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The greedy behavior of the dogs can, sometimes, be funny. But, when it comes to a dog chewing rocks, this is a severe and dangerous problem that must be dealt with accordingly. If your dog seems to be eating anything and everything, he can quickly ingest foreign bodies, toxic chemical elements, or excrement, which are dangerous to his health.
If you have seen that your pup is eating stones or rocks, you may be questioning why. For more about why do dogs eat rocks, their causes, and how you get your dog to stop eating rocks, keep reading.
Why Does My Dog Eat Rocks?
A Matter of Pica
Pica is a medical term employed to explain the compulsive ingestion of non-food substances. Canines with pica can eat the oddest things like drywall, dirt, and sticks. When stones are the main thing digested, it is called “lithophagia.”
Pica has been assigned to a variety of underlying causes. It has been stated to originate from nutritional deficiencies (in the case of stone eating, it may originate from an iron deficiency), or pups might develop it to get attention, release frustration or anxiety, or get stimulation from the environment.
A Matter of Boredom
Among the primary causes for pica in pets is boredom– which is usually a lack of interaction and activity. With nobody around and nothing to do, he may turn to eat stones to entertain himself. Give your dog a range of toys, specifically chew toys, for him to play with during the day. Puzzle toys filled with peanut butter and kibble; give your dog adequate mental stimulation. When your dog picks up a toy or other acceptable thing, praise him and reward him with a treat to positively reinforce the act.
Dog parents need to exercise most breeds for a minimum of 20 mins, two times each day. Larger dogs and those with lots of energy need more. Engage him in fun games and activities to reduce his desire to eat rocks. Regular interaction and exercise help a dog thrive and eliminate many behavior problems such as eating rocks.
Specifically, Pups are hard-core rock chewers thinking that they are interested in the world around them and explore the environment through their mouths. Throughout this “oral stage” in puppies, it is very normal and natural for them to find rocks and carry them in their mouths. Luckily, most pups outgrow this behavior as they grow and discover more enjoyable things to chew.
Hunger and Dietary Deficiencies
If your developing puppy is hungry, he may turn to eat stones to fill his tummy if no food is around. Pups need more protein, nutrients, calories, and fats than adult dogs because of their growing bodies. Keep in mind to feed your puppy food made for the dog’s life stage to prevent problems with proper nutrition.
Food especially developed for puppies offers the appropriate amounts of nutrients they require to stay satiated. Try hiding handfuls of your dog’s kibble around your home to make it an adventure to get it, tackling both hunger and boredom at once.
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How Do You Get Your Dog To Stop Eating Rocks?
I suggest paying attention to the following tips to prevent your dog from eating stones, rocks, and foreign bodies:
- Train your dog the “leave it” and “no” commands. These are life-saving commands that every dog must know.
- Give your dog a balanced and complete diet according to his nutritional needs (per breed, size, and age).
- Use appropriate toys when playing with your canine. Never joke or tease your pooch by using things like stones, as this will lead him to believe they are okay to ingest.
- Give your dog enough physical exercise, always respecting the amount and type of activity most appropriate to your pet’s age.
- Give your dog adequate physical exercise and mental stimulation, and dog games.
- Improve your dog’s environment to make sure that your canine can expel energy safely and efficiently.
- Give your pooch good preventive medicine, always respecting his regular deworming routine and vaccination. Additionally, ensure to visit your vet for a check-up every six months.
Part of being a dog parent is keeping your canine away from objects that he should not eat. Rocks are among those things that can injure a dog, and so they are one of the most important objects to keep away from his curious mouth.
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