Dog Eating Dirt May Indicate Underlying Health Issues
Our dogs may have strange eating habits but pup health experts concur that if dirt is one of their preferred menu items it could mean they are harboring an illness. Then again, it could also mean they’re bored or simply in need of a better food choice.
The folks at insidepethealth.com identify the following five unpleasant reasons why your pooch is craving a more down-to-earth diet:
1. Nutritional Deficiencies — When our pooches suffer from nutritional deficiencies or imbalances by eating dirt they may be seeking to find an alternative source of vitamins, minerals and good probiotic bacteria.
Sometimes the food we give them is lacking in proper nutrition, even if it advertises the opposite. Cooked foods lose lots of minerals in the process. Changing their diet may be the answer. Consult with your pet’s veterinarian for the best food recommendations.
2. Serious Health Condition — Your pup may be opting to gulp down soil due to inflammatory bowel disease or hypothyroidism. Dogs with inflammatory bowel disease can suffer from anemia and may attempt to supplement their vitamin loss by eating dirt. However, anemia can also be caused by parasites, blooding tumors, chronic kidney disease and ulcers. A trip to the vet is warranted to rule out any of the above.
3. Something Tasty Left Behind — Dogs and their amazing sense of smell may simply follow cues from their nose when they eat something in the dirt. Be sure to examine the spot in the dirt they target and/or pay attention to see if they tend to return there again and again.
4. Boredom and Behavioral Issues — Boredom can make us all do strange things. For our pooches, that strong behavior may be eating dirt. It’s very important to keep our dogs well exercised and socialized. Consider Doggy Daycare to stave off boredom and keep your pup happy and healthy. However, if your dog seems to return to eating dirt over and over again a trip to vet can rule out the above-mentioned disease as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder.
5. Digestive Problems — Believe it or not, your pooch may simply be responding instinctively to manage digestive issues by eating dirt or clay. Treating parasites and detoxifying the digestive system are a few reasons your pet might eat clay. And dirt might help to clean the inside of the intestines and cause them to contract more, moving anything in the digestive tract quickly out of the body, experts say.
The solution to your dog eating dirt is to prevent it from happening any way possible. There are so many toxic things that can end up in the dirt, including poisons and contaminated foods, that the best course of action is to stop the behavior immediately. A trip to the vet is definitely called for to rule out underlying disease, behavioral issues or vitamin and mineral deficiencies!