My dog is eating cat food left outside

Ladyjane26Ladyjane26 Forumite
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We live close to a public field which we walk around daily with our dog. People living close to the field have just got a dog and have now decided to feed their cat outside their front door. My dog, and others, have realised there is a a daily treat there and we’re unable to stop our dogs from running off the field to eat this food. They are becoming annoyed with visiting dogs and suggested we keep our dogs in a lead, we suggested they should put their cat food higher up. Our dog gets far more exercise walking off lead and I don’t see why I should now put her in a lead. Would love opinions please.
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  • SimbySimby Forumite
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    You need to be in control of your dog , so if the dog will not respond to you off the lead.. you need it on a lead until you have trained it to respond to you when off a lead.

    I would be upset if your dog wandered repeatedly onto my property.
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    A Devil's Advocate would suggest that until you can recall your dog and he comes running it'd be wrong to let him off the lead.
  • As above, if your dog is going into their property and stealing their cat’s food then you need to train it better, and keep it on the lead until then.

    If you can’t control it then what will you do if it runs for a road, or a child?
  • Fire_FoxFire_Fox Forumite
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    Ladyjane26 wrote: »
    We live close to a public field which we walk around daily with our dog. People living close to the field have just got a dog and have now decided to feed their cat outside their front door. My dog, and others, have realised there is a a daily treat there and we’re unable to stop our dogs from running off the field to eat this food. They are becoming annoyed with visiting dogs and suggested we keep our dogs in a lead, we suggested they should put their cat food higher up. Our dog gets far more exercise walking off lead and I don’t see why I should now put her in a lead. Would love opinions please.

    You have answered your own question. All the owners have a legal responsibility to ensure their dogs are under control at all times. You might watch a few episodes of It's Me or the Dog to learn how to achieve reliable recall, even in a stressful or tempting situation.

    "Whether you own a large dog or a miniature breed, and however calm and friendly your dog is, the Dangerous Dogs Act still applies to you ... Since 1991 it has been illegal for dogs to be 'out of control in a public place'. In 2014 the law was amended to include incidents on private property - so inside your home and others' homes, including front and back gardens."
    RSPCA

    Conversely people are at liberty to feed their pet cat/ adolescent hedgehogs/ vixen and cubs/ wild birds on their own property. The powers-that-be will only get involved if they are attracting vermin (rats).

    HTH.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
  • waamowaamo Forumite
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    Our dog gets far more exercise walking off lead and I don’t see why I should now put her in a lead. Would love opinions please.

    It won't need as much exercise if it isn't eating masses of cat food.
  • tealadytealady Forumite
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    If you want your dog off lead but dont want it eating the food then either:
    1) walk the dog somewhere else
    2) muzzle it
    Find out who you are and do that on purpose (thanks to Owain Wyn Jones quoting Dolly Parton)
  • warby68warby68 Forumite
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    If you can't control your dog then its on you i'm afraid.

    There could be other temptations for an off lead dog who won't obey.

    It sounds like you are walking off lead too near to houses for the control you have in any case, regardless of the cat food.

    More sympathetically, the cat food might only be short term, once the neighbours have trained their own dog.
  • Ladyjane26Ladyjane26 Forumite
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    Thanks for your responses. My dog is 8 years old and always has been reasonably well trained but has now decided to ignore my calling as the temptation for the cat food outweighs me! I will try treats next time. I only walk her off lead on fields but these people leave the cat food out only 3 metres or so from one of the entrances to the field. She has never run towards a road (too far away) nor a child. It makes it slightly more irritating as these particular people are also falling out with their neighbours and the local council over different matters so I feel that they’re choosing to be awkward with everyone and everything!
  • onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    You really need to stop this happening. If the dog runs for cat food it could run to a picnic or a kid with a tasty smelling snack.

    The more dog owners who let their off lead dogs run out of control and cause problems, the higher the chances of councils not allowing off lead dogs at all. Don’t ruin it for the rest of us!
  • ArtytartyArtytarty Forumite
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    Their lookout in my opinion!
    That's very close to the field where they know you and others walk your dogs.
    If it wasn't your dog eating the cats food it would be rats, foxes etc.
    I'd try not to let it happen obviously , and I'd maybe cut back on my own dogs food to compensate and try the reward system as you mentioned.
    Norn Iron Club member 473
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