It is usually harmless if dogs eat earth. You have probably already observed that your fur nose does the craziest things in between. In any case, there are various reasons why your dog eats earth.
Does your dog like to eat everything that comes in its mouth? You’re probably wondering what’s going on in your four-legged friend if he even eats earth.
Reasons and causes: Why does my dog eat earth?
- out of boredom
- Change of feed and changed diet
- Dog is looking for food
- dental problems
- because of stress
- to compensate for a lack of nutrients
- parasite infestation
- to stimulate digestion
- as a behavioral disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder
- to bind toxins
We have put together detailed explanations for the most common reasons for you. As I said, the cause is usually completely harmless.
Dog eats dirt out of boredom
Many dogs start eating when they don’t know what to do with themselves. Whether it tastes or not is of secondary importance. Your four-legged friend then simply has to get rid of its excess energy.
This is expressed, for example, by the fact that dogs then eat dirt. You can often observe this behavior especially in puppies and young dogs.
Change of feed and changed diet
First of all, there is no need to worry if your darling starts eating dirt during or immediately after changing feed. Your dog is likely trying to compensate for the change in nutrient levels caused by the change in diet.
Your four-legged friend’s organism must first adjust to the new food. Changing your dog’s eating habits is not as easy as you might think.
So keep an eye on how your dog is behaving during this time. In such a case, the eating of earth should be restored after two to four weeks.
Another reason may be that your dog has a tooth or gum problem. If your dog eats more dirt, this may indicate that something is wrong with his teeth or gums.
If something is wrong in the dog’s mouth or causes some pain, your four-legged friend tries to remedy the situation. He does this by eating earth.
However, you can easily check for yourself how your dog’s mouth flora is doing. You can easily tell this from the gums as a layperson. If the gums are discolored or very pale, this is an indication that something is wrong.
What to do if your dog eats earth?
If your dog eats earth, especially when you are out with him or playing in the garden, there are different ways to get rid of this behavior. The easiest way is to distract him.
Offer him new toys or something to deal with instead. For example, this can be a new rope or a frisbee disc.
Your dog will have something of an intelligence toy for a longer period of time and will no longer have the idea of wanting to eat earth. Just give it a try.
Eat dirt to get rid of stubborn dogs
If your diversionary maneuvers don’t work, you can use the following methods. If you have a little stubborn at home that does not respond to a clear “no” and cannot be distracted, use a plastic bottle filled with pebbles.
You can throw these towards your dog if he shows the undesirable behavior. However, do not throw the object at your dog in order not to injure him.
Your dog briefly gets frightened and thus combines the eating of the dirt with the unpleasant moment of fright. In most cases, you don’t have to do this permanently, a few times and your darling will remember it.
Alternatively, you can fill a spray bottle with water and spray it on your dog’s neck or head when it starts to eat earth. This method proves to be very effective.
When should you see a veterinarian?
If your dog repeatedly takes up soil over a longer period of time, you should definitely visit the veterinarian with him.
It is possible that your dog will try to bind toxins that are in the intestine by eating dirt. Another reason can be an imbalance in your dog’s mineral balance.
- Have you changed anything in the daily routine or when feeding your dog, which could trigger this behavior?
- Is your four-legged friend exposed to stress?
If not, it is worth going to the vet. Because then the cause is probably related to the health of your four-legged friend.
My dog eats dirt to bind toxins
Researchers have discovered that loamy soil in particular actually helps animals bind toxins and even provides relief from stomach upset. There are important trace elements in the dirt, which are very rich in minerals and support the animal organism.
You could observe animals like elephants or gorillas in the rainforest. These dig in the ground, loosen it and then eat it.
Since elephants and gorillas mainly feed on leaves and grasses, they also absorb difficult-to-digest substances such as alkaloids. These components are neutralized by the minerals in clay.