From zips to watches, many dogs love, and even crave, chewing on metal — but why?
It is not unnatural for dogs to want to lick things, even metal.
There are multiple reasons as to why your dog likes metal, including zippers, including mineral deficiency, stress and boredom.
Read more to find out why your dog loves biting and playing with zippers and other metals.
Finding out why your dog likes metals will depend on the context.
This means observing them when they are playing with metal objects.
While some instances are no reason to worry, others are.
If you notice your dog licking metal objects regularly, there may be a deeper issue at hand.
However, while some reasons why they are licking metal are backed up by scientific evidence, others are merely theoretical.
When out for their licking, you should also watch for other symptoms which they might have, such as aggressive behaviour or stomach issues.
Remember that it is important to seek your vet to obtain an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan if your dog is being unnatural.
One reason why your dog may occasionally be licking zippers and other metals would be due to them having a mineral deficiency.
This should not be a cause for alarm unless it is affecting your dog significantly.
Licking metal may be due to your dog wanted to get the nutrients they are lacking.
There are multiple minerals that dogs need to survive, some of them are in metal compounds such as:
If your dog does not get adequate minerals, it may suffer from a nutritional deficiency.
This may result in more dire problems such as anaemia and other underlying problems.
Mineral deficiencies can be caused by an inadequate diet, among other reasons.
If you are worried about your dog obsessing over metals, you should take your dog to the vet to get a suitable diagnosis.
Pica in Dogs
Another reason why your dog may be obsessively licking metal objects may be due to pica.
Pica is a condition, in both humans and other animals, where your dog may feel the need to eat objects that are not food including metal, cloth rocks and more.
This condition is known to be psychological and compulsive in dogs, and in rare occasions, from underlying medical issues.
The cause for this reaction in dogs is difficult to determine.
The main symptom of pica in dogs is eating non-food objects.
There are also multiple other symptoms, depending on what objects they eat.
These symptoms include (but not limited to):
In most cases, pica in dogs is caused by anxiety, including:
- Lack of socialisation
These issues will require behavioural modification.
However, do note that there are also other medical reasons in which they may be liking these metals, including but not limited to:
There are also some non-medical related reasons as to why your dog may love zippers and other metals.
One of them is boredom and wanting attention.
Dogs may lick and play with metal to leave their smell, prompting others to show them attention.
Other times, dogs may get addicted to zippers as they like it’s texture, resulting in their constant chewing.
Stress can be an underlying factor leading them to lick metals.
When dogs are stressed or neglected, they have an instinct to lick on anything that satisfies them.
Further, the metal may be cool on their touch, making them want to keep going.
However, note that they can easily be addicted to this, making it hard to intervene if left alone for long.
Another possibility as to why your dog may be playing with zippers is to investigate if there is something on it, or if another pet has touched it.
Your dog may be investigating the metal to get information out of the metal.
Controlling Their Habits Towards Zippers (And Other Metals)
It is dangerous to let your dog continue to lick zipper and other metal.
Fortunately, there are ways to control their need to play with these metals.
1. Replacing it with a Toy
An alternative to playing with metal, you can provide them with a chew toy and get them to chew on that instead.
You can praise him when he chews on the toy to show them that they are doing a good them.
There are multiple different chew toys to choose from — it is important to choose an appropriate one that is suitable for your dog.
These chew toys can also be introduced to them at a young age to prevent destruction around the house.
2. Applying Flavor on the Metal
You can attempt to stop your dog from being obsessed with metals by flavouring the metal with a sour taste such as vinegar.
Vinegar is safe for dogs, especially apple cider vinegar as it can also support your dog’s digestion.
3. Keep Zippers Away
Another way to control their obsession with metals is to keep these objects out of reach.
This will help them understand that they should change their actions.
You can also give them an alternative bone or chew toy to play on.
Anxiety and stress can be seen to be the main cause in dogs who like metal.
If you notice your dog is obsessed with zippers and other metals, it is important to correct their behaviour immediately.
However, when correcting them, note that you should not result in scolding or punishments.
You can help to make them understand that playing with zippers are unhealthy.
Help to control their need to chew on them with alternatives such as bones and toys.
If you are worried about your dog’s behaviour towards metal, it is important to bring them to your local vet for an accurate diagnosis.