Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh No! Look What The Dog Did!


If you have a dog then you probably find yourself saying that phrase once in a while.  Dogs tend to have some strange, gross, annoying habits, no matter how much we may love them.  Perhaps they think the same thing about us, but let's look at some of the things they do and see if we can find some solutions.

One of the most common pleasures enjoyed by dogs is raiding the garbage can.  Whether they pull out old coffee grounds, dirty paper towels, or food scraps, the result is usually a mess in your kitchen or yard.  It's not hard to figure out why dogs do this.  As a species they have been surviving not only as hunters but as scavengers for millennia.  Your garbage can (or worse, your neighbor's) is an irresistible target.  When you leave your garbage can at eye level for them in the kitchen it must seem like a gift.
Perhaps your dog was hungry and decided to prowl through the garbage.  More likely, your dog saw an easy opportunity and took advantage of it.  You can solve the problem of trash can raids by sealing anything particularly odiferous in its own container so it will be less likely to attract a dog's attention.  Put bones and other things tempting to dogs in the outdoor trash receptacle.  If the outdoor trashcan also attracts your dog's attention (or the neighbor's dog), consider building a small enclosure around it to keep animals out.  Look for large cans that are unlikely to tip over.  Another kitchen option is to keep trash containers under the sink or other places where your dog can't reach them.  Get cans that latch at the top so your dog can't open them.
You may also wonder why your dog turns up his nose at the lovely food you place before him to go outside and eat grass.  Everything you have ever learned about dogs tells you that they are meat eaters and not herbivores.  They don't normally graze.  So, what's up with that?  The answer is probably in his own stomach.  Something he's eaten may have upset his stomach and he may be seeking out a natural tonic in the form of greens to help his digestion.  Humans, after eating a big meal, may feel like eating a salad.  It's the same with dogs.  This is not usually anything to worry about if it's only something your dog does occasionally.  (The exception would be if your yard has been chemically treated.  In that case you should try to keep your dog from eating the grass.)
Your dog may also eat a little grass to help him vomit up something disagreeable.  This is not unusual but it should be watched.  If your dog continues to try to vomit something for more than a short time you should seek out your veterinarian.
Perhaps these tips will help you the next time you are tempted to ask, “Did you see what the dog did?”  Living with a dog brings lots of pleasure and happiness to our lives.  When we do run into a problem there is almost always a solution.  Hang in there and do a bit of research on some of these issues and you can find a way to overcome even the hardest problems.  Your dog is worth it!!!!

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