If you are the pet owner that has a cat and a dog and your dog likes to sniff out and taste the not-so-appetizing treats that your feline leaves behind in the litter box, there are a few solutions available to you so your cat can do their business in peace. Not only is it pretty disgusting, it can be embarrassing to you when Fido leaves a special present out in the middle of the hall.
Luckily, you can get a dog proof cat litter box to help you with this problem. Some are designed to only allow a cat to go in and out. Read on to find out what which products will actually keep your pooch out, and which ones your pup will get into with ease…
Best Dog Proof Litter Boxes
There are 3 different litter boxes that we would recommend for any pet owner who is looking to deter their dogs from eating their feline’s poop.
1. Designer Catbox Litter Box Enclosure
This litter box is the best of the best when it comes to design and price – top of the line in lots of ways. It is a very versatile product that is created so a cat can’t kick the litter out of it. It can fit many different sizes of trays and even can accommodate an extra-large tray if you choose not to include the interior paneling. There are 2 different entrances on the inside, which are in a staggered position. This allows an agile cat to get through, but a dog will not be able to maneuver it’s way inside.
It comes in three different colors – black, white and espresso. Although there is a little bit of assembling to do, the instructions are easy and the pictures along with it will be sure to make it simple for you. Although this one may be on the pricier end of things – it is well worth the cost. It is created with a stained wood-grain finish and it also has a storage compartment for your litter scooper, toys and other accessories your cat may have. On the down side, some reviews online have revealed that the litter box is not small dog proof, so a little breed may be able to get through the staggered entrance.
2. Petmate Top Entry Litter Box
This top entry litter box features a non-slip lid which is a good safety feature for your cat when jumping up onto it. It also comes equipped with a grate that is good for excess litter to drop back into the box when you open the lid. There is a great convenience factor in that it has handles on each side to make switching out the litter, easier and cleaner. Unlike the other products, this one is made from plastic and is very durable.
A few downfalls of this litter box, however, are the fact that it is pretty lightweight. This allows larger dogs to move it around if they nudge the box. Going along with that as well is the fact that larger dogs can also gain access to the inside of the box by simply sticking their heads down into the top hole.
Unlike the wood, detailed litter box, this one is not as pleasing on the eyes as it is just a big plastic type of box. If you keep it in a room that is not used often or is only seen by you, it won’t matter much what it looks like, anyway. This is a well-designed litter box for pet owners on a budget. It is inexpensive and will get the job done, effectively.
3. Favorite Hooded Top Entry Box
If you happen to have a large, not too skinny cat, they may need a little more wiggle room to fit comfortably inside and be able to do their business in peace. Luckily, this litter box is designed for just that. This is multi-purpose litter box because you can use it for households with a dog and be able to keep them out, as well in houses that don’t have a dog and you can keep the lid off. If you choose to keep the lid off, there is a slot underneath the bin itself to store it away. It is spacious and roomy for even the fattest felines and it has the entry hole in the top of the box so when your cat is inside, they won’t be able to kick litter around on the floor outside of the tray.
It comes in 3 different colors: black, black & white and transparent & blue. This is an affordable product that is easy to assemble and disassemble if you choose to move it around or take it different places. Unfortunately, the downfall of this particular design is the lack of storage space. Aside from the slot that holds the lid when you’re not using it, there isn’t anywhere else designated for accessories. Like the Petmate one, this one also is not very aesthetically pleasing to look at because it is just made out of plastic with no intricate or fun designs on it.
Why Do Dogs Get Into The Litter Box?
To make some sense of it, there is an actual reason why your dog chooses to eat what your cat leaves behind. Cats don’t digest all of the protein elements that are in their food, therefore, when they relieve themselves, it tends to have a higher protein count than dogs or other animals. Dogs noses are very keen to different smells – protein being one of them. Your dog smells it as being a tasty treat! Unfortunately, it is not at all healthy for your dog and once you start seeing this behavior, you should put an end to it, immediately. They can actually contract different parasites from eating your cat’s leftovers in the litter box.
Another reason for this type of eating behavior may actually be because of genetics. Wild dogs tend to eat other animal’s feces if they can’t hunt on their usual prey. It is way to get their nutrients and vitamin intake. Also, it can be learned from their mothers. When a puppy is nursing, mom will lick them to get their bladders and bowels stimulated. Then, mom will actually eat their pups waste – they could initially see what mom is up to and continue to do so once they are fully grown.
What You Can Do About It
There are some potential problem solving tricks you can use before you rush out and buy a different litter box or go to the hardware store to buy supplies for making your own:
This type of behavior could literally be done out of straight boredom; your dog has nothing better to do than chomp away at the litter box treasures. If you can find out WHY your dog is doing this, chances are you will be able to train him to cease this activity or be able to distract him with something else.
Crate Your Pup
One option that you can consider as a last resort is to lock up your dog in it’s crate while you’re out temporarily. If you’ve tried every other option then an escape proof crate like the ones here will stop them from even getting close to the litter box.
By simply relocating the it to a less public or lesser used room, your dog may be too lazy to go to it, or it could be an out of sight, out of mind thing – especially if they are doing it out of boredom. If you choose to move it, just be sure it is still in a place that your cat can get to it.
Invest In a Litter Box The Dog Can’t Get Into
If you have tried all of the above and your dog still seems to find the time and pleasure of eating feline feces, it’s probably time to invest in a product that will keep your dog out but still allow your cat in.
There are 2 types of dog-proof litter boxes and litter trays that are available for the pesky pooches that won’t give up: top entry and side entry.
Side entry – this type of box is best for people with larger dogs. It is designed with a sub-compartment that the cat must maneuver through first, before actually getting to the litter box itself. Smaller dogs may still be able to sneak in and slither their way through.
Top entry – this design is made to keep the smaller and medium sized dogs, out. It is built with 4 walls and a hole in the top of the box. Cats are agile enough to jump up onto the box, down into the hole where the litter is and then up and out of the hole once they have completed their business. Smaller and medium sized dogs wouldn’t be able to jump up and in. Larger dogs, however, may be able to simply stick their heads into the top hole and still snack away.
Either of these options is ideal for pet owners who worry about going to work or leaving their dog at home, alone throughout the day and can’t keep an eye on the litter box. Obviously, you can’t hide the litter box or put it away while you are gone because then your cat won’t be able to use it at all. Both of these options are ideal for the working, pet owner.
Litter Box Buying Mistakes
There are a few things to consider and not do when it comes to getting a different litter bin for your cat. It is best to avoid a single side entrance type of box – this makes it easy for a dog of any size to stick their heads or whole bodies in to the litter box to eat what’s inside.
Having a box that is too small can actually deter your cat from using it – cats of any and all sizes tend to be very particular about where they do their business and the size of it as well. As weird as it may seem, cats can get stage fright when it’s time to relieve themselves. This means it is best to place the litter box in a room the cat can get to easily, but also a room that is not a central room that is used often by a lot of people.
What to Look For In A Dog Proof Litter Box
A few points to consider when purchasing a new litter box are, size and the entrance. When a cat does its business, there is more steps involved then just a little squatting. You need to be able to have a cat box that is large enough for your cat to walk around a bit and also be able to dig and cover up things. If it’s too small, it may hinder your cat from being comfortable and doing things properly.
Consider the age of your cat as well. The older your feline becomes, the harder it may be to maneuver around. Therefore, you should have a product for them that is large enough to get into without having to squeeze through a small entrance hole. Along with that, the entrance type is also important to consider. Again, if you have a larger dog, it is better to opt for a one with a side entrance and a top entrance for a small or medium size breed.
Stop thinking there is nothing you can do about your dog snacking on your cat’s litter box leftovers. There are plenty of options available to you that will allow for your cat to be comfortable and have their privacy, but also for you dog to stay out and not get involved. Depending on the type of dog you have and their size, should factor into the type of litter box you invest in. Doing research before purchasing is your best bet to make sure that you get the perfect fit for you and your dog and cat situation.
The products we recommended above are just a few of the many different kinds you can look into to buy. Reading dog proof litter box reviews is a great way to get a feel for the product and seeing if other pet owners like you, have either liked or disliked certain litter boxes. Purchasing a cat-friendly and dog-ridding litter box should be done for the safety and protection of both your pets. Keeping them both happy and comfortable should be the number one goal.