Why do dogs eat rocks?

You’ll come across some dogs which tend to consume stuff that they should not, for example, socks, toys, furniture, and so forth. Nevertheless, it is really surprising to see canines eating rocks. For example, one day you might find your pet going for a stroll in the nearby park enjoying his day, and then all of a sudden starting to chew a stone or gravel.

It is quite natural for you to be concerned about this kind of behavior from your furry friend. But, have you ever thought about why they are in the habit of eating rocks in the first place? In this article, we have mentioned some authentic reasons which will explain why pooches tend to eat rocks and also how to stop them from doing so.

Can consuming rocks prove to be dangerous for the canines in the long run?

Well, it depends on some particular factors. These can include the size and shape of the rock, the age, and size of your pet, as well as the composition of the stone. However, one thing is for sure there are no benefits associated with canines consuming rocks. On the other hand, it can result in some conditions such as intestinal blockage, internal hemorrhage, internal rupture, constipation, poisoning, and so forth. Let us look at the reasons for the pooches eating rocks and stones.

1. He simply wants to try them out

It is a fact that every dog likes to try out something new with their mouth just like human toddlers. We all know human infants biting toys, biting a pair of jeans, and whatnot. In the same way, a rock might simply be a new thing for the canine to try out using their mouth. In case your pet is suffering from this kind of problem, then it will be a sensible idea to teach them some commands such as “leave it” every time they’re going to get hold of a rock and eat it. Try to provide him with his favorite treat or toy so that he can become distracted. When he starts grabbing those things given by you, then make sure to remove the rock from his sight and shift him to a different location.

2. Malnutrition

At times, a canine might suffer from malnutrition. This condition does not imply that an overweight dog cannot become malnourished. It is important to evaluate the type, as well as the quality of the food items that you are providing to your canine on a regular basis to make sure that it is able to fulfill its nutritional requirements.

Pooches might suffer from malnourishment mainly because of starvation, for example, abandoned or stray dogs. Otherwise, this can also happen if you unknowingly provide your pet with some food items that are not full of nutrients. In that case, it will be a good idea to alter the diet of your adorable pet after taking the guidance of your vet.

3. Diabetes

Dogs, just like humans, can also suffer from diabetes, which happens to be a serious yet treatable condition. In such cases, the doggies might tend to eat rocks because of nutritional deficiencies or excessive hunger. When a dog is affected with diabetes he will show some other symptoms such as the consumption of excess water as well as excessive urination. In such cases, your best step will be to visit the vet at the earliest.

4. Might suffer from intestinal or stomach problems

One more authentic reason why your pet is eating rocks might be because he is suffering from some stomach ailments or intestinal issues that have to be treated immediately by a vet. This type of issue can be caused by inflammatory bowel disease, stomach tumors, as well as hookworms. Moreover, it might also be possible if the canine has an unbalanced diet.

If your pet is suffering from gastrointestinal conditions, he might be of the notion that he is actually starving because of the signals sent to his brain. In case this takes place, your pet might make an attempt to consume anything that is close to him. This problem can also be caused by anemia, and your pooch might be consuming rocks due to some intestinal bleeding.

5. Might be a past behavioral problem

Your canine might start eating rocks because of some behavioral issues as well. This can result from factors such as boredom or an attempt to get the attention of the owner. In such cases, the animal might be depicting compulsive behaviors because of some chemical imbalance in his brain, and he might start eating rocks or anything within its sight.

Starvation or previous abuse can also lead to these types of behavioral issues. You’ll find it quite difficult to prevent your canine from eating rocks in case they come from a location of previous abuse.

6. Suffering from excessive stress or boredom

On many occasions, dogs suffering from monotony or severe anxiety and stress can also depict the behavior of consuming rocks. In case he becomes bored, he will try to find something to become entertained, and he might be eating various objects. This can be caused by stress as well, particularly if the animal had been abused previously. Make sure to provide him with more than one toy to keep him engaged and not feel bored. In case it is related to stress, you need to figure out the reason for being stressed, and you should remove the object from his environment.

7. Confusion

Sometimes a canine might suffer from confusion due to medical conditions, certain medications, as well as old age. In such cases, do not be surprised if you find your pet consuming rocks and stones. This is because he has become totally confused and his brain is informing him that consuming rocks will be the best thing to do. In such cases, it will be advisable for you to take the help of an experienced vet.

8. Trying to grab attention

There is no doubt about the fact that a doggy is exceptionally intelligent, which happens to be his inherent nature. In case he finds that his owner is ignoring him or not spending adequate time with him, he might be depicting some abnormal behaviors such as eating rocks. He will do so for getting your attention in the long run. In case he finds that you are paying attention to him while he is eating stones, he might repeat this behavior in the near future.

9. Parasites

Sometimes, some pooches might suffer from internal parasites which can make them consume strange items such as rocks. This can happen when the parasites block nutrient absorption in the gastrointestinal tract of your pet. Doggies suffering from parasites and consuming rocks often experience malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.

How would it be possible to prevent your dog from consuming rocks?

1. Try to stay away from areas with rocks or gravel

It will not be possible for your adorable pet to eat rocks in case these are not available to him. For this, it will be a good idea to alter the location where you used to take your dog for a stroll. If you are residing in the city, make sure to look for dog parks that do not have any stones or rocks out there. Besides this, you can also search for reliable dog training centers which will provide you with rented space for exercising your pooch indoors in extreme cases.

2. Address nutritional deficiencies as well as parasitic infections

If it is found by the vet that the dog is suffering from parasites or nutritional deficiencies, then you can expect the vet to provide your dog with a proper treatment plan. This might incorporate adding nutritional supplements to the diet of your pup, as well as the required medications for treating any parasitic infection.

3. Use behavior modification

Provide your dog with his favorite toy or treat to make him distracted so that he will get rid of the rock at the earliest. This will help you to eliminate the desire of your pooch to taste rocks in the long run.

4. Provide him with plenty of attention

Apart from making sure that your pooch has got sufficient mental and physical workouts, it will also be prudent to provide him with adequate attention. In case they are depicting the behavior of eating rocks for getting your attention, then make it a point to become proactive with your attention so that he is able to reduce his desire once and for all.

5. Consult your vet

In case you find that your adorable furry friend has turned out to be a rock eater, then take him to the vet without making any delay. He will be the best person to figure out whether he is suffering from any medical conditions as well as any psychological and behavioral reasons that might be forcing the doggie to depict this behavior.