Got Food?

by Randi Case (originally published on mendhamchester-online.com)

One thing that dogs are good at is sniffing out a good meal.  Often, however, that meal is the sandwich that is sitting on the counter or the leftovers on the dinner table.  Eating “scraps” is a bad habit that is all too common.  Here are a few tips to keep the paws on the floor and off the counters…

First, “exercise is a ‘quick fix’ for many annoying dog habits”, says Justine Shuurman, owner of The Family Dog.  She recommends twenty minutes of aerobic exercise three times a day “until his tongue is hanging out of the side of his mouth.”  This will leave the dog tired and less likely to look for mischief in the kitchen.

Second, don’t give him the opportunity to find anything yummy where he snoops.  If the dog is rewarded by a tasty morsel, he’ll be back for more.  Best practice, Justine recommends, “If the food is THERE, the dog is AWAY.  If the food is AWAY, the dog can be THERE.”

Third, have the dog work for their food.  Pet stores often have ‘Dog Puzzles’ that keep the dogs engaged.  A kong, a kibble nibble, or a tug-a-jug give the dog a mission.  Dogs love this!  It also tires them out.

Finally, if you have a persistent pincher with years of food hijacking, it may be time to call in a PRO.  Go to the CCPT.ORG website to find a certified dog trainer near you.  Persistence, consistency, and a good trainer will help both you and your dog live happy, healthy lives…  Woof!