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Woof Wednesday: Eat Dirt! & Other Schtuff


Pups commonly eat sticks--not a good thing!

Owners fill bowls with nutritious food to keep dogs healthy. So why do dogs eat weird, disgusting and even dangerous stuff?

Dogs use their mouths the way we use our hands. They pick up objects and explore their world by mouthing, tasting, and chewing. That sometimes gets them into trouble if they swallow something they shouldn’t.

Does your dog eat grass? What about poop–urk. Actually puppies tend to do more potty snacking than adult dogs and you can find tips to curb the nasty habit here. Adult dogs may continue treating the cat’s litter box like a snack bar–unless you’ve got a Kitty Comando like my Seren-kitty that keeps all *sniff* DAWGS at bay.

What about eating toys or rocks or other non-edibles? The latest Paw Nation article “Weird Stuff Dogs Eat” offers some explanations. And courtesy of one of my Facebook friends, the Ask Amy video addresses the issue of dogs eating dirt.

So how do you manage your dog’s odd snacking tastes? What’s the weirdest thing your pooch has ever swallowed? I remember one of my Grandma’s puppies gobbling up a favorite necklace pendant of mine when I was a kid. Yep, I recovered it later when the puppy passed it back to me–ahem–but never felt the same about wearing it again.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

11 responses »

  1. I grew up with a Beagle (1954 – 1966). Those were the days when the milkman delivered milk in glass bottles. Mom had left empty bottle outside on a table on the patio. It got knocked off and shattered into tiny pieces. Beagle licked up glass. As I remember, vet said give him salt to bring it up, which he did. Otherwise put bits of cotton in his food to hopefully pad the sharp little pieces as they traveled through . . . .

    One of my high school teacher’s couldn’t find her “rock” (engagement ring). She and her roommates looked and looked in their apartment, but couldn’t find it. Took their Beagle pup to the vet. That’s where it was! Some years ago read in the Chicago Trib about the same thing happening to girl in Miami. Beagle pup was the culprit again.

    • Ooooooooh, scary about the glass, yikes! And yes, that’s what my First Aid book says–pad with a meal like lots of bread. I’d be afraid that vomiting it up would also cause damage. Glad he was okay.

      Beagles are notorious for eating whatever doesn’t move faster than them. Labs aren’t much better. *s* Of course my Magical-Dawg loves Kleenex (used of course, urk!)

  2. My dogs (2 mini-doxie’s and a Golden) will chew up anything. We can’t have plants in the back because the Golden will destroy them. He actually got an infection a couple of years ago from some kind of worm from that. Our doxie’s are the worst, tho. They WILL destroy anything and everything (which is why Sammy nearly died a couple of months ago). We have to watch their bedding closely, and they can’t have toys.

  3. Yea! Thanks for the wonderful answer to my initial question, Amy. Some follow-up: we had been putting their 38-pound bag of food into two convenient and Lab-proof plastic bins on wheels. I had a thought about all the foreign-plastic-toys contamination, and got a bigger bin that will accommodate the entire food bag, rather than dumping it all into plastic. We’ll see if they reduce their dirty habit. The youngest pup is eating less dirt. The oldest dog is eating more, but she also just had dental surgery so I imagine she thinks she is being starved. My middle girl, well she’s just weird anyway, and I love her to death (me thinks she is a big eccentric like me).
    Linda Rehkopf and the Labs

    • Glad you liked it Linda! Thanks for asking the question, it inspired not just this blog but the Paw Nation article too. And I’ll do several articles for the puppies site as well. May I quote you in those articles? *asking publicly and hoping you’ll say yes…* I’ll send links of course when pub’d.

  4. Our friends’ adorable chocolate lab was known to snack on the odd pair of underwear and regurgitate in the middle of the living room. Cute parlour trick for visitors!

  5. I have known many a dog who loved to eat tissues. Our Jodi always thought those Kleenex boxes where the next tissue pops up were the greatest invention in the universe.

  6. For several years we set waste baskets on counters to keep magic from grazing.

  7. Pingback: Feline Friday: Why Does My Cat Eat Grass? « Amy Shojai's Blog

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