Has your favorite friend been chewing on paper and tissues? Does the smell of dog food doesn’t attract it anymore? Is it running away from all the good stuff you have for it? Well, your dog might be suffering from a condition known as Pica.
It is a condition wherein the dog resorts to eat or chew on objects such as paper, tissue, cardboard, or items of similar make. In this condition, the dogs mostly crave things that are non-food in nature.
There are different stages to Pica. It can either be an elementary condition where the dog chews on non-food substances out of boredom or fun. Or, it can also result in a serious eating disorder, which may lead to severe medical conditions for the dog such as a metabolic disorder or endocrine disorder or may also have a parasite.
It is common for a dog to chew on substances like paper and tissues at some point in time. If it happens for a persistent duration of time, it becomes the duty of the owner to take the dog to the veterinarian. Here are a few factors which cause a dog to chew non-food items:
- Your dog might be merely hungry. Make sure to give your dog food at regular intervals and the right amount of portion which satisfies their hunger. The food should be nutritious and fulfilling.
- There might be worms in their bodies. Just like human beings, dogs are also susceptible to having infections in their stomachs. It would mean that they indulge in chewing non-food items to curb their satisfaction.
- Gastrointestinal problems are a significant reason behind the pica condition. Immediate medical consultation is advised.
- Plain boredom can also lead a dog to chew on non-food objects. When they do not have any other way to keep themselves busy, they may resort to such options. Chewing on tissues and paper is also used as a stress-buster by the dogs.
- When puppies undergo the stage of developing teeth, they usually chew on soft substances like tissues and papers to minimize the pain they suffer.
Serious diseases it may give rise to
Pica is just the first step. If there is a continuous behavior of your dogs, chewing on non-food items such as paper or tissue, it may be because of the following serious diseases:
- High blood pressure
- Endocrine disorder
How to Cure It?
If this is your first time owning a dog and you are concerned about the behavior of your dog, you need not worry. It is a common condition seen among dogs, and there are a couple of ways by which you can solve it:
- Teach your dogs the basic commands. This way, when you find it eating a piece of paper or going for a tissue, you could always instruct it through words such as “LEAVE” and “STOP.” Continuously doing so will show significant changes in the food eating habits of the dog.
- Out of boredom, dog chews on elements such as tissues and papers. Substitute such items with dog toys and dog bones to avoid them from indulging in non-food items.
- An appointment with the veterinarian is the best option. They will help you identify the root cause. They will instruct you with the right methods on how to curb the habit of your dog. They will prescribe your dog the necessary medicines if required.
- Always feed your dog good, healthy food, which is full of nutrients, and all the vital elements a dog’s diet requires.
The condition of Pica may happen to adults as well. It’s not a very rare disorder. If given proper attention and care, it can be cured in its early stages. Your friend might be seeking your attention.
All you need to do is give it a little bit of your time. Look into their daily habits, work-out a proper eating schedule for them, make sure they are active and busy, and, in no time, they’ll be alive and kicking!