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Locking a garbage can/How to tell if a lab is hungry

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  • Locking a garbage can/How to tell if a lab is hungry

    I have a 7 year old yellow lab that I got when he was about 1 1/2. For the last 4 or so years, I've had this locking garbage can that worked great for keeping him out of the trash. I can only think of one incident that happened last year when he got in the trash (I forgot to lock it- totally my fault!) and other than that we didn't have any garbage related issues

    But.... in the last 2 weeks he's gotten into it twice and I know with absolute certainty it was locked both time. So, I need to figure out a better way to keep him out. Any suggestions other than putting the garbage can in a closet when I leave? I'm wondering if I could poke some holes in the side of a can and do something with bungee cords?

    Second question- how do I tell if he's hungry? He's on Prednisone right now, and will likely be on it forever and it has been incredible in helping him be happy and healthy again. My vet warned me that a common side effect was increase thirst and hunger. He has definitely been drinking more water than he used to, but I'm not sure how to tell if his hunger has increased too. As a lab, he basically never turns down a meal or a snack.

    Do you think the increased effort to get into the garbage is because he's really hungry? Or has he just discovered that he can?
    Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever

  • #2
    I'd guess he's feeling hungrier than normal. Have you thought about giving him some sort of filler to make him feel as though he's eating more? We gave my last sheltie (a perpetually hungry fatty) frozen green beans to fill him up- he LOVED them.

    You could also give him stuffed and frozen Kongs when you're gone, so that he has something to nom on other than the trash.

    IMO, prevention is the best way to go with the garbage can. Can you put it in a cabinet or closet when you're not around?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Right now he gets 1 1/2 cups of TOTW and half a can of green beans in the morning and at night plus whatever vegetables I'm eating for dinner- usually a chunk of potato and/or some carrots. Should I give him more or different vegetables?

      He'll chew up (and eat) Kongs, so I can't leave him with those during the day. I do buy some really big Milkbone-type bones from our local feed store and I usually give him one of those each afternoon as a snack.

      I don't have a closet near my kitchen, so but I could start carrying the trash across the house to my bedroom when I leave. I'm just lazy and was hoping to find a easier solution that's probably the way to go though!
      Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
      If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever

      Comment


      • #4
        If he's on pred he is hungry and will be hungry no matter how much you feed him. But hunger is not the worst thing in the world. Make sure you keep him thin! Why is he on pred?

        Comment


        • #5
          I use a trash can like this and it is damned near dog proof. My very determined dog occasionally knocked it over and pulled a couple things out the top, but she REALLY had to work at it, and she did not get much.

          If he's on prednisone, he's hungrier. There is nothing you can really do about it. I'd just leave things to chew that he has to work on--like a frozen PB filled kong, or raw real bison bones.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony View Post
            If he's on pred he is hungry and will be hungry no matter how much you feed him. But hunger is not the worst thing in the world. Make sure you keep him thin! Why is he on pred?
            He's very lean right now- actually a bit too skinny I think, but we're definitely trying to keep him light weight! That's one of the things I've been worried about as far as his hunger, I don't want him to gain weight, but I don't want him to be uncomfortably hungry either.

            He had really low platelet counts this summer and was low energy and just not feeling good. We don't know exactly what condition he has, but the small dose of pred that he's on has turned him back into his old self which has been great!

            Originally posted by Simkie View Post
            I use a trash can like this and it is damned near dog proof. My very determined dog occasionally knocked it over and pulled a couple things out the top, but she REALLY had to work at it, and she did not get much.

            If he's on prednisone, he's hungrier. There is nothing you can really do about it. I'd just leave things to chew that he has to work on--like a frozen PB filled kong, or raw real bison bones.
            I'll definitely go looking for that garbage can! Thanks for the suggestion, that looks much more dog-proof, or it would at least slow him down considerably!

            He has considerably strong jaws, he can chew through kongs in a few days- and then he eats them and gets sick. I haven't tried a bison bone before- are those safe even for strong-jawed dogs?

            thanks for the suggestions!
            Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
            If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lone View Post
              He's on Prednisone right now, and will likely be on it forever and it has been incredible in helping him be happy and healthy again. My vet warned me that a common side effect was increase thirst and hunger.
              can?
              You may be unaware of the side-effects of pred long-term usage in dogs. I suggest you google it and have a talk with your vet. Hard to believe a vet would prescribe pred. "likely forever", and it sounds like he made no effort to inform you of the problems associated with pred. (corticosteroid) usage. It does a fine job of suppressing the immune system, and can cause diabetes and Cushing's disease, among other lovely things.

              Please talk to your vet asap, liked first thing tomorrow AM. It sounds like your dog has already been on it far too long, and IMO, without a proper diagnosis, judging by what you wrote.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by lovey1121 View Post
                You may be unaware of the side-effects of pred long-term usage in dogs. I suggest you google it and have a talk with your vet. Hard to believe a vet would prescribe pred. "likely forever", and it sounds like he made no effort to inform you of the problems associated with pred. (corticosteroid) usage. It does a fine job of suppressing the immune system, and can cause diabetes and Cushing's disease, among other lovely things.

                Please talk to your vet asap, liked first thing tomorrow AM. It sounds like your dog has already been on it far too long, and IMO, without a proper diagnosis, judging by what you wrote.
                We've tried quite a number of other drugs with absolutely no luck what so ever. My vet and I have had fairly lengthy discussions about our options and have decided that at least for now, the pred is the way to go for my dog. We intentionally have him on the lowest dose possible to minimize possible side effects. I probably shouldn't have used the term 'likely forever', but we haven't had any discussions about potentially taking him off the pred, so I've just assumed it would be for a very extended period of time as it is the only thing that has worked.

                While we haven't done incredibly extensive diagnostics to figure out exactly what my dog's problem is, we have done lots of blood work, x-rays, and many thorough physical exams. My vet suspects that my dog has an auto-immune disease, so one of the benefits of the pred in our case is that it's helping to minimize that. I'm fully aware that the drugs my dog has been on, and is currently on may come with side effects that could shorten his overall lifespan, but this summer I was starting to think it was nearing time to put him down, and I honestly didn't expect him to still be alive by the holidays. Yesterday we went on an hour long hike and this morning we played frisbee in the yard for a few minutes. He's happy, he's more-or-less healthy and so I'm sticking with it.

                I really do appreciate the concern, but we've spent the last year trying out several different vets in our town and have *finally* would a vet that is listening to me and taking my concerns very seriously. I trust this vet completely, and while I do still like to double-check things on here and the rest of the internet, ultimately, I really trust my vet.
                Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
                If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever

                Comment


                • #9
                  Got it. I was just worried, and wanted to be sure. I'm glad he's doing well.

                  I'd put the trash in a closet. He will try to get into anything you rig up, now that he's been successful.

                  You might try giving him green beans. I buy frozen ones and let them defrost in the fridge. Although COTHer Wendy recently posted that dogs not break down the cellulose in plants, so it's a waste to feed veggies. But I wonder if it helps a dog feel fuller, even if temporary. I also stocked up on pumpkin, both for me and the pups, and I give them a big tablespoon each meal (2 labs).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lone View Post
                    He has considerably strong jaws, he can chew through kongs in a few days- and then he eats them and gets sick. I haven't tried a bison bone before- are those safe even for strong-jawed dogs?
                    My dogs have never come anywhere near splintering or chewing through any of them, but if you are concerned, I'd start with the knuckles. My local feed store that carries all of the ultra premium pet foods has the bones in the freezer

                    Good luck!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by lovey1121 View Post
                      Got it. I was just worried, and wanted to be sure. I'm glad he's doing well.

                      I'd put the trash in a closet. He will try to get into anything you rig up, now that he's been successful.

                      You might try giving him green beans. I buy frozen ones and let them defrost in the fridge. Although COTHer Wendy recently posted that dogs not break down the cellulose in plants, so it's a waste to feed veggies. But I wonder if it helps a dog feel fuller, even if temporary. I also stocked up on pumpkin, both for me and the pups, and I give them a big tablespoon each meal (2 labs).
                      I just re-read my post and I was a little overly defensive, sorry about that! I've been worrying excessively about my dog for the last year and am really trying to do my best by him on a tight student-budget.

                      The pumpkin is a great idea, I'll definitely look into that! My uncle is a vet also, he lives across the country and so hasn't actually seen my dog, but he was the one who recommended the green beans that I've been feeding. They may not offer a lot of nutritional value, but I've been hoping they'd help him fill up. Either way, he enjoys them and they shouldn't be causing any harm!

                      It'll be great to have another vegetable to add to the mix, and it'll help my grocery budget to have a different veg I can grab if it's on sale!

                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                      My dogs have never come anywhere near splintering or chewing through any of them, but if you are concerned, I'd start with the knuckles. My local feed store that carries all of the ultra premium pet foods has the bones in the freezer

                      Good luck!
                      That's great to know, thanks so much! I'll definitely check out a few stores in our area, I'm sure my lab would love them!
                      Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
                      If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You can also give your dog frozen snacks: ice flavored with meat broth, "popsicles" made with pumpkin, yogurt (lots of low cal versions now), cottage cheese, veggies etc.

                        K was on low doses of pred for over 10 years, in the last year he had issues but they weren't so different from other old dogs & the quality of his life was incredibly better with the pred, he lived an average life span for his breed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm glad Boomer is doing well!

                          I have an awesome trashcan holder than has so far been dog proof. It is a big wooden box, with a handle that tilts the whole thing out (for changing bags) and a swingy door up top to put stuff in. The swingy door is high enough from the trash though that a dog nose can't make its way inside.

                          I bought mine at a craft fair so I'm not sure where you can get them otherwise. Here's a picture of it though-- it's also adorable!

                          http://i56.tinypic.com/3486n10.jpg
                          Sorry the picture is sideways, I don't have the original file to flip it, and I'm feeling particularly lazy this afternoon.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tegan View Post
                            I have an awesome trashcan holder than has so far been dog proof. It is a big wooden box, with a handle that tilts the whole thing out (for changing bags) and a swingy door up top to put stuff in. The swingy door is high enough from the trash though that a dog nose can't make its way inside.
                            You're right--these are awesome. I use something like that for dog food. Mine doesn't have a swinging door on top, though...you just have to tilt it out. It works great and is definitely dog proof.

                            They sell similar stuff on Amazon

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Those trash bins look great! I know several people that are great with making things out of wood. Maybe I'll talk to one of them about making something like that!
                              Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
                              If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                green beans are a great filler-upper for dogs but I believe dogs on prednisone feel hungry regardless of the volume of food you feed.
                                You could try something like a Buster Cube or Kibble Nibble ball to feed him his kibble out of- if you get a big enough one, he won't be able to get his jaw around it to tear it apart. So instead of working to get your garbage can open he'll be busy working to get his food out of the ball.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  If those meds make dogs hungrier, I'm sure thats part of it. However...he is also a lab I have rarely known a lab who isn't also a glutton. I know mine would gladly be at least 20 lbs heavier if it were up to him.

                                  What we did with our trash can was rig it with a hook and bungee cord. It is a metal can, and what my husband did was install a hook on the side, then drilled a hole behind the lid on the other side. The bungee hooks into both, and lays across the lid at an angle, if that makes sense. Works perfectly, and didn't have to buy a new can, or move it around, or whatnot. The only downfall is if the people forget to hook up the bungee, which has happened a couple times, lol.

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