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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16312
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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How can I tell the difference between fox and dog poo My

Customer Question

How can I tell the difference between fox and dog poo? My neighbour and I have a shared front garden and while I really don't mind this and certainly don't mind her two westies pooing and weeing in our shared space, I expect her to clean up after her pets. I have started to find faeces on my side of the lawns. My neighbour says its fox poo and not her responsibility. I used to have a dog who rolled in fox poo and the smell was very distinctive. This poo smells like dog poo. I don't know what to do. I'm very easy going and love animals but don't want to have to clean up after someone else's pets! Please help.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 6 years ago.

Dr. Kara :

Hello, I'd like to help.
This is a really sticky situation. And it comes down to how far you are willing to go to get along with a neighbor.

Dr. Kara :

Fox feces in general does tend to have a more pungent odor as their anal glands (scent glands found in all canids on either side of the rectum that release when stool is passed) produce a more "musky" odor. The odor produced can be influenced by diet as well though.
That said stool is also a mirror of diet. Most foxes also eat whole prey like birds and mice, moles etc so will often have a fair amount of hair and/or bones in their stool. But fox that live close to humans will eat cat food, bird or dog food left out for pets as well as garbage or restaurant leftovers so their stool can mimic dog stool.

Dr. Kara :

You could set up motion detector cameras to "catch her dogs in the act" and prove that these stools are from her dogs.
But in the interest of keeping the peace you might just decide to clean up after her dogs. I know it isn't fair or fun to do. And most likely you are correct and this isn't fox stool.
But being right may not be as important as being on good terms with your neighbor.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 6 years ago.
Sorry I missed you on line. Feel free to reply if you have further questions.