Doggie Dumpster Diving – How to Stop It

There is nothing worse than returning home from a long day at work and finding the contents of a trash can spread out on the floor. Whether it is a small bathroom wastebasket or the kitchen bin containing the remnants of last night’s supper, it is an upsetting and gross occurrence that could be a regular issue with your pet. Puppies and adult dogs, alike, can take part in this habit. Unfortunately, as much as you try to train your dog not to upset the trash, your dog may not be able to help his attraction.

Doggy Dumpster Diving - Nashville TN

The majority of experts agree that early humans domesticated wolves, which is why we have the sweet, loving creatures that we call dogs today. These wolves were drawn to the fragrant smells of food and trash, and were therefore easier to domesticate as they became increasingly dependent on humans to provide a consistent meal. Even though your dog is well fed, there is still an instinct to explore different scents that aren’t familiar to them.

Once the trash is upturned, the fun really starts. There are tasty treats to eat or chew on, and items to toss around and shred on your carpet. If your pet is bored, it is an easy game to play with the contents of your trash, especially if it means getting your attention. It can become a developed behavior to play with trash if the dog continues to receive more of your time.

The most straightforward solution to the problem if it continues to persist is to remove the attraction. This could mean relocating the trash can to a pantry or cabinet, or simply just remembering to close doors that access the bin when you are not in the room; it’s a simple habit that easily rectifies the situation. Taking away the temptation quickly hinders the continuation of your pet’s habit, and makes your house a cleaner, and much less stinky, place to live. Putting a lid on the trash may also help in hindering some dogs, especially smaller breeds, from trying to access the trash.

Another option is to teach your dog to “leave it,” which takes a long process of slowly allowing the dog more alone time with the bin, and giving praise and treats after every session. Eventually, adding temptations like food and tissue paper into the trash will be the ultimate test to see if you can leave your pet by itself for any length of time.

If the problem persists, feel free to give us a call at (615) 750-2377. We can talk through your frustrations and find the best solution for you.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , | Comments Off on Doggie Dumpster Diving – How to Stop It

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