It is a natural instinct for dogs and cats to rummage through the kitchen trash. However, this can be potentially lethal, as your pet may consume poisonous substances such as cleaning agents, or choke on other hazardous objects such as bones. Here’s how you can help keep your dog or cat away from the garbage can:
Observe your Pet’s Behaviour
As your dog or cat approaches the trash can, distract it with a loud noise such as clapping your hands or calling out its name in a commanding tone. After getting its attention, you may try sparking its interest with a toy. Praise it or reward it with a treat as it engages in playing with you and continue with this reinforcement. Over time, it should learn to lose its interest in rummaging your trash.
Ensure your Pet Is Well Fed
Dogs and cats sometimes approach the trash out of hunger, and cannot resist the smells that tantalize them from what’s buried beneath that junk. Feeding your pet with adequate portions or whipping up a meal that satisfies his preferences will help to curb this problem.
Booby-trap your garbage can. You may do this by adding some hot sauce on the lid, which is often unpleasant to animals. Your dog or cat will gradually learn not to approach it anymore from its previous bad experiences from going through the trash.
Pay More Attention to Your Pet
Playing with your pet will keep it entertained over long periods of time. Besides promoting good health, your pet will be happier and less likely to scavenge for trash leftovers out of boredom. Extended periods of play should tire your dog that it wouldn’t even bother about the trash can.
Digging for trash is often regarded as an irksome act, but it is a perfectly ordinary behaviour for dogs, and sometimes cats. They are natural scavengers and hence will not relent their investigation until they understand whatever sparked their curiosity.