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Why do dogs eat rocks?

Updated on July 3, 2009

Dogs have been domesticated for hundreds of years. These loyal and affectionate animals have been our steadfast companion for years. But up to this very day, a dog would manifest habits that are perplexing to humans. One of these habits is the dog’s propensity to eat things that has no nutritional value. Of course that would be our point of view. Probably the dog thinks otherwise. The behavior of ingesting non-food items is called pica. One of these non-edible things that are craved by the dog is rocks.

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Rock eating is a dangerous habit

Rocks are hard and a dog that chooses to chew one can damage its teeth as well as the tissues of the mouth. A more serious concern however is chocking. A large enough rock when swallowed can block the throat and the intestine. Ingesting rocks can also result to stomach upset and diarrhea. Dogs are intelligent creatures but apparently they do not know that rock eating is dangerous. What can be the cause of this bizarre eating behavior?

An attention-getting behavior

An attention-starved pet would do anything to be noticed by its beloved people. The dog may be destructive, bark a lot or eat non-edible things. The dog may be reprimanded or may even be punished by the owner for these unwanted behaviors.  But for the dog negative attention would be better than no attention at all.

Medical reasons

Dogs have an uncanny ability to discern what is wrong with their system. They try to find ways to cure their ailment as well. The rock eating behavior of the pet may be a cry for help. The dog may have an underlying medical concern that needs immediate treatment. To rule out medical reasons for the dog’s out of the ordinary eating habit, it would be best to schedule a visit to the vet.

Eliminating the dog’s rock eating habit

Chewing, like barking and digging is a dog thing. The pet may be chewing and eating rocks because it has no other objects to choose from. Surely you stop the dog when it starts to chew the furniture or your favorite loafers. Provide the dog with several chew toys. It would be a good idea to replace the toys every now and then. New toys would be more interesting to the dog.  Toys will also keep the dog occupied thus preventing boredom. Spend more time with the dog. Being pack animals, dogs would want to interact with the people it considers as its pack. The dog may be eating rocks to fill up the nutritional deficiency of its diet. Switching to a high quality diet would be a good idea.

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Dog eating rocks


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      bobiejoe 5 years ago

      my dog eat LOTS of rocks its so strange.