Help, My Dog Eats Anything and Everything!
Ask any vet; eating yucky or crazy things is a very common problem, and it’s not just a problem with puppies. Some dogs never seem to outgrow chewing (and swallowing) just about anything. If this describes your buddy, you are probably looking for a solution. Check-in with your vet to ensure there isn’t a medical reason for this behavior. If there isn’t, the answer is management and training.
Management means keeping dangerous things away from your dog. Put the trash away (maybe in a closet or cabinet), pick up socks and shoes, put away batteries, ant traps, soap, crayons, diapers, branches in the yard, and so forth. If your dog can’t get at them, he can’t eat them. Inside you may want to use baby gates to keep your best friend in a safe area. Some people try deterrent sprays like Bitter Apple; feel free to give them a try, but they don’t always work well on committed “eaters.”
Sit down with your family, explain how important this is, and then enlist their help. Schedule a pick-up time every day, perhaps after dinner but before everyone settles in for the evening. Ask everyone to spend 5 minutes cleaning up items the pup could eat.
Next is training. A convenient command is “leave it.” It’s easy to teach but takes some practice to master. If you’ve tried this one and your dog is only selectively responding to it, you may want to enlist the help of a trainer to take this command to the next level.
Another command is to ask Fido to pay attention to you. You could use the word “watch” or “look.” When you say it, he should turn and look at you. Practice and delicious treats will help make this command reliable. Until he “gets it,” try to walk in areas with fewer temptations – on the sidewalk or in the street (as long as it’s quiet and safe).
People with dogs that eat almost anything often train their dog to wear a basket muzzle when they go for a walk. The muzzle acts as a barrier. It must fit correctly, so it is not only comfy but large enough to allow your dog to fully pant. This is a sure-fire way to keep your dog from getting into trouble and may be an excellent solution to use while your buddy is still learning the “leave it” command. However, do not leave a dog unattended or alone with a muzzle on; it could get caught on something and hurt your buddy.
Finally, many dogs chew when they are bored and not getting enough exercise. We can help you get Fido moving.
We’ll keep our paws crossed that these tips will help you manage your pup that seems to snarf up everything in sight!