Dogs eat soil because of mineral deficiencies, upset stomachs, medical conditions or compulsive behavior. The best way to determine why a particular dog is eating soil is through close monitoring of the behavior and consultation with a veterinarian.Know More
Occasional eating of soil is not necessarily a bad thing for a dog. In some instances, the dog may have an upset stomach; soil can help dilute the cause of the upset stomach. For example, if the dog ate a plant that did not sit well in his stomach, he may eat some dirt to attempt to feel better. In this situation, the dog is likely to eat a small amount of dirt a single time.
More common soil eating may indicate more serious concerns. The dog may be suffering a deficiency of some essential nutrients which causes him to crave soil. Soil contains many nutrients, though it is not a reliable way for a dog to get nutrition. By closely analyzing the nutrients in the dog's diet, it is possible to gauge whether he is receiving the necessary minerals he needs for good health.
If the dog has a healthy diet but still frequently eats soil, more serious conditions are possible. The dog may suffer compulsive behavior to eat soil; if the dog exhibits many other effects of stress, he may be compulsive. Alternatively, the dog may have a medical condition that makes him crave soil or that makes him have frequent stomach issues. A veterinarian can help diagnose these conditions in frequent soil eating dogs.Learn more about Dogs
Dogs occasionally eat paper because of a condition known as pica. It causes dogs to consume items other than food and may be related to medical conditions, hunger, boredom, or simply because the dog enjoys the texture and flavor of paper products.Full Answer >
Although a dog will not die from a diet exclusively made up of cat food, cats and dogs have different dietary needs. According to The Daily Cat, cat food is formulated to have much higher levels of fat, protein and calories than is healthy for most dogs. A cat's metabolism does well on such a diet, but dogs will gain weight and can experience gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea.Full Answer >
The ASPCA explains that a dog who frequently eats non-food items such as wood, dirt and rocks is suffering from a condition called pica. In some cases, pica is exacerbated by a lack of exercise, boredom and even anxiety, especially in younger dogs. However, pica is often the result of a medical problem such as a dietary deficiency.Full Answer >
A dog may be eating snow due to a wide range of medical issues, such as dehydration. Cushing's disease, kidney failure, and Addison's disease may lead to the ingestion of snow. If a dog is hydrated and healthy, there is nothing to worry about; some dogs simply like the taste.Full Answer >