Your dog might have engaged in some pretty strange behaviors. Sometimes when he is nauseous he eats grass, and other times he may eat your favorite shoe especially during teething. But that’s not all the strangeness you’ll see yet. Sometimes dogs eat dirt, a habit that may be a real shocker to you. But why do dogs eat dirt?
In humans, the most common reason people eat dirt is a craving during pregnancy, which is usually indicative of a deficiency in nutrients. The term for eating things other than food is pica, and it occurs in dogs as well as in humans for the same reason- inadequate minerals. If your dog is eating dirt, the first culprit you investigate should be his diet. The food you are feeding him lacks adequate minerals such as iron, which he tries to make up for by eating dirt. Changing his diet should solve the problem. However, make sure you introduce the new diet slowly as doing so too quickly can lead to more problems.
Dogs also eat dirt out of boredom. If your dog is active and has a lot of energy yet he is locked in a small space all day, he is bound to engage in mischief. Taking him for walks expends all that pent up energy and giving him toys such as Pet Qwerk’s flavorit barkbone infused with peanut butter flavor keeps him entertained. If he has something to do all day he won’t need to engage in negative and harmful habits such as eating dirt.
Sometimes the dog might have an OCD. This means he eats dirt not because his food is inadequate or because he is bored, but out of compulsion. Such a dog can get better after you engage the services of a dog behaviorist.
If you hold an outdoor party that includes a barbeque, you might see your dog visiting the area where the juices from the grill were flowing down to the dirt. This dirt smells and tastes great and might remind him of all the fun he had with the never-ending steak servings he got the day of the partybut it’s not healthy for him. Keep him away from the spot and clean the mess up for the sake of your dog’s health.
Why Dogs Eat Dirt and How to Stop the Habit