Many dog owners have noticed their dog eating dirt. There are several different reasons that you dog may be eating dirt. Watch your dog’s behavior when he is outside around dirt and you may be able to learn why the dog is interested in eating dirt.
Many dogs are actually attempting to get to grass roots. Sometimes there may even be a piece of food buried in the dirt that has caught his keen sense of smell and detection. He is trying to eat the food and not actually the dirt. If you discover your dog is eating dirt and not grass roots or a piece of food, this may be a medical condition or problem affecting him.
Important vitamins and minerals missing from a dog’s diet could account for eating dirt. Have you veterinarian exam your dog if dirt eating persists for several episodes or more to make certain this is the case. Laboratory tests can be made to pinpoint which vitamin or mineral is missing and dog food or even adding vitamins to their diet can make the problem resolve or go away. Some inexpensive dog foods can miss out on these vitamins and minerals.
Some dirt eating is tied to an upset digestive tract. Dogs will actually make themselves vomit to feel better. They have the instinct to get something out of the tummy that may be upsetting it and eating dirt is one of the ways they will try to induce vomiting. Generally they will eat grass to make this happen. Therefore, it appears they are eating dirt, but actually they are eating grass or grass roots. Usually these events are isolated.
Another not so common event with dirt eating is the dog has developed pica. Pica is a condition typically identified in pregnant women when they crave nonfood items. Believe it or not they may eat sponges, drywall, grass and even dirt. If your canine has developed pica this is characteristically found as a behavior disorder tied to stress. Some vets have tied pica to an iron deficiency. Many dogs that have pica will generally not only eat dirt, but also other items that are not part of their diet like rocks. Pica can be dangerous for your dog’s digestive system and should be mentioned to their veterinarian.
Eating dirt is not good for your dog for a number of reasons. Dirt is full of toxins, bacteria, parasites and other sources of bacteria that can be dangerous for your dog. Additionally, items found in dirt such as rocks can be hazardous for your dog’s digestive tract. Dogs should not eat dirt and this is a sign of some type of physical ailment that should be treated. Unless this is a onetime behavior get your dog to his vet and report the behavior you observed to determine the correct direction of treatment.
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