While it might be entertaining to have a smart dog, the fact that yours learned how to open the refrigerator door is probably not that much fun. A few tricks and adjustments can be the key to keeping your pooch out of the fridge.
Close the Kitchen Door
If you have a kitchen door, close it every time you leave the house. Chances are Fido is getting into the fridge when you're not around, so blocking access to the kitchen is the best way to prevent his bad behavior.
If you don't have a door, a simple dog gate can be used to close off access to the kitchen. Keep in mind that some dogs are good jumpers, so pick a gate that's tall enough to prevent your dog from going over it.
Use Locks and Bungees
Invest in child locks. While technically designed to keep kids out of cupboards -- and of course the fridge -- child-proof latches will also protect your food from your smart dog. Childproof latches are available for both single- and double-door refrigerators, so you can choose the right size and model to fit your needs.
A quick solution if no cord or latches are available right now: Place a heavy chair or other piece of furniture against the fridge door so doggy can't open it. While not an ideal long-term solution, it can work until you get the proper latches to keep the fridge safe from inquiring paws.
Eliminate Underlying Issues
While it's true that many dogs will open the fridge to get to your goodies, there's also a chance he's either hungry or bored. If you will be out of the house for long periods of time, planning for food and entertainment can eliminate Fido's need to "hunt" in your fridge.
If you don't free feed your dog, leave him with a chew bone or a few toys when you leave home, or try hiding small treats around the house so he spends time "scavenging" for his food, which experts believe is a very natural instinct in dogs. This will satisfy his "munchies" but will also make him feel like he's doing a good job searching for his next meal.
If you come home and find that your dog has gotten into the fridge, resist the urge to scold him or punish him. Unless you catch him in the act, the scolding is unlikely to be useful.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.