Dogs are natural scavengers, so it’s normal for your dog to sniff out and eat nearly everything it finds. However, scavenging can lead to health problems like a blocked intestine, broken teeth, or poisoning. As a dog owner, there are a few things you can do to curb your dog’s voracious appetite.
Teach Your Dog to “Leave It” Just like “stay” and “sit,” “leave it” is also an essential command to teach your dog. When trained appropriately, your dog should obey the “leave it” command no matter how tempting the morsel is or how distracting the environment is. If you have trouble getting your dog to obey your commands, you can seek the help of a professional trainer. Use Rewards Teach your dog that you have the best treats. If it knows you’re the source of the best food, it’ll be less likely to search for other things to eat. When on walks or in the yard, reward your dog whenever it checks in with you. Use special treats like chunks of chicken or a bone to chew. When your dog associates being outside with special treats from you, it’ll be much easier to prevent your dog from sniffing out trash and roadkill. Choose Clean Walking Routes Avoid your dog’s temptation altogether by being selective with dog-walking locations. Choose routes that don’t have trash piles or poisonous plants and are generally clean and clear of anything your dog might want to put into its mouth. Give Your Dog Other Outlets Satiate your dog’s natural desire to search and consume by giving it safe, controlled outlets at home. When feeding your dog, scatter the food over a wide area, so it must use its nose and brain to seek out each piece. Also, use games like “find it,” where your dog stays while you hide a treat it has to seek, or “which hand,” where the dog must nudge your hand holding the treat. Use a Muzzle If your dog’s search-and-eat compulsion is uncontrollable, don’t stop going for walks. A muzzle will allow you to give your dog exercise while ensuring it doesn’t eat anything harmful. Use a muzzle that doesn’t restrict your dog’s ability to pant and cool itself off. Professional Dog Teeth Cleaning in Toronto If your dog has eaten something harmful, take it to Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital. We offer X-ray and ultrasound services plus complete pet dentistry services, including treating broken teeth and teeth cleaning. We also have the equipment to perform surgery if required. Contact us at our Toronto clinic today to schedule a check-up for your pet.