Why Dogs Eat Dirt
Causes of Dogs Eating Dirt: Understand the potential reasons why your dog eats dirt including behavioral issues, boredom and mineral deficiency. Knowing the causes of the behavior can help you teach your dog to stop eating dirt.
Why Your Dogs Eat Dirt
Veterinarians don't completely understand why some dogs eat dirt, but they do agree that dogs who habitually eat soil may suffer from boredom, mineral deficiencies or behavioral issues.
While most pet foods provide all the daily allowances of minerals that a dog needs, some dogs still develop mineral deficiencies. In many of these cases the dogs are extremely active or they are working dogs, and they need more minerals than the average dogs. In rare cases a dog may not be able to process minerals from the diet as well, and extra minerals are needed in the diet. In cases of mineral deficiencies, some pet owners have been able to stop their dogs’ dirt eating habit by switching to a higher quality brand dog food.
Boredom may be another cause as to why dogs eat dirt. Bored dogs may begin to develop a number of strange habits such as licking their paws constantly, chewing on furniture or walls, or eating dirt. Munching at the dirt may be just another way to pass the time.
Other Underlying Behavioral Problems
In some instances, dogs that eat dirt do so because they have an underlying behavioral problem. This could be due to obsessive compulsive disorder, mental problems which developed from painful past experiences, or due to a genetically inherited behavioral problem. Most dogs which eat dirt in these instances display additional types of unusual behavior.
Some dogs develop a taste for dirt because the dirt in their environment is especially tasty. If there are snails or other small critters in the dirt that the dog likes to munch on, the dirt that comes along with these little snacks may just be part of the meal. Dirt that contains compost or fish residue fertilizers can also be particularly appealing to dogs.