Dogs have been known to have a voracious appetite and often eat things that are not even food. This behavior is commonly referred to as “pica” and it can be concerning for dog parents. This is not a very common behavior in my experience, which is why not everyone knows about it.
But why do some dogs eat everything in sight?
Here are some reasons behind this behavior and what you can do to help your pup.
- 1. Nutritional deficiencies: Dogs that consume non-food items may be lacking essential nutrients in their diet. They may be trying to fulfill their nutritional needs by eating items such as rocks, sticks, or even paper. Consult with a veterinarian to determine if your dog is deficient in any nutrients and if a dietary change is necessary.
- 2. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as digestive issues, can cause dogs to eat non-food items. If your dog is exhibiting this behavior, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.
- 3. Boredom: Dogs that are left alone for long periods of time with nothing to do can become bored and turn to eating anything they can find as a form of stimulation. Providing plenty of interactive toys and engaging activities can help alleviate this behavior.
- 4. Hunger: A dog that is constantly hungry may start eating anything in sight to satisfy their hunger. Make sure your dog is being fed a well-balanced diet in appropriate portions and consider feeding them more frequently if necessary.
- 5. Attention seeking: Some dogs may engage in pica behavior as a way to get attention from their owners. If this is the case, it is important to teach your dog self control and the ability to relax without seeking for attention on demand. Behavioral training will easily solve this problem rather than scolding or punishing them when they do.
In conclusion, there are several reasons why dogs may engage in pica behavior, including nutritional deficiencies, boredom, hunger, medical conditions, and attention seeking. If your dog is exhibiting this behavior, it is important to consult first with a veterinarian to determine if the underlying cause it’s medical and with a behavioral trainer to develop a plan to address it. With the right support and training, you can help your dog break this habit and lead a happy and healthy life.
© Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC | All Rights Reserved December 2022