Dogs Eating Garbage

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Health and Nutrition

My dog often gets into the garbage, is that a health risk or just a nuisance?

The following article is taken from the "Purina® Animal Instincts" Podcast Series. Learn more at

Keeping dogs away from garbage is about more than sanitation. Dogs who eat trash are living dangerously. Not only are foreign objects and bone fragments dangerous to a dog’s digestive tract – moist food can quickly turn into a toxic stew. In fact, discarded food scraps can grow fungus in just two or three days – posing a risk to your pup.

Moldy cheese products like old pizza are a particular concern because they contain toxins that can give dogs muscle tremors and seizures.

So keep your pet away from the trash. And if he does manage to get into the garbage, watch him closely. A loss of appetite, shivering, or yellow eyes and lips are signs to call your vet immediately.

– Dr. Andrea Looney, DVM

Learn more about our dog food ingredients and AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles.