Dogs are curious creatures by nature. They love to sniff anything that smells, run behind anything that moves, and gnaw on anything that it deems chew-worthy. The first two issues are not that dangerous, but eating and gnawing on things can’t be healthy. And sometimes they eat one of the most inedible things, like dirt.
In this article, I will discuss why do dogs eat dirt and what should you do to stop it?
Eating Dirt Is Common
Eating dirt is more common than you might think. As children, we often ate dirt unknowingly or knowingly. Yet we came through it with a tummy ache at most.
In worse cases, small rocks or foreign objects are ingested.
Animals are actually very used to eating dirt. For example, wild dogs eat their prey on the ground, it is usually covered in soil and dirt.
They ingest some dirt with their food more often than not.
They have resilient stomachs with very strong gastric juices, that dissolve any bacteria and germs off the bat.
Living in the wilderness often gives these animals amplified resilience.
Morden Dogs And Consuming Dirt
Unfortunately, modern dogs are in possible danger when doing the same as wild dogs.
A person or an animal raised in the wilderness is often more developed and tougher by nature.
A city-raised or home nurtured animal, can’t compete in terms of the natural healing abilities of a wild one.
Modern dogs are bred based on purity and behavior. As such, they often ate quality human and dog food as their reward for companionship.
Eating dirt won’t sit well within their diet parameters, often inducing illnesses and diseases.
Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt?
The most harmless answer to this is, dogs often get bored and end up gnawing on dirt. But things are not that simple most of the time.
They can also find dirt a unique and acquired taste for them.
This is quite normal for dogs to rummage through garbage, dirty socks, and even the toilet bowl.
It’s because they like the smell and therefore they will eat it, and dirt has a similar value to them.
Signs Of Health Instability
But there are bigger telltale signs, that will be of major concern if that becomes a habit.
Dirt can have some nasty stuff in it, usually.
- Soil and dirt can be full of bacteria and germs.
- Often pollution-filled lands have very dangerous chemicals mixed in with the dirt.
- Sharp stones, pebbles, sticks, or splint exist within the dirt.
- Based on location the dirt can have large amounts of chemicals deposited naturally.
- Parasites and other smaller creatures with hard shells exist in the dirt.
When a dog starts eating dirt, it might be due to a lack of nutrition or mineral it needs.
It’s a bad sign, that you might be feeding it improperly or not enough. Correct dog food is needed for most dogs.
A senior dog will need different nutrients than a puppy. An adult dog needs the most amount of minerals and food to keep them going.
Veterinary advice is the most important aspect, regarding dog food.
Many hormones can get imbalanced causing the dog to avoid normal food and eat dirt. The mental instability can be immense in this regard.
Upset stomach and intestines not working properly can induce a dog to swallow the dirt.
This is a simple-minded idea, the dog thinks dirt can somehow relieve the stomach pain.
Although they will be more inclined to eat grass. Ingestion of dirt by mistake with the grass is also possible.
Liver diseases can also cause dogs to eat soil or grass.
You need to keep watch on its behavior, to catch the diseases in their early stages.
Both of these issues can be seen in a rare case called pica, where dogs eat dirt and other inedible objects, instead of food
Having low blood cell count can be caused by a lack of food or nutrients.
The body of the dog will try to make more blood cells using the stores of food in its body.
As such the dog will be constantly peckish, and often resorting to eating dirt to get back minerals that it lost.
Some doctors and researchers suggest dogs try to get back iron that they lack by eating dirt. This is nothing new in the animal kingdom nor the plant kingdom.
Steps To Stop Dogs From Eating Dirt
You can stop your dog from eating dirt continuously by following some possible solutions and implementing them.
- Make sure the dog is fed properly. High nutrient dog food can really make a difference in its behavior.
- Taking the dog to walks and exercise is the best way to keep it from eating dirt or other stuff. It simply won’t have enough energy to do anything else.
- Using various methods to distract the dog, like bringing toys or treats. Giving it stern commands to stop, when it approaches any dirt patch or digs the ground.
- Keeping the dog leashed away from dirt or potted plants can be another solution.
- Making sure the dog isn’t stressed or having mental issues is another method. This might happen if the dog is going to a new environment or away from family.
- Giving the dog a lot of chew toys, to make it forget that dirt exists. This is often the safest solution and the easiest one.
- Taking it to the vet is also the best choice in this regard. No matter what, they have more insight into dog-related matters than most people.
Dogs ingesting dirt may or may not be a concern, depending on if it happens more than once. You always need to be vigilant about these matters. And Vet visit is a must when dealing with cases like these, before its too late.