If you have already come home to find the contents of your bin strewn around the house, you are certainly not the first pet parent that this has happened to.
Here we help you to understand why your dog may rummage through the bin and what you can do in order to limit the damage in the future.
Why would my dog rummage through the bin?
There are two reasons for which your dog may rummage through the bin:
The first is the smell that your bin emits (even if to us it doesn't smell). Your dog's sense of smell locates the place where any leftovers are thrown away. If they like their grub it will be no time at all before your dog is tempted to make a meal out of last night's dinner.
The second explanation is the stress that your dog feels when you are absent. Dogs are pack animals and it is unnatural for them to be cut off from their family. Dogs' pet parents also bring food and comfort to dogs, which is why insecurity and anxiety can push your dog to rummage through the bin.
Other than the fact that the contents of your bin could be all over your clean floor, the risk is that something your dog eats could poison themselves.
It is important to teach your dog not to rummage through the bin as this could have consequences for their health and even cause them to die. Garlic, onion and chocolate are particularly dangerous for dogs. They might also eat something that could get stuck in their intestines.
Issues linked to the consumption of spoiled leftovers are vomiting and diarrhea. Any dog showing these symptoms should be taken to the veterinary as soon as possible.
How to fix this
The most efficient solution is to tidy up promptly. This includes not leaving food on work surfaces, throwing away any rubbish immediately, and putting the bin in a cupboard under the sink. This way, your dog doesn't have access to it.
If you plan on putting leftovers in the bin, make sure that this is inaccessible to your dog.
It is always better to prioritise prevention over punishment. Dogs do not understand why they are being punished and this will only reinforce their stress.
Do not allow your dog to get used to eating food that you drop on the floor. If your dog gets anxious when you leave, you should try to ignore them for 15 minutes before your departure. This will decrease their stress once you are gone.
Does your dog go through the bin? Do you have any solutions?