how to keep your dog out of litter box

If a dog lives in the same house as a cat, it’ll most likely want to explore the cat litter box. Dogs have a weakness for such places and especially for cat poop. This can become a real problem and even cause the spread of infection.

My Frank also kept trying to stick his face in the litter box, so I’ve been looking for ways to deal with that. Here’s the good news: there are a few ways for you to keep your dog out of the litter box!

Why do dogs like poop? Is it dangerous?

Dogs are natural scavengers and will eat anything with a strong smell, even poop. Cat poop smells the same to dogs as cat food.

This behavior can be fun for your dog, but it shouldn’t be encouraged. Why is it dangerous for dogs to eat cat poop?

  • your dog could get sick from harmful bacteria in cat feces, such as salmonella;
  • it may also contain toxoplasmosis, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (this parasite can cause serious illness in humans);
  • it can also cause intestinal obstruction.
Learn more about - why dogs eat poop and how to deal with it?

How to keep a dog away from cat feces?

It may not be easy to keep your dog out of the litter box. Your dog’s size, temperament and training skills will determine the best method.

I have prepared an infographic with all the ways you can keep a dog from eating cat poop. Save it to your Pinterest so you don’t forget it.


✅Teach your dog the “leave it” command

It’s as simple as telling your dog to “stop it” and “leave it”. These commands can help your dog stop bothering you and improve his behavior.

Make sure you have plenty of treats on hand before you start dog training. Rewarding your dog for good behavior will reinforce his commands and make him behave a certain way.

With these steps, you’ll teach your dog to “leave it”:

  1. Keep an eye on your dog to teach him the commands. Keep him from approaching the litter box by giving him the “stop” or “leave it” command.
  2. Reward him when he obeys your commands and does the right thing.
  3. If you don’t succeed, try again and speak louder.

The dog will soon notice your intentions and follow you. It may take a few days or even weeks for him to achieve this.

Watch the video on how to teach a dog to “leave it”:

✅Restrict access to the litter box

It might be worth considering locking the litter box in an area that only you and your cat can access. For this you can use:

  • cat door (allows cats to sneak freely while dogs stay outside). This is a more expensive option. They require a microchip to be opened. This allows you to control access for small dogs similar in size to your cat;
  • a dog-proof door latch (if your dog is very close to your cat, this won’t work);
  • a pet gate can prevent your dog from getting into the litter box. Your cat should be able to jump well enough to pass the gate. If your cat cannot jump, place the gate in the doorway so your cat can crawl underneath.

If your cat is much smaller than your dog, a gate placed a few inches off the ground will work. If your cat is about the same size as your dog, you can place the gate at floor level and place a stool or box next to it so your cat can jump over.

✅Get rid of poop immediately

If you spend enough time in the house, just clean up the cat poop as often as possible. This may be enough to keep your dog out of the litter box. However, this doesn’t work for everyone.

Some litter boxes can be programmed to clean automatically after the cat has defecated. Still, dogs that are fast may participate in the cleaning process.

✅Use kitty litter box with cover

There are many dog proof litter boxes on the market. They come with a special lid that can be placed over the regular litter boxes.

No products found.

Although the opening is large enough for a cat to climb into the litter box, it’s also small enough to prevent a dog from getting into. Smaller dogs may be able to get into the litter box more easily.

✅Give your dog more exercise

A good piece of advice is to keep your dog busy. You might find that your dog eats poop out of boredom. In this case, distraction might be a solution. Dog owners can keep their pet occupied with toys.

a dog playing with the ball


Here are the main thoughts from this article:

  1. To stop your dog from eating the poop, teach it  the “Leave It” or “No” command.
  2. Keep your dog active and busy so he doesn’t get bored.
  3. Before you leave the house, make sure your litter boxes are clean.
  4. Try using gates or a lock.
  5. Some dog parents use covered litter boxes to keep dogs from eating cat poop, but that’s not the best solution. Cats don’t love to poop in enclosed spaces.
  6. You can stop the dog by using different aids such as a dog gate, dog-proof litter box, or cat door.

Don’t punish your dog if he eats poop!

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