If you have dogs and cats living under the same roof, then at some point you may have caught your dog digging through the litter box. Using the best dog proof litter box can prevent your dog from having access to your cat’s litter box and attempting to get inside to eat a cat’s droppings. This is a common behavior in dogs, but it can lead to a huge mess in the home and may even cause your cat to avoid using their litter box altogether. As both a dog and cat owner, I decided to create this buyer’s guide in order to help other pet owners find the perfect litter box for their felines, one that will block man’s best friend from digging around and creating a huge mess. Of course, not all litter boxes are created equal, and even some that are labeled as dog proof really aren’t. Because of this, I’ve also included four models of dog proof litter boxes that each earned a high rating for their dog-proof design, durability, and solid construction. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart for the models that are on my list, their top features, and their rating.
Dog Proof Litter Box Comparison Chart
|Petmate Booda Dome|
Clean Step Cat Litter Box
|IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box||Top Entry||Adult||No|
|Eco Flex Litter Loo|
Litter Box End Table
|Pet Safe Self Cleaning|
Petmate Booda Dome Clean Step Cat Litter Box
This dome style litter box will enclose a cat on every side, preventing a dog from accessing the litter box and providing felines with plenty of privacy. The clean step entrance is grooved, designed to remove any litter that may stick to a cat’s paws as they exit the litter box. The design will also help to cut down on odors thanks in part to the included charcoal filter that absorbs odors. The built-in steps make this model perfect for cats of all ages including kittens and seniors.
- Compatible with all types of litter
- Easy to clean
- Prevents dogs from accessing litter
- Grooved steps remove litter stuck to cat’s paws
- Due to the unique shape of the cat tray you cannot use litter box bags
This model is compatible with all types of litter. The dome can easily be removed for cleaning, while the groove design in the steps will help to remove any remaining litter that gets stuck to your cat’s paws. The durable design will prevent even the most persistent dog from accessing the contents of the litter box. Additionally, the large design and steps make this model suitable for cats of all ages and sizes.
IRIS Top Entry Cat Litter Box
This litter box features a unique top entry design that will keep dogs out and away from litter. The design also helps to cut down on litter scatter, which normally occurs when a cat covers their urine or feces after using the litter box. The groove’s on top of the box will also work to remove any litter that sticks to a cat’s paws. The box itself is very easy to clean and features the type of space saving design many pet owners are looking for. However, because this is a top entry box, while it’s a great choice for adult cats, it’s not recommended for kittens or seniors who have arthritis.
- Includes free scoop
- Unique design
- Easy to clean
- Prevents dogs from getting inside
- Not designed for kittens or seniors
The box features rounded corners that make cleaning out the litter box a breeze. The rubber feet on the bottom of the pan will prevent the litter box from sliding when a cat is climbing in and out of the box. This model is a great choice for adult cats who prefer their privacy and pet owners who are looking for a solution to their dog getting in the litter box.
Eco Flex Litter Loo Litter Box End Table
This litter box features a modern look that will allow it to easily blend into the existing décor in the home. The box doubles as an end table complete with a cord holder that will prevent any cords from becoming tangled. This model is made out of Eco Flex materials and comes equipped with a fold down front door that allows you to easily clean it out. There are also vents located on each side, for improved air flow. The small door on the front will make it difficult for large breed dogs to enter the box, however, some small breeds will still have access to the litter, if they’re brave enough to go through the small door.
- Doubles as an end table
- Easy to clean
- Material does not absorb moisture or odor
- Available in five color options
- Designed for cats of all ages
- Will not keep small breed dogs out
This decorative litter box is perfect for homes that are short on space, pet owners who want to camouflage their cat’s litter box, and cats who need some privacy when using the bathroom. Unfortunately, the design will not prevent small breed dogs from sneaking inside, however, it will prevent large breed dogs from accessing the litter box.
Pet Safe Self-Cleaning Litter Box
This is a self-cleaning litter box that’s designed to remove waste automatically, this means no more scooping out the litter box or dealing with the family dog sneaking in to eat the feces. Aside from preventing your dog from making a mess, the litter box can also leave your home smelling fresh by automatically pushing any waste into a sealed tray below. This box is a great choice for busy cat owners who don’t have time to constantly scoop out the box, cats who are very picky about the cleanliness of their box, cats who prefer privacy, and cat owners who are tired of their dog ransacking the litter box.
- Crystal litter is 99% dust-free
- Cover provides privacy
- Cuts down on odors
- Cats who are easily startled will not like the automatic cleaning process
- Litter is expensive
- Disposable trays are another expense
This model uses a special type of crystal litter that’s 99% dust-free and does an excellent job of absorbing odor. The disposable litter pans will also help to cut back on odors, but they are also an ongoing cost the pet owner on a tight budget should consider, as is the pricey crystal litter. Overall, this model is an excellent choice for any pet owner looking for a low maintenance box and an effective solution to their dog constantly raiding the litter box.
Dog Proof Litter Box Buyer’s Guide
Many dog and cat owners are perplexed by a dog’s desire to dig through a dirty litter box and consume a cat’s droppings. So, why do dogs do this?
Cats do not digest or absorb dietary protein from their food. Because of this, their feces have a very high protein content. This means that a dog finds nutritional value in eating the feces. This type of behavior is referred to as coprophagia and it can result in health issues later down the line if your dog doesn’t stop this behavior.
Aside from preventing health issues in your dog there are many benefits to using a dog proof litter box, which I’ll discuss below.
Benefits of Dog Proof Litter Boxes
- A dog proof litter box is designed to prevent a dog from digging around and creating a mess. The unique design of these litter boxes will help to cut down on messes since a dog will no longer be able to use their paws to dig inside the box in search of feces, scattering litter everywhere.
- These litter boxes often feature a covered design that will also minimize messes that are caused by cats who love to kick out litter.
- There are many style options available, so you can choose a box based on the size of your cat and dog.
- If you have a persistent dog, then you can invest in a large, durable dog proof box, such as the decorative models that are designed to look like end tables and plant holders.
- Many of these litter boxes are very affordable, so you can purchase one per cat and place them in a variety of locations around the home.
Now that you know more about the benefits this type of litter box has to offer, let’s learn more about the unique features they possess and how it can solve some of your pet problems around the home.
Other Important Features
Dog proof litter boxes are designed to prevent a dog from accessing a cat’s droppings, ensuring your cat can use their litter box undisturbed.
However, before you purchase this type of litter box there are some factors you’ll need to consider, such as where the litter box will be placed and how many cats will be using it.
Litter Box Location
If you plan on placing the box in a smaller area, then you may need a top-entry style box since these boxes have smaller footprints and tend to be smaller than a domed litter box or a traditional rectangular litter box. For a larger area, you’ll have more freedom in terms of the style you choose. Large style dog-proof models can include dome, self-cleaning, and enclosed table or bench style models.
If you live in a multi-cat household, then you’ll need to purchase one box per cat, plus one. This is because some cats are very picky about their litter boxes and may not use the same box that another cat has used.
Dealing with a Persistent Dog
Another factor to consider is just how persistent your dog will be if he initially cannot get inside the box. Many dogs can easily be deterred from getting inside a litter box by a smaller entryway or higher walls. Top-entry boxes are too tall for many dogs to lean their heads in and it doesn’t allow enough room for them to dig around. Enclosed boxes and dome style boxes will also restrict a dog’s access by using an entry the dogs cannot fit their heads into. A dog that’s very persistent can be deterred by table or bench style boxes since these are considered the most durable.
If you have a large cat, then you’ll need a larger litter box, one that’s stable and will not move, rock, and cannot be flipped over. A smaller box may flip over and may not allow your cat to use their litter box comfortably, which can lead to inappropriate elimination around the home.
Types of Cat Litter Boxes
There are several types of dog proof litter boxes on the market, which I’ve discussed above. However, let’s go a little more in-depth concerning the styles you’ll have to choose from.
These boxes are disguised as pieces of furniture, such as plant holders, benches, and end tables. These are often a great choice if you have a more persistent dog, since the entry hole is very small and this type of box cannot be easily tipped over or broken into. However, these boxes tend to be more expensive compared to other style options.
Domed and Covered
Domed and covered boxes are a more affordable alternative. These boxes are either igloo shaped or square shaped and are available in a variety of sizes. The cover will deter larger dogs from accessing the contents of the litter box, but a smaller dog may still be able to fit inside. However, the cover can make even a small dog think twice about entering the dark space. Your cat will also appreciate the cover since it will give them some privacy while they do their business. Yet, there are some cats that will refuse to use this type of box, simply because they cannot fit comfortably inside. A smaller litter box can prevent them from squatting, or they may be scared to enter the dark space. Fortunately, the covers are detachable, however, without the cover, the box loses its dog-proof design.
This is a great option that will work for many pet owners. Your dog will not be able to eat your cat’s droppings if the droppings have been promptly removed from the litter box, seconds after a cat defecates. This type of box can be pricey, but it will help to keep your home smelling fresh, will eliminate the problem of your dog eating feces, and will make your cat happier since the box will always be clean and ready for use. Before you purchase this type of box, you’ll have to consider the extra expenses of liners and the cost of crystal cat litter, which most models require you to use.
Point of Entry
When it comes to the points of entry, most dogs will attempt to enter the box from the top or side. For specially designed dog proof top entry models top entry, a cat will enter the box through the top of the box. The top entry design will prevent your cat from tracking litter around the home, which is a huge plus for any cat owner and it features a narrow opening a dog will be unable to use. Side entry models are a good choice for smaller cats, but a larger cat may have trouble fitting inside.
Why Dogs Eat Cat Poop
Many pet owners will be surprised to learn how much their dog loves to feast on cat poop whenever they have the opportunity. While a pet owner will be disgusted, this type of behavior is actually completely normal. A dog is a scavenger by nature. With that being said, they will eat all types of things including sticks, garbage, and yes, even cat poop. While a human will think that cat poop smells disgusting, the scent appeals to a dog.
As I mentioned earlier, eating feces is called coprophagia, which can be a direct result of a dietary deficiency. However, in most cases, eating poop is just a bad habit and is considered part of a dog’s exploratory behavior.
While this habit is definitely gross, can it actually harm a dog? Unfortunately, it can. Many dogs can consume poop and they’ll be totally fine, however, eating poop carries the potential for a pet to contract harmful parasites and bacteria. Some types of bacteria they can contract can even be transmitted to humans, such as salmonella. Additionally, a dog may end up picking up several different types of internal parasites just from consuming cat poop. Just because your cat may not be displaying signs of parasites, it doesn’t mean they don’t have them. Cat litter can also be an issue if your dog eats it in large quantities.
Fortunately, most dogs will need to consume a very large amount of litter covered poop before a blockage becomes a concern. If your dog has consumed clumping cat litter or loose cat litter, you will need to keep a close eye on them. If their bowel movement is normal, then the odds are that your pet is fine. However, if your dog is having trouble pooping, their poop is abnormal, or they are unable to poop at all, then you will need to contact your vet for advice.
In most cases, a dog will not suffer any major health issues from eating the poop, however, this is still definitely a habit that you will want to get rid of.
Other Ways to Deter Your Dog from Eating Cat Poop
One of the easiest ways to prevent your dog from eating the cat’s poop is using a dog proof litter box. Another way is to place the litter box in a location in the home where the dog is not able to access it. You can put up baby gates to keep a dog out, without preventing your cat from accessing their box.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Cat Litter?
If your dog has eaten litter, make sure you encourage them to drink water, and watch for signs of a blockage, such as the inability to poop, trouble pooping, and a lack of appetite. In most cases, a dog will not eat enough litter to cause this problem. After they have had a bowel movement, if the poop looks normal, then your dog should be okay. The next step is removing the litter box and putting it in another place in the home, one that the dog cannot access.
Will Cat Poop Hurt my Dog?
Cat poop can be harmful to dogs, especially if they eat poop from a feral or stray cat. However, even consuming cat poop from indoor cats can be harmful to an extent. By eating poop a dog can pick up parasites or bacteria.
Can Dogs get Parvo from Eating Cat Poop?
Parvo is spread when a dog comes into contact with infected surfaces or infected feces. A dog can easily become infected if they eat feces from an infected dog. Even if the dog doesn’t eat the poop, if his paws come into contract with the waste during a walk, it’s possible to contract the infection.
Are Cat Litter Crystals Toxic to Dogs?
Amorphous silica gel is nontoxic. If a dog or cat eats some of the crystals, they should be fine.
Do Cats Prefer Open or Closed Litter Boxes?
This will vary from cat to cat. One cat may prefer a covered box since it provides more privacy, while another cat will refuse to use the litter box in fear of the enclosed space. Fortunately, most models of covered litter boxes have covers that are removable, so you can simply take the cover off if your cat is refusing to use it.
The best dog proof litter box will prevent your dog from digging around the cat litter, making a huge mess and consuming your cat’s droppings. These litter boxes feature an innovative design that will make it impossible for your dog to fit inside, so your house will remain nice and clean and your cat will not be disturbed during litter box use. Of course, some boxes are more durable than others, so you’ll need to make your choice based on the size of your cat, the size of your dog, how many cats are in the home, and what your budget is like. The models that I’ve included on my list scored well in several areas and can each be a great option if you’re desperate to break your dog’s habit of rifling through the litter box and you’re searching for a model your cat will love to use.