Why is my dog ​​eating dirt? - Toutoupourledog

What are the reasons that can explain this behavior? Is it dangerous for your pet and what can you do to prevent it?

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Why can my dog eat dirt?

Eating dirt is a form of pica in dogs, which refers to repetitive ingestion of non-food matter.

There are many nutritional, behavioral and physical causes for this somewhat confusing behavior in dogs. So if your dog is eating dirt, it could be:

Because it's still a puppy

Young animals explore their environment with their mouths in the same way that human babies, during the stage of orality, carry everything in their mouths.Eating dirt or at least chewing it in the puppy allows him to learn and discover what is "edible" or not. This is a completely normal and harmless phase in young dogs. However, care must be taken that he does not ingest any foreign body likely to cause an occlusion or perforation of his digestive system during this discovery phase. However, it should not last into adulthood.

Because the earth contains a "flavor" that it likes

If your dog starts eating soil in a very particular place, it may also be simply because it contains a flavor that he likes.

Some dogs can start licking or eating the soil that was just above your barbecue because it has received grease from your grills. Other dogs will be attracted by the strong smell of soil or potting soil to which fertilizer or horse manure has been mixed.There may be a very simple reason for his behavior!

Because he's hungry

One of the reasons that should not be ruled out when a dog starts eating dirt is hunger. Your dog will then start to eat everything that falls under his mouth to fill his stomach and try to feel full.

The deep reason for this behavior can then find its origin in a diet that is not nourishing enough or whose quantities are insufficient for your animal's needs, but also in a problem of hyperphagia which can hide a he alth problem under -lying.

But, if it's hunger that drives your dog to eat dirt, it will certainly not be the only element that he will try to eat. It will then be much more voracious on a daily basis and will certainly try to steal any food that may be within its reach.

If you suspect your dog's eating dirt is due to a nutritional issue or overeating, consult your veterinarian to find out if your canine companion's diet needs to be changed or if he is in pain an illness that could explain his "insatiable hunger" .

Because he has a stomach ache

If your dog is constantly eating dirt, this behavior could be a sign of your dog's desire to calm possible digestive problems. The earth could then act as a natural gastric bandage which could temporarily relieve the pain felt by your dog.

But while there may be "therapeutic" reasons for your dog eating dirt, that doesn't mean you should let him. If you suspect such a problem in your dog, consult a veterinarian without delay!

Because he suffers from a behavioral disorder

This is the most likely reason for your pet's repetitive ingestion of soil.

Just as some humans develop strange habits due to stress, anxiety, and boredom, our pets can do the same. Those who are "programmed" to be active and live outdoors do not always receive the stimulation they need.

A dog can thus start eating dirt if he lacks exercise, if he is locked up at home alone all day, or if he does not benefit from appropriate social interactions with his guardians and/or his congeners.

Like humans, dogs can also suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. A dog with these OCDs may thus start eating dirt obsessively as part of this disorder. This is then a sign that your dog is suffering “psychologically”.Consult a behavioral veterinarian without delay.

Are there any dangers in letting your dog eat dirt?

Yes, there are clearly risks to letting your dog continuously eat dirt.

This can lead to the death of the animal by blockage or perforation of an organ of the digestive system if the dog eats a lot of soil or if at the same time it ingests stones, pieces of wood or other "foreign bodies" that may be inside.

Soil can also contain pesticides, fertilizers or other toxins which can reach toxic levels if enough soil is ingested.

Finally, soil can also contain parasite eggs which can cause a parasitic infestation in your pet.

What should I do if my dog eats dirt?

Any new and unnatural behavior, such as eating dirt, should be checked out promptly by the vet. It is indeed necessary to act quickly, both because of possible serious underlying causes and before it becomes a habit.

While waiting for the consultation, give your pet something more interesting and palatable than dirt to chew on to try to divert its attention. It can be a fleshy bone, a dried pig or beef ear, a deer antler, a buffalo horn, a heather root or even an antler. 'Olivier. However, if your dog has a natural tendency to swallow anything and everything, keep your dog under supervision while he engages in this activity and immediately remove the chewing object if it poses any risk. to swallow big chunks of it!

You can also try to limit this behavior by spending more on your dog. To do this, offer him great daily walks, play sessions as well as more mental expenditure.

It may also be necessary to deny your dog access to soil eating areas while you find a solution to this problem with the help of your veterinarian and / or a behavior specialist. canine.

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