Reasons Why Dogs Eat Rocks & How To Stop This Behavior
Dogs are known for exhibiting all kinds of different and strange behavior. Eating rocks is one of that behavior that seems completely strange to humans. But why do dogs eat rocks? Is it for fun because they are bored, or is there some medical problem causing this dog behavior? Since rocks are hard, no matter why your dog eats them, they pose a danger of choking and damaging their teeth, gums, and digestive system. Stay with us and find out why do dogs eat rocks?
Why do dogs eat rocks?
Dogs can start eating rock for different reasons, including health, behavioral and psychological problems. Here are the most common reasons why your dog or puppy could start eating rocks:
- Pica - For most dogs, the reason for eating rocks will be pica. A medical condition where dogs eat inedible things.
- Medical problems – if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, tumors, or any type of parasite or worms, your dog can show this strange behavior.
- Teething – if you have a small puppy that is teething, he could start eating and biting rocks to ease his pain.
- To get your attention – if your dog wants you to give him more attention, he could start eating rocks.
- Anxiety – dogs with anxiety can show this behavior to help them with their condition.
- Curiosity – some dogs will try and start eating rocks out of pure curiosity – to see how to rocks taste.
- Boredom – if your dog has a lot of accumulated energy and he doesn't have many daily activities, he could start eating rocks out of boredom.
Health problems related to eating rocks
If you catch your dog eating rocks, you must stop this behavior immediately. Eating rocks can cause many different health problems for your dog. If your dog eats rocks in most cases, he will need urgent medical care and possibly surgery.
Eating rocks can cause
- Intestinal blockages – rocks can cause blockage, and your dog will require urgent surgery to remove the rocks causing the blockage. This is a pretty serious problem since your dog will not be able to drink or eat, and your dog can become lethargic.
- Perforation – if your dog ingests sharp rock, it can cause perforation in the stomach or colon. If you notice that your dog swallowed a rock, you should take him to the vet immediately.
- Teeth damages – since rocks are hard to chew, dogs can chip or break their teeth. That will result in your dog needing dental work or, in some cases removing the damaged teeth.
- Gastrointestinal problems – although it may seem strange, even a small amount of rocks can irritate your dog and cause vomiting and diarrhea.
What to do if your dog started to eat rocks?
If your dog likes to chew rocks, you should visit your vet. Your vet will examine your dog for any sign of a medical problem that can be causing your dog to eat rocks. After your vet has ruled out a medical condition, he can try and give you some advice regarding your dog's diet.
If the problem persists, you need to focus on the behavior problems that can cause this behavior. If you are an inexperienced dog owner, we advise you to seek professional help, and by hiring a dog behaviorist or trainer, you can stop this bad dog behavior.
How to stop your dog from eating rocks?
You must focus on resolving this problem when you discover why your dog eats rocks. You should never allow your dog to eat rocks, and you must find a way for your dog to stop this behavior issue. Here are the 4 steps you can take to remove this bad habit from your dog's life.
1. Avoid areas with rocks
For starters, you should avoid areas where rocks can be found. If you know that your dog will hardly resist rocks when he sees them, you should eliminate potential risk by not taking your dog to the areas with rocks.
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2. Ask for help
If your dog starts to eat rocks out of the blue, there is a higher chance that your dog has some medical problem that needs to be taken care of. Your vet can help you and your dog to remove this bad habit from your dog's life.
3. Exercise your dog
Many dogs will chew rocks out of boredom, and to stop this, you must provide your dog with enough mental and physical daily exercises to keep him happy. If you do so, your dog will not have accumulated energy and will not have a tendency to eat rocks.
4. Teach your basic dog commands
Basic training can do wonders for your dog. Teach your dog commands "drop it" or "leave it," and if your dog puts a rock in his mouth, you can now tell them to drop it. This command could be life-saving for dogs. It is best to teach your puppy these commands as soon as you bring him home. Adults can also pick up commands, but basic training should be done early to ensure good dog behavior throughout their life.
5. Pay attention to the dog
The simplest advice we can give you is to keep an eye on your dog if you let him in the area where rocks can be found. If you notice your dog is going for the rock, you can quickly be ahead of him and stop the action of eating rocks.
If your dog starts eating rocks, it can indicate serious problems, and you should take immediate action. First, you need to talk to your vet and ask for his help. If the problem is not connected to medical conditions, you can hire a professional to help you with the behavior issues your dog might have. Either way, you shouldn't allow your dog to eat rocks.
World Dog Finder team