Posted by Patti Croft on 7/27/2023
to Dog Care
Is your dog eating everything off the ground or floor he finds? Some puppies and dogs will eat anything and everything they see, including dirt, rocks, grass, toys, and even feces. Eating non-nutritive items is referred to as pica. If you’ve noticed your pup eating some pretty odd objects, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss why some pets have these weird eating habits and what you can do to change them.
1. Health Conditions
Some pet parents are understandably upset when they find their puppy eating poop. Although it’s rather disgusting, it’s also common and can be due to health issues or behavioral problems. Dogs may eat poop as a sign that something is physically wrong. You should take your pup to the vet for a checkup to look for issues like parasites, diabetes, Cushing’s, thyroid disease, and other health problems.
2. Behavioral Issues
If you’ve had a thorough medical exam and your vet has given you the clear, the next item you should consider is a behavioral issue. These can happen if your dog is isolated and has some separation anxiety when you are away. Similarly, it can be a way to seek attention from you to signal unhappiness. In this case, your dog may simply need more stimulation. Try an early morning walk and give your canine some cool toys to keep him entertained.
3. Nutrient Deficiency
When your puppy eats items like rocks, dirt, and poop like they are delicacies, it could be due to missing nutrients. Many times, your dog is trying to obtain more protein and is not getting enough from his current diet. If no other health issues are present, talk to your vet about a diet that may give your pup more nutrients. Sometimes a higher-quality dog food is just what your pet needs.
Your puppy is curious by nature. The world is a brand new place to explore, and your new furry friend may want to examine and even nibble at everything interesting. Since dogs don’t have hands, their mouths are how puppies experience and study new items.
One thing you should consider if you have a puppy chewing on weird objects is teething. It may seem odd to you, but chewing on something hard like rocks or sticks, can be soothing to your puppy’s gums or aching teeth. It can also be a distraction from pain. Try to provide your dog with plenty of chew toys to show him what is acceptable.
Taking the Appropriate Steps for the Behavior
You and your vet can work as a team to provide the best diet, supplements, and exercise routine to deter your pet from eating weird objects. Puppies will eat things they shouldn’t sometimes, but there are ways to prevent the behavior and correct it when you aren’t around. The proper nutrients combined with adequate stimulation can often be all it takes to get your dog on the right track. Prompt veterinary treatment and some planning can save your puppy from potential harm.