While dogs will love sniffing every inch of a field, a park, or even the back garden, they also won’t hesitate to use their mouth to investigate their surroundings too, however, this is a habit that you should never encourage your dog to partake in.
Not only are there many types of foods out there that can cause some real health issues if a dog tries to eat them, but digesting sharp or rough objects can also lead to some nasty accidents, but if your dog is adamant about chewing everything they find, how do you stop them?
Keep reading as we take a look at the best methods for stopping a dog when they are eager to snack on everything in sight.
Ways To Stop A Dog From Eating Everything Outside
If your own dog has started taking it upon itself to eat everything they see outside, don’t worry, this is a very common behavioural trait, especially for younger dogs who love nothing more than using their senses to explore their environment.
With that being said though, it should be dealt with as soon as you notice it happening. Here are some of the best ways to lead them away from this type of behaviour:
Practice Playing “Trade”
“Trade” simply involves exchanging an item you have with something that the dog has picked up, and is probably about to eat.
If your dog has picked up a less than appetising looking apple, for example, hold out a treat or a tennis ball and say “trade” so that they know to drop what they have for the much safer item instead.
Change Your Walking Environment
Forests, playgrounds, and anywhere near construction sites are examples of some areas where you can guarantee there will be some small and harmful objects lying around for the dogs to dig their teeth into.
It’s important to avoid any areas such as these which will make it easy for your furry companion to pick up something that they shouldn’t so they don’t get as many temptations as they normally would.
Dog parks and wide open fields are some of the safest areas to go for a walk since they provide enough space for the dog to run around and enjoy themselves without there being an abundance of food and sharp objects for them to uncover.
Train Them Using A Slow Feeding Bowl
You can easily train your dog’s eating habits by teaching them to work hard for their food by using a slow feeding bowl.
These types of bowls have protrusions which means the dog must have to use their mind and paws to scoop up the food so that they can finally snack on it.
This teaches the dog that eating requires some amount of effort, but also teaches that they can’t simply grab any food they like whenever they want, making for a great way to encourage them not to consume any random food they find while out in the wild.
Get Creative With Your Games
No dog is ever going to turn down an exciting game of fetch, but you don’t want your outdoor games to get too predictable, otherwise, the dog may start becoming a little less interested and might go searching for objects out in the wild rather than returning the ball.
Therefore, try out some new games to keep your dog occupied, and make sure to always introduce new toys too to keep the dog focused on enjoying a brand new game.
Consider Using A Muzzle
If you’ve desperately tried to steer your dog away from eating everything it sees outdoors, but you’re still not having any success, you might want to consider using a muzzle to physically prevent your dog from being able to ingest anything that could be harmful to them.
Many people don’t like using muzzles because of how restrictive they can be, however, it’s always worth remembering that at the end of the day, it’s better to use a muzzle than to not let your dog go for a walk entirely because of their eating habits, so it should always be a last-resort option.
Best Treats To Bring On Walks
Treats are essential for teaching a dog to stay away from harmful objects and foods when they’re out exploring, especially when they are being taken for a walk.
Not only do they reward them for behaving themselves, but they will also keep them satisfied if they start getting a little peckish along their walk.
Dry kibble, dog food rolls, and jerky treats are some of the most ideal and convenient snacks to store in your treat bag. If your dog doesn’t have any allergies, cat biscuits also work great as a small, smelly, and appetising treat for them to enjoy.
If you notice that your dog has started eating food and objects that they’re not supposed to while on their walks or while relaxing in the back garden, try to distract them with a few fun games and reward them for behaving themselves to shake them out of this habit as soon as possible.