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Why do dogs eat mud?

Updated on December 29, 2009

We love our dogs but there are times when they would manifest disconcerting habits that make us want to scream. Wouldn’t you be annoyed if the pet you have bathed and groomed have “decorated” its long white lustrous hair with mud and dirt?  The dog is eating mud as well. An owner will surely be perplexed with the dog’s behavior. We know that dogs are voracious eaters. They have big appetites but …mud? It’s as if the dog is not fed sufficiently.

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Nutritional deficiency

Dog experts tell us that the abhorrent eating habit of the dog is due to nutrient deficiency. Since dogs were domesticated, they no longer need to hunt to survive. Bowls of dog food are readily available every meal time. However, the low grade dog food usually chosen by pet owners because of its lower price are low in vital nutrients. Dogs have taken to eating mud and other non-edible objects in an effort to fill up the nutrient inadequacy in the diet. It is believed that mud contains some minerals needed by dogs.

Medical concern

Dogs have a weird ability to discern an underlying ailment. When a dog eats mud it is believed that the dog is trying to heal the body. The dog may have a genetic gastro intestinal disorder or because of the nutritional deficiency of the low grade dog food, the dog is suffering from anemia.

Attracting attention

Dogs are pack animals. Pack animals stay together. Domesticated dogs consider the human family as its pack. Consequently, the dog would need constant interaction with the family. Because of busy and hectic schedules, the family may not give the dog the attention it needs. The dog therefore would try to do things to be noticed by the family.


A bored dog will turn into a destructive dog. Dogs that are left alone all day with no toys to play with will be bored. The bored dog will try to amuse itself. The dog can destroy furniture, dig tunnels, redo the landscaping and eat mud.

Preventing the dog from eating mud

Mud per se may not be harmful to the dog. A dog that has been wallowing in mud and eating mud as well can be bathed. The danger though would be if there are toxic substances in the mud that was eaten by the dog. To prevent the dog from eating mud it would be best to keep the pet indoors. Changing the diet to one that has a high nutritional content would be a good idea. And so is taking time to be with the pet.

dirt-eating dog

dog eating mud

Mua-Ji eating Mud


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