Why Do Dogs Go Through Trash Cans?

by Naomi Millburn
    This is not a suitable canine playground.

    This is not a suitable canine playground.

    Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

    As well-behaved and sweet as your precious pooch may be, she's still a canine. Dogs are inquisitive creatures, and if you combine that trait with their usually voracious appetites, you have a recipe for disaster -- or at least some very messy trash raiding in the middle of your kitchen.

    Dogs go through garbage cans out of the desire to eat food, plain and simple. Even if your dog isn't necessarily hungry at the moment, her amazingly strong sense of smell will drive her to the trash can where she may just uncover some very exciting remnants of the "people food" she just saw you enjoying for lunch a few hours beforehand. If you just threw out your leftover spaghetti, your dog's going to smell it and be there in two seconds flat! Canines are scavengers, after all.

    Like their feline counterparts, dogs are also very curious creatures, often to the point of mischief. If your dog spots a tall mysterious cylinder that you open up periodically throughout the day, she's probably going to wonder what's so fascinating about it. Whether it's the trash can in your kitchen, in your bathroom or in your study, don't be surprised if your pet attempts to investigate the situation. She may just come up with a new "toy" to chew, after all -- ugh.

    Although trash raiding is normal, it's not always safe. Trash cans may be a source of many serious doggie dangers, whether toxic grapes, medicines for human use, dental floss or anything else. Whether it's something your dog can choke on or something that is poisonous to canines as a species, trash cans can be chock-full of nightmare scenarios for your sweet and unassuming pet, so never take a garbage raiding problem lightly. A lot of "human foods" that are safe for you aren't at all for pets, including onions and chocolate. Because of this, it's crucial to keep Fluffy out of the bin -- no matter what.

    Do what you can to prevent your cutie from getting anywhere near your trash cans, from keeping tight lids on the tops to putting bins in high, impossible to reach areas. If you have the space, put small trash cans in cabinets with doors. Also consider using a pet gate that will stop your curious pet from entering into any area that houses a large trash can. When it comes to your pet's health and safety, no amount of effort is too much.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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