Can Dogs Use Cat Litter?

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Introduction

There are many cat owners who swear by litter trays in order to ensure that their pets do not have accidents in the house. Cat litter is generally used for inside cats or in cases where cats are not allowed out for some reason. Some owners also use them because they prefer their cats to be indoors at night. 

One thing that many dog owners are interested in is whether their dog can use cat litter, and the simple answer to this is yes, it is perfectly safe for them to use litter and some dogs can be trained to do so quite easily! 

Introduction of Can Dogs Use Cat Litter?

Signs Your Dog May Need to Use the Litter Box

If you are keen to train your dog or puppy to use cat litter, it is important to look out for the signs that they need to do their business. Unlike cats, dogs do not have the same instincts when it comes to using cat litter and burying their deposits. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot train and encourage them to do this.

While many kittens are litter trained by their feline mothers, there are some cases where they have to be trained by humans. To do this, we have to look out for the signs as well as exercise common sense to encourage them to use the litter tray. Some of the signs that your dog may need to go to the toilet include sitting by the front or back door, whining and barking, attempting to get your attention, acting in an unsettled and restless way, sniffing around at the floor or doors or going around in circles

If you notice these signs, one of the things that you can do is pick up your pooch and place him in the litter box. Of course, if the dog is quite big, you will need to encourage him to get in himself. If you have a puppy, it is a good idea to place him in the litter box after he has had food or drink, as this can help him to develop good habits when it comes to litter use. 

Body Language

If you notice these body language signs, this is a good time to try and get him to the litter box:

  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Scratching
  • Pacing
  • Sniffing

Other Signs

Here are some other signs that you can look out for when it comes to your dog using the cat litter:

  • Going around in circles
  • Sniffing around the floor
  • Unsettled and restless
  • Attempting to get your attention
  • Scratching or sitting by back/front door

An Invention for Cats that can Benefit Dogs

History of Can Dogs Use Cat Litter?

Historically, cat litter was designed for use by, well, cats (hence the name) and was invented by the businessman, Edward Lowe. While it has been used for cats over many years, the reasons for training a dog to use cat litter have become more and more important over recent years. 

While dogs generally do their business outdoors when they go for walks or a run around the yard, there are times when they may not be able to do this. For instance, if you are out at work all day, if the dog is not well, when the weather is really bad it may not be possible to get outside.

This is why more and more dog owners are now keen to get their dogs to use cat litter as and when the need arises. It helps to avoid accidents in the house, ensures that your dog is not left in discomfort without any toileting facilities, and provides you with peace of mind even when you are not home. 

Choosing from Different Types of Litter

Science of Can Dogs Use Cat Litter?

As any cat owner will tell you, cats generally have their own preferences when it comes to the type of litter in their box. If they take a dislike to the litter, the chances are that they will steadfastly refuse to use it. 

While dogs are unlikely to be that fussy, there may still be certain types of litter that your dog does not like, so you may have to try out different ones until you find one that he is happy to use. Once you find the right one, your dog will then be more likely to use it rather than feeling uncomfortable about getting into the litter box.

When it comes to types of cat litter that are available, you can get everything from crystals and wood chip litter through to clumping cat litter and odor control litter. Some are more expensive than others because of the quality and effectiveness. 

It is always worth investing in a high-quality litter because it will not only be more appealing for your dog but can help to control odors, keep your house clean, and may need changing less frequently because of its more absorbent nature. 

Training Your Dog to Use the Litter

Training of Can Dogs Use Cat Litter?

If you have a young puppy, you will find that training is easier than with a grown dog. Of course, it may still be something of a challenge based on your dog’s trainability and attitude. However, the best way to get him used to the tray is to keep picking him up and placing him inside whenever he shows signs of wanting to go to the toilet or after he has had food and drink. You can also use the scoop to run through the litter so that he can hear the noise and see how you are digging around in the litter, which can help to encourage him.

With bigger dogs, the training process can be far more of a challenge because you cannot simply pick them up and place them in the tray. One thing that you can do, however, is coax them into using the litter box outside in the backyard, when they are outside. That way, on occasions, when the box is indoors and they need to do their business, they will know that the box is the place to go. 

Reacting to Your Dog Using the Litter Box

  • Give him a treat when he uses the litter for positive reinforcement
  • Encourage him by using the scoop and running it through the litter
  • Wait with him to see whether he uses the litter
  • Place the dog into the box or encourage him to step in
  • Pick up/walk your dog over to the litter box

We Want to Know if Your Dog is Litter Trained!