food! It can be done, though. We have a few techniques for you. Take a look. Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment. 

Feed your Cat and Dog together 

Try feeding the cat and dog together. Your dog will be busy eating its own food to be bothered by the cat’s food. Since your cat will be eating at the same time, the dog may be discouraged since it won’t be able to access the food. If your dog tries to take some cat food, well, it might be in for a slap from the cat!

Operation: Keep Your Dog Distracted 

Keeping your dog distracted while your cat eats means less of a chance your dog will wander over once the cat is done. Take your dog out for a walk or play a game while your cat chows down. When the cat has finished, remove the dish so there are no temptations. 

Schedule Your Cat’s Feed Time

Set a mealtime for your cat at the same time every day. Make sure to keep it consistent as your pet relays on you each day to feed and take care of it. A scheduled meal time works better than trying to hand feeding your cat. Hand-feeding takes a lot of patience and can be difficult if you have multiple cats.

High Times

You could always put the cat food in a high place where the dog cannot reach. Places like the top of tall cat stands are an excellent place to start. Cats are excellent climbers, and they won’t mind if they need to climb or jump to get to their food. If you do not have a tall cat stand, then you could always set it on the washing machine or dryer. 

 Baby Gates and Homemade Gates

Using a baby gate between cat food and dog can solve your problem. Keeping your cat’s food in another room and doorway blocked is a sure way to keep your dog out. Your cat should easily be able to jump over the gate. 

If your dog is able to get over the gate, then you need to get creative. If you are or someone in your home is handy, then you may be in luck. You could make a gate that is high enough so your dog cannot get over. And you could install a little cat door so that only the cat can get through.  

Dog Proof Cat Dishes

Your local pet shop should have different types of cat food dishes. Look for dog proof cat food dishes. Lots of these dishes come with different lids that the dog cannot get into, but easy for your cat to access.

There are also microchip reader feeders for cats. Only the animal with the microchip will be able to access the food.  

Feed Cat In Another Room

Give your cat its own room for eating if your dog is always trying to get some cat food. Make sure the dog cannot get into this room. You could install a cat door on the door of the place where you keep your cat’s food. A dog will not be able to get through a small cat door. Unless, of course, you have a little dog like a chihuahua that might be able to squeeze its way through. 

Nom Noms

If all else fails, you could always just straight for the gut! Dogs love to eat, and they really love treats. Grab a bag of your dog’s favorite treats and begin training. Commands like “leave it” and “no” should work. When your dog approaches the cat dish, tell the dog to “leave it” and take your dog away from the bowl or move the dish away from your dog. Give your dog a treat. Repeat until your dog stays away from the cat food. You must have patience and make sure you have daily sessions with your dog. And remember, never punish or get angry at your dog, not staying away from the cat food. You do not want your dog to be afraid of you or afraid of eating. 

Cat food is a tasty treat for your dog, but as we now know, it can cause some pretty severe digestive issues for canines. Best just to keep the cat food away from the dog’s reach, but not out of the cat’s reach. We don’t want our feline friends to miss out on any meals because we don’t want the dog getting into it the cat’s food. 

If you find none of these tips help, you could contact a professional dog trainer. They may have some more advice for you on how to stop your dog from eating the cat food. 

Is It Bad If A Cat Eats Dog Food?

Now that we have been talking about dogs eating cat food, what about cats eating dog food? I’ve seen it happen. My cat will sometimes take a little chomp out of the dog’s food. It does not happen very often, maybe once a year.  

Cats cannot live off of dog food. Dog food does not have enough vitamin A and taurine. These are two nutrients that cats need in order to live a healthy life. Cats need a high meat protein diet, along with arachidonic acid, and dog food does not offer that to cats. 

You must feed your pets a well balanced and complete diet. They should only be eating food that is appropriate for the type of animal they are. For more advice on what to feed your pets, contact your veterinarian.


Dogs like to eat cat poop and cat food. We know that eating cat poop can give our canine companions bacteria and parasites. And eating cat food can give our dogs some serious digestive issues.  

We have gone over the reason why our dogs eat cat poop and cat food, and what you can do to stop your dog from eating these two things. 

I hope this article has helped you or at least given you a few tips that you’d like to try. Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment. If you have any suggestions or training techniques that we have not listed, we’d love to hear from you! 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I clean my dog’s mouth after it has eaten poop?

You will want to get out your dog’s toothbrush and toothpaste for this one. Very gently brush the dog’s gums and teeth. Not all dogs are okay with having their teeth cleaned. So, if your dog will not let you brush its teeth, give your dog water. The water will wash it down. If you have those greenies teeth cleaner treats, then give that to your dog. They work great on cleaning teeth and freshening breath. 

If your dog starts showing signs of distress after eating poop, then you will have to take your dog to the veterinarian.  


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