Dogs eat dirt for several different reasons. Some dogs are just curious, while others may be trying to get some nutrients or minerals they need. Certain diseases can cause dogs to eat dirt in an attempt to soothe their upset stomachs. But sometimes there is no rhyme or reason why your dog eats dirt at all!
When your dog eats dirt, you need to determine why. Certain behaviors can indicate illness. For instance, if your dog eats grass or vegetation that he hears outside of his stomach area does not digest well at all. This could be indicative of an obstruction in the intestines, which needs to be addressed immediately by a veterinarian. If your dog is eating dirt, you should contact your veterinarian to see if it could pose a problem.
It might seem cute when Fido eats dirt or grass outside, but in reality, it’s not okay.
Why Does My Dog Eat Dirt?
There are many reasons why dogs eat dirt.
#1 – Perhaps your dog is feeling bored and looking for something new to try. Perhaps he has run out of toys or you have prohibited him from playing with his squeaky around the children.
#2 – Some dogs will eat dirt when they are stressed or anxious. If your dog is stressed or anxious, he might turn to eat dirt. Dogs are very sensitive creatures with keen instincts. They can pick up on any fears you have around them, making them anxious in return. You shouldn’t be too concerned when this happens, however. After all, it’s normal for dogs to eat dirt!
#3 – Dogs might eat dirt to try to get certain minerals that they feel are lacking in their diets. If your dog isn’t getting the right vitamins and minerals, he might turn to eat dirt!
#4 – Medical conditions can lead dogs to eat dirt. If your dog is suffering from an upset stomach or other illness, he might turn to eat dirt as a way to soothe it. This is especially common in puppies and senior dogs!
Anemia in dogs can cause a decrease in appetite, which means they might be less interested in food and more interested in dirt. Portosystemic shunt in dogs is a condition where the blood doesn’t flow through the liver properly. This can also cause loss of appetite and lead your dog to eat dirt! Inflammation of the stomach lining in dogs is another condition that can cause your dog to eat dirt.
Dangers of Dirt Eating in Dogs
Dogs commonly eat grass because it makes them throw up. If you notice your dog throwing up after eating dirt or other items, there could be a bigger problem at hand! As mentioned earlier, if your dog is eating soil to soothe an upset stomach or to get the minerals he needs, it shouldn’t cause too many problems. There are a few dangers of dirt-eating in dogs, though!
#1 – Dirt is not easy to digest. Although dogs frequently eat dirt and grass without much incident, sometimes it will cause an upset stomach. This can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. If your dog routinely eats dirt or other items, he might have a mineral deficiency. This is NOT normal and you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible!
#2 – Toxins can contaminate dirt. If your dog is digging in the backyard or near a construction site, he might be exposed to any toxins that are there.
#3 – Dirt can contain parasites. If your dog eats dirt from another animal’s feces, he could become infected with parvovirus and other parasites. This is especially dangerous for young puppies!
Dogs who regularly eat dirt should be examined by a veterinarian. This is NOT normal and could indicate a larger problem!
How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Dirt
A proper diet is the best way to deter your dog from eating dirt. Make sure he is getting all of the vitamins and minerals that he needs, leading him to be less interested in dirt. You should also make sure you are feeding your dog a healthy diet!
If your dog is eating dirt because he is bored, make sure you provide him with plenty of toys and activities. Try to play with your dog every day! This will help give him the physical and mental exercises he needs to be healthy and happy.
If you notice that your dog starts eating dirt when he gets stressed or anxious, make sure you are spending plenty of time with your dog. Dogs who feel neglected might start to act out in desperate ways, including eating dirt! Supervised walks and backyard playtime should be enough to keep your dog from eating dirt.
Parasite prevention is your number one priority when it comes to your dog’s health. Make sure you apply topical parasite prevention a few times a month. If your dog does ingest a parasite, administering medication is the best way to fight it!
Dogs who are lacking certain vitamins or minerals might turn to eat dirt. If you suspect that your dog might have an underlying health condition, it is best to bring him in for a check-up with your veterinarian. If you start to notice that your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea after eating dirt, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible! This could indicate a more serious medical condition that needs to be treated immediately.