If you own a dog, you will agree with me that one of the most bizarre things to see Bingo do is chew on a rock.
Almost all dogs have chewed on rocks or pebbles at one point in their lives. The difference is that while some dogs are only curious, other dogs carry the habit even to adulthood.
Does your dog eat rocks often? If your answer is yes, this article is going to explain to you why your pup prefers rocks to other chewable objects.
You have tried everything. From keeping your dog on a leash to scolding him whenever he goes rock nibbling. But somehow your warning falls on deaf ears. When you get your eyes off him for a while, he is back to his folly.
And your big question is ‘Why?’
Why do dogs eat rocks?
There are dozens of reasons why your dog is eating rocks. If it is your first time to see him do it, you can train him out of it. If he continues nibbling on rocks, then the problem is deep-seated and could be any of the following.
Science tells us that this could be a psychological eating disorder called Pica. Previous, Pica only affected humans and was rampant in children. Today Pica affects dogs as well, causing them to eat rocks and pebbles.
In the absence of rocks, some dogs will eat soil and dirt.
Your furry friend could be lacking vital minerals in his body. His body will cause him to eat rocks to supplement the missing minerals.
Separation anxiety can spark a list of symptoms such as rock eating. Dogs with a delicate personality want their owners with them all the time. Leaving the dog on its own for long makes them restless.
The dog may also start weird behaviors like whining and biting on rocks. Puppies are more prone to this type of behavior which can go on until they are older.
We know, it sounds ridiculous but dogs can eat rocks out of boredom. This is because Bingo has pent up energy he needs to let out. He will be restless and chew at non-edible things like rocks to kill boredom.
Lack of toys
Another bizarre reason why your dog is eating rocks is that he has no chewable toys. Dogs love chewing on things to pass time. If it is not a juicy bone he saved for later, then it has to be a chewable toy.
When none of these are available, nearby rocks become an option; or your shoes if he is a menace.
Whether the underlying problem is a major or minor one, it is about time you stopped your dog from eating rocks. And we have tips for that.
How to stop your dog from eating rocks
If you suspect your dog has an eating disorder like Pica, you should take him to a vet for diagnosing. The vet will check for toxins in the blood or observe vital organs, like the intestines, for blockage.
Should the dog test positive for Pica, your vet will put him under strict medical monitoring. The vet wants to make sure your pup did not ingest any toxins from the rocks. Toxins can cause blockage in organs or blood poisoning.
To end pet anxiety, create enough time to spend with your dog. Spending even 30 minutes with your dog is enough to make them feel loved and wanted. Take your dog out for walks in the morning before heading out or in the evening when you come back.
Always watch a favorite show or read a book together. If you are going out together, do not leave your dog in the car alone for long. Get a leash and let the furry fellow tag along wherever you go.
Exercising your dog helps release pent up energy. This reduces the restlessness he was feeling that caused him to eat rocks. This goes in hand with getting enough toys for your dog. Get him an assortment of chewable toys to keep him entertained and less bored.
And before we forget.
Your dog needs a balanced diet filled with all the nutrients he needs. Even if it is a bland diet, ensure your pup is getting enough vitamins and minerals.
Target nutrients such as B Vitamins, Iron, Zinc, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. If need be, supplement your dog’s diet with pet-approved supplements.
Dogs will eat rocks out of anxiety, boredom, or when they have fewer toys to play with. Rock eating in dogs is also caused by psychological disorders. Finding the root cause of the problem helps you know the correct action to take.
Stop your dog from eating rocks today. Use the above tips to stop this unusual behavior.