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Sally G.
Sally G., Dog Training Consultant
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9567
Experience:  Service/assistance dog training/ behavior /obedience/Therapy dog Evaluator/AKC Evaluator
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My dog is a 12 year old sheepdog? mix (not sure as we

Customer Question

My dog is a 12 year old sheepdog? mix (not sure as we rescued her at five months) and has recently started digging in the trash, licking and eating any food on any trash she pulls out and ripping it to shreds in the meantime. She does this when people are in the house, but not in the kitchen or near it. Our trash can has a lock on it, but she's figured how to open it. I'm concerned she may get something bad for her, or swallow something dangerous. Like today, she got into grape vines, plastic and styrofoam that once had food in it. She has food and water in her bowl and toys to play with, although she doesn't have any interest in playing with toys. She most just lays around all day, unless we're petting her. She's been making this kinda growling not happy noise when she lays down, which I've attributed to her hip arthritis, but it seems worse since she's been in the trash. Concerned if something more could be going on. Thank you.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if your dog will be able to digest that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your dog?
Customer: She has a large fatty tumor that's growing on her belly, and one on her side. She's anxious, to the point of shaking in a car or with loud noises, like thunder. She won't go outside to go to the bathroom when the ground is wet unless we go out with her and an umbrella.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for using this site to help you. Rescues are often anxious and fearful and she may be acting out when company is there because of being anxious. Dogs that are rescues may also have grown up in a puppy mill which means that food was tossed in a crate that held many dogs and may the best dog win as far as eating and this can lead to counter surfing and trash eating.

Also check the food you are giving. make sure the quaility is good and add fillers such as canned pumpkin, carrots, green beans to give her a full feeling.

You also want to check that the thyroid is okay as this will make a dog feel hungry all the time.

For anxiousness you can try things like melatonin to calm her, an anxiety wrap , play calming music in the cd player and do some behavior modification training as well as train daily in short sessions several times a day because this boosts a dogs self esteem which helps in behavior.

As for the fatty tumor, though they are usually harmless ,as they get bigger they can cause discomfort when sitting or laying down so it is always best to discuss this with your vet as whether it should be removed.

Melatonin found in drug stores by vitamins

DAP Diffuser ePqCqWc

calming music on youtube to try out

Anxiety wrap

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My dog was left at the shelter in a box with her brother, they found them in the morning when they opened. She's been a well behaved dog for twelve years. She's on Blue Buffalo limited ingredient turkey and potato senior dog dry food for a couple of years, as she was on Science Diet, but started having an itching problem and since we switched her food, she's been without itching.
I thought a doctor would be answering, and although I appreciate the information and links, I only provided the extra information because that is all the things she's had trouble with in her elder years and didn't know if any of the information would be helpful to diagnosing her sudden trash digging, shredding and eating problem. We have no company in the house, this only happens if all family members are in other rooms other than the kitchen where they could keep her from doing it. My concern was with if there was a medical underlying problem that could cause this, or if it had something to do with her age, or if I should be concerned with a bigger issue of what she may have swallowed with the example I gave from today. None of the answers really address this, other than the thyroid check, but I mentioned she had food on her bowl and water when she did it.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

There is a medical such as thyroid but there is also canine cognitive dysfunction and this is much like the onset of human dementia which will suddenly show a dog revert back to behaviors or start new behaviors. You are describing a dog with anxieties , ie : won't go on wet grass, shakes with noise, etc. As dogs age other behaviors can creep in from a manifestation of original anxieties,

As for getting into garbage since you know she does it, then it is best to put your garbage in an area she cannot get to it at all as it is not likely to stop overnight and may in fact get worse so keeping her safe is priority.

Anything non food has the potential to cause a blockage of the intestines so if she swallows plastics, Styrofoam etc, you need to watch if it passes and watch for signs of obstruction which would be sudden lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. Grapes are toxic to dogs as are raisins, so if the dog ingested any grapes from the vine Vet help should be sought immediately.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Sally G.