Reasons why dogs eat rocks

Anyone that had the opportunity to keep or to live with dogs would know that these animals not only have huge appetites but are also inclined to eat things that humans find disgusting. The habit of eating non-food items is called pica. Dog owners are aware of the pets inclination to eat non-edible things but they can’t help but be exasperated if the pet eats disgusting things. One of the non-edible things that dogs love to eat are rocks.

Puppies are more inclined to eat rocks. Puppies are naturally inquisitive and one way of discovering their world is by using their mouth. These “baby” dogs would chew rocks as if the stony fragment is a fruit flavored bubble gum. Eating rocks though is dangerous. Chewing rocks is really dangerous as even if the rock is not swallowed it can still injure the soft tissues of the mouth. Swallowed, the rock can cause diarrhea as it can really affect the delicate digestive tract of the dog. A rock can get lodged in the dog’s esophagus or in the intestinal tract and create a life threatening obstruction.

We know that dogs are voracious eaters. Dog owners would always want to have the best pet unfortunately, dogs do have the inclination to develop not only socially unacceptable behaviors but dangerous ones as well. Nevertheless we would still be puzzled why dogs eat rocks. This undesirable habit can be attributed to a medical concern such as brain diseases. If an underlying medical concern was ruled out, the rock eating habit of the pet can be attributed to behavioral problems.

Boredom, stress or anxiety can urge a dog to feast on rocks. Being social animals, dogs would need interaction with the family. If contact with humans or with other animals are not provided the dog will be bored. The unacceptable behaviors of dogs can be associated with boredom. Eating rocks is a manifestation that the dog is bored. This behavior can also be the dog’s way of getting the owner’s attention.

For proper diagnosis, humans have to have a series of laboratory tests. The same tests and examinations would not be necessary for dogs as nature has provided these animals with the capability to know what is wrong with their system. A nutrient deficient diet will entice a dog to eat rocks in an effort to correct the imbalance. The habit of eating rocks can be the dog’s way of calling the master’s attention to the nutrient deficient diet or to the attention that is being missed by the dog.

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