Oddly enough for humans, dogs like the taste of grass. There are some owners who feel disgusted when they see their pet eating dirt or grass, but, this is not an unpleasant or unusual behavior for a dog. In fact, almost all dogs do and they surely have their reasons.
Boredom. As simple as it may seem, your puppy could be bored and that is why he eats the grass or the dirt that is in the flowerbed to have some stimulus. For the canine mind, this is a pleasant activity that adds options to the palate. This is because dogs use their mouths to investigate. If there is no other dog to play with or a human being who throws a ball, checking the taste of grass and dirt is another option you find for entertaining.
Lack of minerals Veterinarians often advise owners that it bothers them that their dogs eat land to be fixed if the food their pets are eating has enough minerals. Dirt is full of minerals, so its consumption may not necessarily be a bad habit. However, eating land is not an effective method to ensure adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. If your dog is regularly searching for grass or dirt, the addition of supplements may decrease his desire to do so, but before doing so consult a qualified veterinarian to guide you.
It has a delicious taste. Dogs don't just like meat because they are omnivorous, which means they eat meat and plants. The plants have varied flavors and this is due to the type of soil in which they are grown, the level of soil moisture, the abundance or lack of fertilizers they have and the species of plant that is. Grasses also excite the sense of canine smell. The different species of grasses emit varied fragrances or aromas. Dogs respond to stimulation in the same way as humans when they feel the smell of grilled steak. The aromas accelerate your palate and tell the nervous system that the plant tastes good.
Why do dogs eat potting soil?
Ingesting land is a fairly common behavior among dogs, either from a pot in your apartment or, directly, from the garden. Also in the veterinary consultation, the owners frequently point out that "my dog eats roots"Which extracts from under the ground. What motivates this behavior? There are several reasons that lead dogs to eat land, it is necessary that you know them, because they will be of great help when it comes to taking action against this habit. Then , we detail the main reasons:
1. Pica syndrome
Pica syndrome is one of several eating disorders that a dog can suffer. It manifests as the desire of ingest inedible substances, as is the earth. It is a behavior that should not be considered normal or positive in puppy dogs and requires a veterinarian's diagnosis. It can appear for various reasons, from stress to health problems.
2. Discovery in puppies
Puppies discover the world through their senses, as do human babies. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a puppy dog to eat inedible food, such as land, in a timely manner. Of course, this behavior should not continue to manifest after 4 months of age.
3. Boredom and stress
A passing dog many hours alone, living in an environment with poor environmental enrichment, receiving punishment or not going for a walk can start to develop boredom, stress and anxiety. Thus, one of the ways of channel anxiety It is through destructive or compulsive behaviors, such as ingesting land.
4. Demand for attention
Dogs that receive little attention from their guardians may manifest "inappropriate behaviors" for the sole purpose of receiving attention. Even if it means receiving punishment. In these cases it is important to review the dog's daily routine and look for alternatives that help improve their well-being by involving all members of the family nucleus.
Although it is unusual, hunger can be one of the reasons that explains "why my dog eats land," so we recommend check the food container of your dog to confirm that the portions you offer are appropriate. Remember that you should always be adapted to your age and level of physical activity. If instead you bet on homemade diets, then check with a vet.
What to do if your dog eats land?
We have explained some reasons that answer your question about "why my dog eats land", however, you probably want to know what to do if your dog eats land, right? The first thing to note is that you must go to the vet to make an accurate diagnosis. From there, the veterinarian will prescribe guidelines for management, medication or whatever he deems appropriate.
But in addition, in general, we offer you some tips that will help you improve the well-being and health status of your best friend:
- Preventive medicine: In addition to visiting the veterinarian on a regular basis, do not forget to follow the dog's vaccination schedule and regular deworming, both internal and external.
- A daily routine: Dogs appreciate having a very marked routine. Always offer food in two or three shots, depending on your availability, three walks a day, hours of games and fun, caresses.
- Balanced feed: Offering a quality diet that guarantees their nutritional needs has an impact on your dog's behavior and health. Check the composition of your dog's feed to ensure that it is of quality and that the portions are correct. In the case of changing diet remember that it should be done gradually, over a week or two, mixing both foods.
- Prevent access to land: you must avoid that your dog can ingest land. To do this keep the pots away from the ground and allow only in your presence to access the garden.
- Do not punish your dog: You should avoid completely scolding your dog when it eats soil, as we have explained, the demand for attention is one of the causes that can motivate this behavior. Do activities with your dog outside to distract him and reinforce him regularly.
Why does my dog eat sand?
Dogs that live near the coast or have access to the sand may start eating it, which can become a real health problem. Following this, they develop diarrhea, vomiting, weakening and excessive thirst. In addition, the sand may contain small stones, plastic debris, cigarettes and other dangerous inorganic materials. The reasons that trigger this behavior are the same that lead the dog to eat land. However, the sand is more dangerous for the reasons we have detailed.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my dog eat dirt?, we recommend that you enter our section on feeding problems.
What are the reasons why dogs eat dirt?
1. Mineral deficiency
Some dogs eat soil because their bodies indicate it. One of the causes that dogs eat dirt is because maybe their diet needs certain minerals that somehow improves by eating this dirt. In this case, it is best to try to get the missing minerals so that the dog stays healthy.
The earth contains many minerals that may not be available in the food we give our pet. If your dog is consuming this dirt very often, it may be a sign that his food lacks vitamins and important minerals. Unless the soil is contaminated with something harmful to the animal, this practice of eating land may be good for them. If this is the reason, you can compensate by giving your pet a supplement regimen.
2. Upset stomach
Another of the main reasons why dogs eat dirt is when they are sick of something that has caused an upset stomach. This is because eating dirt or some dirt from the ground helps them get rid of those stomach discomforts or the particular food that has caused the inconvenience. It may be a plant or perhaps human food, which has produced distress.
In addition they almost always feed on grass to vomit and put an end to the problem, but in this case they eat soil to find some relief. If a large quantity is consumed>Why do dogs eat grass?
When a dog is bored for spending a lot of time alone, he does not play and exercises regularly, out of boredom he tends to develop any type of habit to spend time. Very often you can catch your dog by licking its toes, chewing on furniture or walls, and if they are chained and have access to land, they may feel that there is nothing better to do than swallow it and thus have some hobby.
Eating land can also be a method to get the attention of its owner, since dogs are very sensitive animals that yearn for human company, especially if there are no other animals in the house.
4. Tasty delights
There are many dogs that prefer the taste of the earth to anything, perhaps because they develop a taste for the ground in their backyard or a park they visit every day. There are small insects such as land snails, which dogs love to eat and on the ground they find part of those delicious meals for them.
The compost or fish waste mixed in it is usually another thing that attracts canines. Our pets not only adhere the meat, but also do it with the plants, because they are omnivorous animals. On other occasions even the smell attracts them to dirt, this happens when it has been marked with the urine of other dogs. They can eat the earth to understand its meaning.
It is considered normal behavior in dogs those who generally have the tendency to chew any non-food items such as soft toys, curtains, socks, shoes, among others. But those who eat excess food items are known as a disorder called "Pica."
Although this happens when dog food lacks certain minerals, but sometimes it occurs in puppies out of boredom. This disorder occasionally becomes a compulsive habit and your dog can begin to consume inedible objects such as plastic bags, human clothes, wooden things, and so on. Eating rocks is very common in dogs that suffer from pica. This condition can start due to endocrine problems, diseases of malabsorption or iron deficiency.
6. To relieve hunger
On certain occasions, dog owners offer only one meal for their pets. After a long day of games, having walked and being relaxed with his master, it is obvious that the dog will feel hungry. To stop their hunger attacks, the dog may choose to eat soil, fertilizer for plants, and sometimes grass.
It is very common to see stray dogs feed on this dirt.
Talk to your veterinarian if your dog does not stop eating land, as the soil society contains various chemicals and insects that can be harmful to your pet's health.
What to do if my dog eats land?
The first thing you should do is visit the veterinarian to rule out or confirm certain medical problems. If the veterinarian rules out a problem, the dog is not sick, but simply eats dirt as his dietary needs are not met.
Dog food varies in quality. Make sure that the food you buy meets the nutritional needs of your pet and in addition to that they are suitable for the stage of life that your dog has either a puppy, adult or older dog.
The first ingredient on the label for dog food should be some meat, such as lamb or beef. Never choose foods that are "meat by-products." Since this means feathers, hooves, spikes, eyes and skin.
If this way you can not stop your dog from eating land, it may be a behavioral problem, so you will have to go to teach him new habits to behave in an environment surrounded by land and vegetation.
If you found this article quite interesting, you can't stop reading the reasons why dogs vomit doing Click here.
Why does my dog eat land?
If your dog has ingested land, don't be alarmed. exist multiple causes why a dog can take dirt to his mouth. Luckily, most of these occasions are not important, since it is a natural behavior. This means that, at a time of play, when digging or exploring, your dog will inevitably ingest land. Although this is not a recommended habit, this almost never causes a problem.
In the most serious cases, a dog will ingest land because it lacks food. A diet low in minerals and essential substances will trigger this unhealthy habit, since you will not be able to cover your basic needs in your usual meal. Thus, if you notice that your swallow eats land for no apparent reason and does not respond to any external stimuli, it is very likely that it has some kind of eating disorder.
On the other hand, when they suffer from a stomach condition, dogs eat grass, dirt or any other substance that can help clean the intestine. In this way, they provoke themselves vomiting to expel the food that has made them feel bad. This peculiar reaction also occurs when dogs have intestinal parasites.
What consequences does it have for my dog to eat dirt?
As we have already mentioned, if it is an unusual, casual or accidental action, you should not worry. If on the contrary it is a habit, it should be stopped as soon as possible.
That a dog eats land compulsively can trigger various problems which, in the long run, lead to serious consequences. The most common is that, by ingesting land, your dog get intestinal parasites which, in turn, will cause abnormal eating behaviors. If you think your pet may have intestinal parasites, go to the veterinarian to prescribe the appropriate medication.
On the other hand, dogs that eat land are at risk of ingesting pesticides or chemicals Very harmful to your health.
Dogs eat soil because they have nutritional deficiencies.
As we mentioned earlier, leaving your pet alone for a long time can cause a lot of stress on it. Separation anxiety stimulates unwanted behaviors and one of these is the intake of soil or sand.
The pet through this behavior seeks to attract the attention of its owner and also release the high levels of stress it presents.
It is here that we must help our pet since ingesting land can cause stomach upset as well as increase the chances of getting an infection or virus.
Low quality food:
Feeding your pet with concentrate with inadequate levels of minerals and vitamins, low quality protein and lack of essential nutrients can cause this type of behavior.
Because the food is not providing the necessary nutrients and minerals, the system drives it to look for other sources.
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Lack of deworming:
By not keeping my pet's organism free of parasites, these are responsible for preventing the body from absorbing nutrients, leaving as a result fecal matter composed of a large amount of nutrients and proteins, so the pet feels the need to ingest them given the lack of these in your body.
My dog ate land, what do I do?
If you noticed that your hairy has ingested land, you should understand that it is a normal behavior in dogs, but, in case you are aware that something will happen to him:
Examine that the soil you have consumed does not contain too large solid material, liquids or other substances that may damage
watch it for a few hours, check if you vomit, if you experience dizziness or excessive salivation
If none of the above points happen, you have nothing to worry about!
How to prevent your dog from eating dirt?
What you should do:
Create an exercise routine and complete it. You will see the significant changes your pet will have if you exercise it.
Use some natural supplement that allows you to keep your anxiety levels low, such as the Flower Essences of Batch anxiety.
We recommend deworming as the main treatment. If you have a puppy deworm it monthly until its first 6 months of life and from then on every three months. Ask your veterinarian for Total F Suspension for puppies and Total FLC for adult dogs.
Maybe biologically I no longer have the need to eat land, but custom can be deeply rooted. If your dog continues to eat dirt when it comes out, we recommend you take a toy with you and distract it with it.
What other weird things do dogs eat?
The earth is not the only strange thing that your puppy could be ingesting, there are also hairy ones that are very adept at practices such as:
This type of practice may be happening because the food you give contains very few nutrients or you could be hungry.
If your dog is eating and / or chewing grass frequently, it means that it may be purging its body. Dogs are carnivorous by nature and when they feel "full" or crammed they usually cause vomiting through herbs, especially grass.
If your puppy eats strange things, calm down! Before wanting to run to the vet or stick your finger to cause vomiting, analyze if it is a natural behavior or has to do with any deficiency that you can cover emotionally or food.
In case of eating really strange things such as stones, toys or other objects that can obstruct your respiratory tract, we suggest you reprimand it and if you have already ingested it consult the veterinarian immediately.
How to prevent my dog from eating dirt?
As responsible for their welfare, we must monitor the abnormal behaviors of our pets every time we take them for a walk. Among them, eating land can be a problem that should be identified as early as possible.
If your furry consumes land on a recurring basis, the first thing you have to do is make sure you follow a diet appropriate to your needs. As an example, toy-sized dogs are fast metabolism, so the amount and frequency of each shot may be different from that of their large-sized counterparts.
In these cases, The most sensible thing is to visit the veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis and guide us on how to treat the animal. If you follow his instructions, you will see how soon your hairy stops eating land.