If you’ve ever wondered why your beloved dog insists on chewing up socks, shoes, and bits of plastic, you’re not alone. Dogs are constantly chowing down on rocks, soil, plants poop and other things they shouldn’t be eating. It’s common for dogs to eat all sorts of odd things, this habit even officially has a name: pica.
Dogs often eat things that we wouldn’t dream of eating, and there doesn’t seem any reason for them to do so. There are underlying causes of this habit, however, many of which we may not have considered.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
One of the most concerning for many dog owners is when their dogs eat poop. This disgusting habit is known as coprophagia, and is a way that mothers keep their puppies clean and encourage them to go to the bathroom when they are small. Some puppies do the same thing, and for a few, the habit sticks and continues into adulthood. That may be why you occasionally find your dog munching on something we wouldn’t consider touching with a barge pole.
Many dogs also love the taste of feline poop – a regular delicacy in the canine world, apparently. Fortunately, coprophagia isn’t usually dangerous for dogs. Nonetheless, it can expose your pet to unpleasant internal parasites. If you are concerned about what your dog has been eating, make sure you get your dog checked out.
4 Reasons Why Dogs Eat Things They Shouldn’t
1) Upset Stomach
One of the most common reasons for dogs to start ingesting odd items is that they’ve got something in their system they don’t like, and they’re trying to purge it out. They usually use grass for this and tend to throw up not long after.
Dogs are known for picking up bits of odd food that they shouldn’t be eating. Their systems are designed to cope with this sort of thing, but if it becomes a regular habit, get your dog checked out.
2) Behavioral Issues
Many dogs suffer from anxiety and other behavioral problems, and eating odd things can be a sign that this is kicking in. You pet may simply be bored – especially if they are alone for long hours, or you have been out more often than is usual.
To tackle this, try giving your pet some extra time and attention when you’re at home. Reassure them and get them engaged with some new games to ensure their brain is working hard. This should help reduce the destructive behavior.
Particularly in young dogs, eating something inedible is a result of the dog exploring its world. They chew as a means of understanding and engaging with things. If they do this a lot, they may end up ingesting things, either by accident or because their chewing becomes a little too enthusiastic.
If your dog is a chewer, keep an eye on them to try and avoid them reaching the stage where they ingest random things. It may already have passed that point, in which case you’ll have to work on techniques to engage them in other things, or to encourage them away from the chewing habit.
Make sure they have plenty of robust, safe toys they can chew on, and keep your things away from them if possible.
Although this is unlikely if you’re taking good care of your dog, eating random things can be a sign that they aren’t getting enough to eat or that they’re lacking a nutrient and trying to find it elsewhere. If you’ve recently put your dog on a diet, they might start eating random things, as they will feel hungry just as a human does and will want to fill their stomach.
Establish a good feeding routine with your dog and minimize their options to eat random things they find.
Although most dogs won’t hurt themselves by eating sticks and grass, some household items can result in blockages and very expensive trips to vets. This is stressful for both dog and owner, and it can also be hard on the wallet.
If your dog regularly eats things they shouldn’t, make sure you pick up small, easily swallowed items, and consider behavior training with an expert to reduce the habit. It might save you money in the long run!
Chloe Bennet is a pet lover and online editor at Best Essay Service, educational portal.