If Rascal knocks over the trash can and finds a yummy treat, he might make it his life's mission to frequently check the trash for more goodies. Rascal's messy and potentially dangerous behavior can wreak havoc on his digestive system. Some simple steps can keep all parties happy and safe.
Consult a Veterinarian
Before taking steps to stop Rascal from knocking over the trash can, see a veterinarian to rule out medical conditions that might trigger his scavenging behavior. For instance, if parasites have invaded your dog's body, he might just be hungry, because these intruders rob him of the nutrients he needs. A veterinarian can also make sure that your dog is eating enough for his age and size, and he can recommend a high-quality, balanced dog food.
If your pet companion can't get to the trash can, there's no way he can knock it over. Place a baby gate in front of the entrance to the kitchen to keep your dog away from the trash. Alternatively, crate Rascal when you're not home, place the trash can on a high counter or put it in a cabinet that's secured with a childproof latch. If you don't want to block your dog's access to certain parts of the house, use a trash can with a heavy lid or with a foot pedal, because these might throw off your dog.
Consistently booby trapping the trash might stop Rascal in his tracks. Partially fill empty soda cans with pennies or small rocks and use sticky tape to close the can openings. Tie the cans together with a piece of string and stack them up in a pyramid on a counter above the trash can. At the end of the string, attach a yummy treat and place it in the trash can. When Rascal knocks over the trash to get to the treat, the cans will fall and the noise startle him, making him think twice about revisiting the trash can.
Taste and Texture Deterrents
A taste deterrent, such as hot sauce or cayenne pepper, might keep Rascal from knocking over the trash can. Apply the deterrent around the top edge of the can. When your furry friend gives into his trash-raiding fetish, the nasty taste will catch him by surprise, and with consistency, he might decide to leave the can alone. An upside down carpet runner placed in front of the trash bin might also do the trick. Rascal will dislike walking on the nubby surface and might stop attacking the trash.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.