Dog getting into trash: dogs should be taught from an early age that the garbage bin is off limits. The principle is ultimately the same: jut as you would keep your dog away from your food you should keep your dog away from your garbage. In a dog’s mind they are both the same thing.
Dogs are scavengers, as disgusting as we may think of it, dogs perceive trash cans as a dispenser of free food. They therefore, are attracted to them because of all the smelly contents in it, even if the food has gone past its level of decomposition and is spoiled rotten.
The action of getting into the garbage itself may be unpleasant or even dngerous for various reasons:
- The dog gets into foods that can be potentailly harmful such as bacteria, chocolate or bone that may cause an intestinal obstruction
- The dog leaves a mess usually as he tilts the can over so to get into what he like the most
- The dog refrains from learning that humans are their sole providers of food
- The dog neglects the owner’s command to stay away from the garbage can
While most dogs are sneaky and get into garbage cans when they are well aware that the owner is away, some can care less and just knock the can over in front of their owners. There have also been instances where dogs have growled and bitten their owners that were attempting to clean up and send the dog away.
Dogs, thereofore, must learn that garbage cans and bins are off limits. There are various ways to accomplish this. Below are a few:
1. Teach the “off ” command
The “off” command should be taught at an early age. Dogs should know that there are some things that are not accessible to them. The “off” command is helpful to teach your puppy not to chew on your shoes or to stay away from that puddle of antifreeze under your car. In order to teach this command, you will need to redirect your dog’s attentionto something else. For instance, the moment your dog approaches the can say” off” in a low , deep voice that means business and then call the dog to you and praise with atreat or a toy for obeying you. This must be repeated several times and needs consistency. As a last test, put something very smelly that you dog loves on top of the garbage bin and test his “off” command. If he responds well, he should have gotten the message.
2. Use water
If the “off” command seems not to work try to squirt him with a water bottle. This should startle him and cause him to associate going to the trash can to something unpleasant. The issue with both the “off” command and the squirt bottle is the fact that the dog may learn to scavenge the trash bin when nobody is around.
3. Invest in a scat mat
Scat mats are small mats that emit a small shock to the dog approaching the can. This shock is small and it is comparable to the shock we get when opening a car door. Dogs learn pretty quickly and the advantage of this is that it works even when the owners are away.
4. Make the trash can inaccessible
Sometimes the best solution is very simple: just to hide the trash can out of sight. You can keep it safely stored under the sink or keep in a closed closet. As painful as it is, this solution of course will work. Another alternative is to buy one of those “dog proof”trash bin that dogs will be unable to open no mater what.
5. Install a gate
There are many baby gates available for dogs to make some areas of your home unaccessible. These work great and also prevent your dog from getting close to you as you cook or as you eat.
Stopping a dog from getting in the garbage may be challenging at times. The reason being is that you must fight against a dog’s natural instinct. With leadership, patience and will power however, the most stubborn cases can be treated, allowing you the freedom of keeping your kitchen clean and spotless as the tipped over bin will be a memory of the past..
*Disclaimer: All remedies suggested are not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your pet is sick please refer to your veterinarian for a hands on examination. If your pet is exhibiting behavior problems please refer to a professional pet behaviorist.