While we consider garbage to be something that’s disgusting and repelling, dogs see it as an attractive place that hides many “treats.” What your dog doesn’t realize, of course, is that the garbage is full of bacteria, germs, and possible infestation and that consuming garbage can lead to all kinds of health conditions.
In fact, letting your dog go through your trash is a dangerous practice that can lead to stomach and gut problems, not to mention the mess it leaves you with every single time. Luckily, you can do something about this situation.
Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your dog away from your trash.
Get A Dog-Proof Trash Can
From the moment you adopt your pet, you should also chuck out your old trash can and invest in a dog-proof trash can instead. Dog-proof trash cans are designed in a way that makes it impossible for dogs to rummage through and make a mess. They typically come with a lockable lid and are heavy enough to deter any dog from knocking them over.
While it’s easier for your dog to obey your wishes of staying out of your trash when you’re around, they might take chances as soon as you’re not there. How do you get him to comply when you’re not around? Apply deterrents like bitter-tasting spray or hot sauce onto the trash can, especially on the lid. This will deter your pet from going any further into the trash. You could also put some metal baking sheets on top of the trash can so they’ll crash all over your dog as soon as it starts going through your trash. This will startle your dog and discourage it from coming for your trash can again.
Try To Distract Your Dog
Another neat trick is to get your dog to associate trash-diving with some form of unpleasant sensation, like hearing a scary noise. One way to do this would be to shake a bottle of coins or clap your hands whenever Fido gets near the trash can. If you do this enough times, your pet will put two-and-two together and realize that something scary or startling happens whenever it gets near the trash can. It doesn’t end there, however, as you must also provide your pooch with an alternative activity that it can engage in instead of going through your trash.
Sometimes, dogs go through your trash not because they’re naughty but because they’re bored. If that’s the case, then you should find different ways to keep your dog preoccupied. Get it a wide variety of toys to play with and make sure they’re accessible. From ropes to bouncy balls and squeaky toys; make sure they’re durable and practically indestructible toys that’ll keep your dog busy for hours. Treat-filled rubber toys are a popular option for energetic dogs and can go a long way to keeping it out of your trash.
It’s also a good idea to baby-proof your house, regardless of how old your pet is. This means keeping the doors closed in all the different rooms that have trash cans around your house. If you have an open-plan home without a lot of doors, consider hiding the trash can beneath the sink or inside the locked cabinet doors.
If you don’t have a way of hiding your trash from your dog, make sure it’s tall enough to keep the lid out of reach. Or, opt for a lockable lid or place baby gates all around the trash can to prevent your pup from getting to it.