Your pup may eat anything and everything it finds but is it a normal behavior? Although this may upset some pet parents, it is actually a very natural behavior for canines to scavenge. Puppies can love to eat dead animals and stones, as well as trash leaves and other materials.
There may be an explanation your dog is eating foods that are not allowed. This article will explain why certain dogs eat everything and what you can do to stop it.
Why Would They Eat It If It Wasn’t Food?
Pica is the proper explanation in many cases. Pica is a common disorder in which your dog will eat items that aren’t food like socks, shoes, rocks, dirt, or toys.
It is not like chewing on something to get attention but an obsession with eating objects (such as sticks, rocks, and sand). These foods often contain nutrients that may be lacking in your dog’s diet.
However, your dog may eat many unsafe or unfit items for consumption. Pica can cause an obstruction in the intestines, which could lead to emergency surgery to save your dog’s life.
You should consult your vet if your dog displays an urge to eat unpalatable items.
Related: My Dog Ate Plastic. What Should I Do?
However, there are many other reasons your dog might be eating non-food items, aside from pica. These are some possible reasons:
- The loneliness of being alone
- Stress and anxiety
- Attention-seeking behavior
- From puppyhood, old habits
- For health reasons
Anyway, many of these causes can be fixed through behavioral training.
Puppies learn about the world by exploring it using their mouths.
Feces from cats’ litter boxes is one of the most common items that puppies will eat, which is unappetizing and can also make your puppy sick.
Many dogs will eventually learn to stop this disgusting behavior, but you might need to train them.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Worms?
Adult dogs are known to eat anything they find on walks or in the house.
Dogs love to play with new things. They may pick up and chew on them. Unrelated to pica, dogs may accidentally swallow something or play with it.
What Dogs Eat & Why
These are some of our favorite non-foods our dogs often eat:
Dogs love grass and will often nibble it. However, some dogs enjoy grass more than others. Your dog can eat grass if it’s healthy and the grass is not coated with chemicals.
Dogs eat grass for many reasons. They may do so to increase their fiber intake, relieve boredom, or simply because they like it. Talk to your vet if your dog is eating excessive amounts of grass.
Dogs could be eating dead animals due to their fascination with the smell. The smell gets stronger with time, attracting the dog even more.
Dogs from hunting breeds may also be eating dead animals or roadkill because they have the instinct to hunt, kill, and retrieve animals. This instinct could still be present in breeds like golden retrievers and labradors.
It is not a problem if your dog sniffs or carries the dead animal. However, contact your vet immediately if your dog consumes any of the carcasses. Your vet will ask further questions to help you understand the situation. After that, they will decide if you need to bring your dog in for a check-up or keep an eye out for any unusual behaviors or symptoms.
Related: My Dog Ate a Bird, Will It be Okay?
Puppies can be prone to eating dirt. It isn’t known why puppies will choose dirt over other foods. However, dirt can emit interesting smells similar to those found in forests and fields. You could think that dirt helps puppies learn about the world around them. You don’t have to be worried if your dog enjoys dirt.
However, excessive dirt can cause problems for your dog’s stomach. Your vet can help you determine the cause of your dog’s love for dirt.
Dogs love to chew on rocks and can become very sick if they do. Choking can cause serious injury in addition to broken teeth and damaged gums. You can provide your puppy with fun chew toys if it is teething.
It may be a good idea to take your dog to the vet if they are obsessed with eating rocks. You may find your dog is bored, anxious, or seeking attention by eating rocks. Your veterinarian can help you diagnose the problem and suggest ways to stop your dog from eating rocks.
Many pet owners complain about their dogs regularly eating poop. It turns out that coprophagia is a common condition, which might be due to a combination of genetic, behavioral, and psychological factors.
Dogs are generally safe from eating their own poop. However, it is a concern to eat the poop of another dog or other animals. Viral parasites, viruses, and toxins can all be transmitted through the feces of other animals to your dog.
One theory is that your dog might eat poop as part of its natural scavenging instincts, developed to help him survive times when food is scarce. Dogs can’t afford to be picky when they don’t have food.
Related: Meat Tenderizer For Dogs: All You Need To Know!
There are a few physical reasons dogs might eat poop.
- Cushing’s disease
- Thyroid disease and other conditions can increase appetite
- Malabsorption syndromes
- Steroids and other medications
- Low in calories and nutrients
These are the other factors that could lead to dog poop eating:
- Boredom and isolation
- Restrictive confinement
- Inappropriate association of real food with fake food
How To Stop Your Dog’s Unusual Eating Habits
These are the things you can do to curb your dog’s appetite, regardless of the food they love.
- Keep your yard clean and remove any stones, poops, and other debris. Your dog can’t eat anything bad if it’s not there.
- Teach your dog the commands “drop it” and “leave it”. Every dog needs this essential knowledge.
- Increase your dog’s daily exercise and enrichment. Dogs who are tired and busy are less likely to eat things they shouldn’t.
- Bring your dog to the veterinarian for a thorough examination.
A veterinarian can perform a complete examination of your dog and discuss any signs and symptoms that may be causing your dog’s unusual eating habits. Your vet will then give you valuable advice regarding your pet’s caloric requirements and nutritional needs based on your dog’s size and breed.
Signs Your Dog Eats Too Much
Overeating can cause problems for your dog’s health and wellbeing. It can lead to obesity and bloating, which can prove fatal for dogs. It can also cause skeletal problems in puppies. We have provided the following list of signs and symptoms to help you identify if your dog has been overeating:
- They are lethargic
- Nighttime soft bowel movements (when normal during the day).
- Abdominal distension
Bloat is one of the most serious conditions that dogs can get from overeating, which could even lead to death. Bloating can cause a dog’s stomach to dilate and enlarge, putting pressure on its organs. This can lead to breathing difficulties, stomach lining tears, and restricted blood flow. You should immediately call your veterinarian if your dog has any symptoms, such as a fast heartbeat or restlessness due to overeating. Your dog’s survival chances will increase if they are seen quickly.
Related: How much should I feed my dog? Factors to consider
Talk to your veterinarian if you suspect that pica or another medical condition is the cause of the problem. If it is a behavior issue, you may be able to correct it with time and love.
It doesn’t matter your motivation; the important thing is to ensure your dog’s health and keep them away from dangerous objects.
This post contains informational content and is not intended to be a diagnosis or treatment for pets. To get a complete diagnosis, make an appointment with your veterinarian.