Pet lovers and owners who share the same space with their dogs and cats, the chances are that you will have a dog eating cat food. Dogs love cat food because they think it smells better due to high protein and fat content.
Allowing a dog to keep eating cat food on a regular basis could make your dog sick because of the different nutritional needs. However, the sad part is that, as your dog gets plump as your cat goes hungry. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can keep your pets and dining table separate.
Here are some of the methods you can use to teach your dogs good behavior
Teach Your Dog to Leave the Plate as where it is. You start by holding a treat that fits snugly in your hand and as the dog heads in the same direction in the cat’s plate. Train the dog to leave that which does not belong to his plate, use the treat to show the dog what you have. Make sure the treat is somewhere he can see and drive him away by revealing the treat to him.
Also read: What to do if your dog eats a corn cob?
Use a Firm Voice
When giving the order to leave, make sure no yelling or shouting to the dog lest you scare him. Give the command in a firm voice as you hold on to the treat. It is not a bad idea to use gesture as well.
Let the Dog Explore Your Hand
By now, the dog already knows what you are holding inside your fist and will attempt to get it. The dog may bring the front paws to your fist or maybe lick you. Ignore all these cues and wait until the dog does not show interest.
Praise Him As Soon As He Gets it Right
The moment the dog stops the frantic efforts to get the treat on your hands before he picks the treat, pause, and praise and give him the treat that at this point is on the other hand.
Repeat the Entire Procedure as Needed
Do the same exercise with your dog until it gets it right. The duration depends on how quickly the dog catches on. Use any of the following to mark your success.
Praise him and offer treats and as soon as the animal stops looking for the treats
Try to show the dog the different gestures available when using the clenched and open fists
Change the location of Training
Move the Treat on the Floor, Using high level treats such as bits of cheese or meat; you need to place the treat on the floor as you issue the command “leave.”
Issue the Command “Leave It” and move the Bait Treat on the floor
The bait treat should be covered by hand, as you let the dog investigate. Since this situation is slightly different from the first experiment, the dog may not be able to associate “leave it” command with what he already knows.
Praise and Reward the Dog
The moment the dog stops looking for the treat give him lusts of praises and probably issue a high value treat as a reward while removing the bait from the floor. This action is supposed to accustom the dog to listening to your instructions.
Let the Dog see the Bait
Once you and the dog have mastered the technique, tell your dog “leave it” but this time hold your hands an inch or so above the bait so that the dog can see it but cannot reach it. Then:
- Wait until the pet stops trying to get at it, then praise and reward him immediately
- Try as much as possible to keep the dog from getting the treat off the floor. Give your dog a high value treat and let it smell it
Train Stand the Dog
Once the dog is proven that, it can follow the “leave it” command even when the treat is on the floor try training it to stand up. Use a leash and hold on it as you stand next to the bait treat, tell him to leave and use your feet to cover the bait if the pet wants to grab it.
If the dog does not aim for the treat praise and give the high value treat
Repeat as many times and make sure your dog looks at you when you say it leaves
Protecting the Cat Food
Place the Cat Food at a Level Higher than the Dog’s Reach. Cats are natural climbers, take advantage of this, and place the food at a level higher where a dog cannot reach. This will keep away the dog from eating cat’s food leaving the cat to eat in peace. Looking at it from a different perspective means keeping your cat active because they have to climb to reach their food.
Use a Gate to Block off Cats Meal
If you have a small dog, the proper thing to do will be to have a fence surrounding the cat food. The cat should climb or jump over the gate to feed. You can consider a gate with a cat hole, which is big enough for the cat but small for the dog. Another alternative is to use a baby gate that has a gap below it for the cat to squeeze in leaving the dog outside.
Read another article on: Can a Dog and a Cat Have a Baby?
Use a Cat Door
A cat door is more or less like a stop that keeps the dog away. The door has a flap that allows the cat and not the dog. The door will only work if the cat is smaller than the dog.
Using an Electric Cat Feeder
Electronic automatic cat feeder is good, they operate through a microchip, and an electronic tag placed on the cat. As the cat approaches the feeder the sensor will open and then closes as the door as the cat leaves. Electric cat feeder is an expensive undertaking but offers one of the best protection to your cat and food.
That is all you needed to know about keeping cat and dog food away. Keeping the foods in different areas and therefore have a healthy and a well-fed cat.