Dogs can often get fascinated by weird things. In that list, we must include other dogs’ pee and feces, and of course, something every dog likes at one point in his life, dirt. You might think it is something that happens randomly, but there is a reason for your dog’s dirt-eating madness. And it is definitely not something you can ignore. With that in mind, here are 5 reasons why dogs eat dirt.
If you feed your dog bad food, your dog will look for minerals, vitamins, and probiotic bacteria elsewhere. When he is not getting minerals and vitamins in his diet, your dog will look for them in dirt. This is a state defined as “pica”, one in which dogs eat things other than food. Dogs can eat feces as well when their diet is not rich in minerals and vitamins. Their natural instinct for survival makes dogs looks for quality food elsewhere when they are not getting it at home. Once you improve their diet, the problem resolves quick.
Chronic health concerns
When your dog searchers for minerals and vitamins in dirt, and you are feeding him quality food, it might be a symptom or sign of a medical condition. Dogs can suffer from conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, which eventually leads to anemia. Check your dog’s overall health condition at a vet regularly.
This is one of the less serious causes. Simply put, dirt can be sometimes tasty for dogs, especially if there is bacon or hamburger in the dirt. Check the area to see if there is something there that your dog is trying to get to. It makes sense when the dog is coming back to a particular area.
We exhibit habits like hair twirling, knuckle cracking, and other strange habits out of stress and boredom. Dogs, on the other hand, exhibit strange things like eating dirt. Our pets are designed to be active and outdoors. When they do not get the stimulation they require, they look for activities elsewhere.
For example, if you put a large working dog stuck at home alone all day, he is going to find a way to entertain himself. Puppies and youngsters eat dirt out of pure boredom.
This might sound strange, but sometimes, your dog eats dirt to calm his upset stomach. Clay can be used to soothe digestive problems, and also help with parasites and detoxification. Our dogs are sometimes instinctively trying to soothe their digestive issue.
How to stop it?
First and foremost, think about when the dirt-eating started and try to answer why dogs eat dirt. Were there any recent changes in the diet of your dog, his level of activity, or environment? Does your dog shows any other unusual symptoms or behaviors? If not, try the following steps to prevent your dog from eating dirt.
- – Check your dog’s gums, as eating dirt can be a sign of anemia caused by dietary deficiencies and parasites. Your dog’s gums should not be pale or yellow in color
- – Think about the diet of your dog. Commercial dog foods contain enough vitamins and minerals, but some cheaper brands do not contain as many minerals as others. Check the labels, and compare to other brands to ensure the food you are giving to your dog has similar amounts of minerals like iron and calcium
- – Make sure your dog is not hungry, sometimes dogs eat dirt because they are hungry. If you’ve cut back on food because of obesity problems, think about a lower-calorie food that still keeps him feeling full
- – Entertain your dog and give him interesting new toys to play with. If possible, include an extra walk. If your dog is busy and tired he is less likely to try and entertain himself
- – Deworm your dog as intestinal parasites can absorb nutrients, and cause your dog to eat dirt in search of minerals and vitamins
- – Avoid certain areas in your dog eats dirt only in specific areas