Don’t you love watching your dog running around outside enjoying life? You watch them roll in the fresh grass, chase squirrels and play fetch. It is a great day to be a dog parent and you are proud to raise such a well-adjusted pet. Then out of the blue, your dog begins to eat dirt. WHAT?!?! Why is your dog eating dirt?
The truth is that dogs eat a lot of weird things. It is not unusual for them to enjoy rummaging through the garbage. You might even have the dreaded poop eater. Some dogs eat rocks while others enjoy a mouthful of dirt. Most of us can understand the garbage surfers. There can be tasty leftovers to munch. If your dog is eating poop, you can speak to your vet. There are food additives to curb their desire to eat poop; at least their own.
Why is my dog eating dirt?
· BAD FOOD ~ Your dog could be trying to get minerals, vitamins or probiotic bacteria that is lacking in its diet. It could be as simple as changing from kibble or an unbalanced diet.
*I suggest Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health for a complete diet.
· Chronic Health Concerns ~ Eating dirt could be an indication of a serious medical condition such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or hypothyroidism.
Inflammation in the bowel can lead to bleeding along the bowel which could cause anemia due to decreased consumption of B vitamins. Dogs with IBD could be eating dirt in order to get more minerals to deal with the anemia, according to Judy Morgan DVM, CVA, CVCP, and CVFT. In hypothyroidism, there is a decreased production of red blood cells by the bone marrow thus resulting in anemia. You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if you suspect your dog is anemic.
· Upset Stomach ~ You have probably heard that dogs eat grass for stomach troubles. Eating dirt could be your dog’s way of soothing a digestive problem, internal parasites or to detoxify. Dirt is a natural way that animals clean the inside of their intestines. Don’t be alarmed if your dog eats dirt and promptly vomits. You’ll see them have the same results by eating grass.
· Behavioral Problems ~ It is possible that your best friend is simply bored. All dogs need stimulation both physically and mentally each day. When they are not afforded proper exercise, they will look for ways to entertain themselves. This could lead to eating dirt. Make sure that you interact with your best friend by going for a walk together or a game of fetch to ward off boredom. If they are left without an outlet for activity, their dirt eating problem can develop into a full-blown case of OCD. If your dog is compulsively eating dirt, you should consult your vet or animal behaviorist.
· Delicious Dirt ~ A dog has 220 million olfactory receptors in their noses while humans have a mere 5 million. That makes their sense of smell 40 times greater than ours. That means your dog can smell food or something else they consider tasty in the dirt. This is particularly so around places such as your garbage can or grill. If you suspect this is the reason your dog has become a dirt connoisseur, it is a good idea to thoroughly rinse the area with water.
While eating dirt might not seem like a big problem, it can be an indicator that something is amiss with your dog. If a change in their food doesn’t eliminate the desire to eat dirt, please seek medical advice. It could be more than just your dog’s dirty little secret.
If your dog has a habit of eating unusual things, you should probably check out my post, Dog Poisoning Emergencies. I will be discussing possible causes for the strange things that dogs eat in future posts. Does your dog have an appetite for something that has you wondering why? Let me know in the comments.
Does your dog eat dirt? It could be an indication of a problem. Learn more on Barking from the Bayou. https://t.co/x1hq0JB0wH #DirtySecrets— M. K.Clinton (@mk_clinton) January 19, 2016