Dogs are curious by nature, especially when it has to do with interesting and unique smells. If your dog’s favorite hobby is rummaging through the garbage can, it is probably captivated by the multitude of discarded food leftovers underneath the lid. While your dog may view the garbage can as some sort of treasure trove, those plastic and decaying fragments of food can have severe consequences on its health. If you’re pup just can’t stay out the trash, this article offers some concrete tips covering the best way to stop a dog from getting in the trash can, including information on why dogs go to the garbage can.
Why do Dogs Go to the Trash?
The reason why dogs always go into the trash can boils down to history. According to experts, our dear furbabies derive from feral wolves known to scavenge villages and towns looking for scraps and discarded food for their survival. Dogs may have been domesticated for many years, but that genetic tendency of scavenging may well be the reason all dogs love to rummage in trash cans. Even dogs that live in homes where they are well cared for are not exempted from this innate behavior. However, the tendency may not play out often if you feed your dog at the right time.
To a dog, everything in the wastebasket emits a delicious aroma and is regarded as a potential snack. When your pooch is busy rummaging through the trash can, it becomes a game with each scent impinging on their sense of smell as something unique. In fact, a dog with its nose buried deep in the garbage can is on the lookout for a golden ticket – their sense of smell relays to them that the wastebasket is holding a prize, and the dog is determined to locate it and they regard every trash item as chew toys, crunching away on bits and pieces. No doubt, a visit to the trash can also help curb boredom, or the need to know what is beyond their reach.
How to Stop Dog From Getting in Trash
There are a plethora of ways your canine friend can be stopped from accessing the trash can, they include these 3 easy ways;
- Restricting access to the trash can
Concealing the kitchen trash can in a cupboard that is always closed is vital. And if you observe that your dog has mastered the act of opening cupboards, you can equip the handles with some childproof latches.
Additionally, for garbage cans in the other rooms, you can try using smaller wastebaskets, which can be placed at heights where it will be impossible for your pup to reach. A good example is the top of your room dresser. Again, you can try restricting your dog’s access to all the rooms that are equipped with wastebaskets – this can be achieved by keeping all the doors permanently locked.
Also, if your trash can comes without a lid, or if it does have a lid, but your dog has mastered the act of opening it, the time has come to change all the garbage cans to new ones with firmer lids that will be difficult for your pet dog to open. Furthermore, trash cans designed with step mechanism as a way of opening the lid cannot be used. This is because dogs are intelligent creatures, and your pup will quickly figure out the mechanism in no time at all.
All in all, you have to look at all commercially available trash cans from your pup’s perspective – this will aid you in deciphering the type that would be difficult or easy for the dog to force open.
- Keep your dog well-fed
The second tip on how to keep dog out of garbage is to ensure that you feed it as at when due. Hunger is one of the major reasons why canines love to scavenge in the wastebasket. By, feeding your dog several times a day, with the ration coming in small quantities, it will be less likely to look for extra food in the trash can – the need would simply not arise. And if your pooch happens to be on a weight management diet, the vet is the best person to consult for the ideal feeding routine that will keep it full but not result in excessive weight gain.
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You can even try free-feeding if you are the type that is always away from home, but this won’t augur well for a portion-fed dog. Important to note that many dogs never stop eating as they are not good at gauging when they have had their fill. So, free-feeding will not work with these pups, as they might just become over-weight from overfeeding.
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- The trash can should be made as unattractive as possible
We cannot conclude the discussion on how to keep a dog out of trash without touching on this tip. One known way of correcting unpalatable behavior from your pooch is to make that particular demeanor to appear as unattractive as possible. A perfect way to do this is through environmental punishment. Deterrent devices are known to be effective here – just set the device up very close to the wastebasket, and your pooch may get the message. A good example is one mousetrap-like gadget – this functions by popping into the air with a resounding noise when your dog puts a paw on it.
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Other effective devices include:
- Motion-activated gadgets: This can be positioned in the vicinity of the trash can and is designed to release a shot of compacted air as your furbaby gets closer to the wastebasket.
- Shocking mats: This type of mat is wired to deliver a minor shock when stepped on.
This sort of environmental punishment is best suited for pups that have perfected the art of sneaking into the garbage can in the absence of their owners. Though this kind of punishment does not result in any physical injury, canines that are naturally anxious or skittish should be exempted from it. A skittish pup that is exposed to a noisy popping sound, a blast of air, or sudden shock will become even more terrified.