Reasons Why Dogs Eat Rocks or Pebbles
Wild coyotes and wolves chew stones. However, most vets don't advise letting your dog eat stones as they can break their teeth, get caught in their intestines, and lead to serious health problems.
Here are some reasons your dog might be eating pebbles and what you can do about it:
- Deficiency: Your dog is deficient in phosphorus, calcium, or iron or it could possibly have an enzyme deficiency. Your vet can test for deficiencies and tell you the best supplements to give it.
- Worms: Your dog might have worms in the stomach. Deworm it. Even if this isn’t the reason, you should be deworming regularly.
- Pain: Your dog may be ill or in pain. Again, this means a trip to the vet to get your dog checked out.
- Boredom: It could merely be bored and need exercise. This problem is easily fixed. Buy it some chew toys and take it for more walks and playtime.
- Loneliness: It could be lonely. I would say this should be an easy one to figure out too. Try spending more time with your dog and see how the problem changes.
- Pica: It may have a condition called pica. This is a mental health problem that causes people or animals to compulsively eat non-food items. Homeopathy, acupressure, acupuncture, and herbs have helped some dogs who suffer from pica. Your vet will need to diagnose this issue and can give you tips on dealing with it.
- GI Upset: It could have a disorder of the intestinal tract. A vet can check to find out if this is the case.
- Diabetes: It could have diabetes mellitus. This can also be tested for at the vet.
- Bloat: Your dog may be suffering from bloat. This is a serious disease, and dogs can die from it if it’s not treated. It might be bloat if your dog's stomach is hard and tight. Go to the vet immediately.
- Tooth Health: I've seen some people say that chewing on or eating small stones helps clean dogs' teeth, but this is false. Charcoal, the pure, non-treated stuff, can work for cleaning teeth as well.
- If you've tried changing the dog's diet, exercising it more, and giving it more attention, and it's still eating rocks, then it's time to take it to the vet to see if there's an underlying condition.
- You could also try removing stones and rocks from your property if it seems the problem just won't go away.
- If your dog's stomach is hard and tight, you need to get to the vet right away.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2011 Lyn.Stewart