Q&A: How do I keep my dog from eating cat poop outside in the yard?

dog eating photoHow do I keep my dog from eating cat poop outside in the yard? ~Royallynn

Hello, and thank you for reaching out. Dogs are often attracted to cat poop because cats eat a diet rich in fats and proteins so their feces have a strong appeal to dogs. Dogs are animals who like to forage for food, so going out in the yard to hunt for kitty nuggets is not only a tasty hobby but also an entertaining way to pass time. However, dogs can get much more than a tasty treat when they’re hunting for cat feces. Veterinarians warn that eating cat poop can also cause dogs to develop pesky parasites as they ingest potential eggs found in cat feces and dirt. Once ingested, it’s just a matter of time for these parasites to hatch and lead to problems. Owners of dogs who tend to eat any kind of animal poop should frequently have their dog’s stools checked for parasites. So for sure this is a habit you want to curb!

While in a home setting, a litter box can be kept out of the way, things get more complicated in a yard, where the cat feces are scattered about and likely buried under ground. There are ultimately only a handful of options to resort to and they are mostly based on controlling access to the environment.

1) Keep your dog on leash every time he goes out in the yard. If your dog isn’t too fond of being on a short leash for his outings, you can invest in a long line. These are like long leashes measuring about 10 to 15 feet or even longer and are often used for horses. A long line gives your dog more freedom to walk around, but you also have a level of control, so when you catch your dog sniffing an area and about to dig out a treasure, you can say “leave it” and gently guide your dog away as you get ready to praise and reward him for leaving it.

2) Fence off an area of the yard with a cat proof fence and use it only for your dog. This way you can be sure that only your dog has access to it and Fluffy no longer uses that part of the yard as a toilet. This can be costly and a bit time consuming at first, but it sure pays off in peace of mind!

3) Close supervision with a solid “leave it” command. This takes time and requires loads of practice. Basically, you will have to closely supervise your dog outside and at the very first signs of him detecting poop, you will say “leave it” and call your dog to get a treat from you that is far higher in value than the best cat poop in the world. You want to train this on leash first and as your dog gets good, then you can try off leash. Keep in mind though that if your dog manages to eat cat poop when you are not watching, all your hard training will have a big set back.

4) Use Forbid for cats. This is a product that can be given to cats and it makes their feces taste horrible, so dogs are discouraged from eating them in the future. While this may seem like a good solution, consider that there are some downfalls. Your dog may resume eating cat feces the day you no longer give it to your cat and it doesn’t always work. Some dogs still like the taste. You can ask your vet if this is something you may want to try on your cats.

As seen, there is really no easy fix for this unfortunately frustrating problem. Some dog owners have such a serious problem they must muzzle their dogs when outdoors to keep them from eating the feces. Even then, the dog may try to get access and get their muzzles smeared in cat poop, something probably even more annoying than the dog eating it! Not to mention, that dogs on muzzles should always be supervised!

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

About author View all posts Author website

Adrienne Farricelle

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  • My dog does that a lot. He always likes to smear the muzzle in cat poop and try to eat the poop through it. Gosh! It’s so frustrating and sometimes I just have to let him out the yard without the muzzle. But I try to keep the yard free from cat poop the best way I can.

  • True, cat poop can appear and even taste nice to dogs but not all that glitters is gold. The downside is way more than the good. If there is any good though. I’ll advise you train your dog properly to avoid the poop. Always monitor it when you are out and be sure to steer him away from anything he’s sniffing interestingly. This helps a lot.

  • Is their anything I can put in my yard so the stray cats won’t want to poop on it?
    My dog loves it and I’m very concerned

  • my dog eating cat poop and is making her sick and she voting up
    its making me where I don’t want animals any more.

  • I HAVE the same question as Gina. There’s a stray and my dog is eating its poop.

  • I cannot find the mentioned product Forbid for Cats. How can I buy it.

  • Anybody know of any good products for this?

  • I started to put my dogs own poop in the areas that he was finding the cat poop so far it has been working.

    • I gotta try this trick, got wild cats pooping where my dogs dig and then when I let the digs out they go eat ?

  • My neighbors have cats and turn them out a lot. I don’t want a mad neighbor but I’m tired of all the cat poop in my yard and my dogs are attracted to it.

  • Try putting Tabasco hot sauce on the cat poo outside, also we have put a cat liter out side on a high table so the dog can’t get to it and that seems to be helping bc the cat uses it most of the time.

  • Question: Why do my male dogs pee on my poor cat? Answer: Oh dear, poor cat indeed!  Christina, I need a little bit more information in order to be helpful here.  How old are your dogs?  What breed?  How many? Are they neutered?  How old is your cat?  Male or female?  How often does this happen and under what circumstances? Does the dog pee anywhere else inside? What is your reaction when the dogs pee on the cat?  If you can give me these answers and any other details I should be able to give you some ideas. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.