Responsible puppy parents know that veterinary visits are a must when their dogs need vaccines or wellness exams. But did you know that your vet can also help you with behavioral problems such as digging? Vets have an in-depth knowledge of canine behavior. Your vet will help you determine the root causes behind your dog’s playful destruction of your yard, and then recommend some smart solutions for curbing this behavior.
Neuter your male dog.
If your dog is a male and not neutered, talk to your veterinarian about scheduling a sterilization surgery. Mature, unneutered males have a tendency to wander away from home in search of a mate. If they have to dig to get underneath a fence, they will.
Keep toys indoors.
Dogs like to bury their toys. Avoid letting your dog carry toys outside to prevent unwanted digging behaviors. If you bring a ball or Frisbee outdoors to play fetch, be sure to bring it in afterward.
Look for sources of stress.
Dogs often dig when they experience stress and boredom. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise to prevent both problems. Go for long walks or jogs with your pup every day. Dogs also love to play games like fetch and tug-of-war. In addition, look for a local dog park to give your pup some play time with other dogs. In some cases, separation anxiety plays a role in digging behaviors. If you’re at work for long hours at a time, consider bringing your pup to a doggy daycare.
Designate an appropriate digging area.
Some dogs are simply natural diggers. Hunting breeds will often dig up a yard in search of gophers and moles, for instance. If your dog is a born digger, it might not be possible to completely curb this behavior. Instead, designate an area of the yard where your dog can happily indulge in his or her digging impulses.
Horizon Animal Hospital is here to help with all of your canine-related questions. Our friendly veterinary team can help you keep your dog healthy and behaving appropriately. Give us a call in Scottsdale, AZ at (480) 800-4559 to schedule an appointment.