Dog eats stones: possible causes and tips
In view of the strange eating habits of some four-legged friends, it is obvious to call dogs omnivores. After all, it is not uncommon for a dog to eat stones, for example, or to have a big appetite for other inedible things.
Nevertheless, dogs are so-called semi-carnivores, whose food should consist mainly of animal fats and proteins.
Regardless, it is neither normal nor harmless for your dog to eat stones. As the owner, you should therefore take this unusual behaviour seriously and stop it as soon as possible. We will explain how you can do this in the following.
Why does a dog eat stones?
With puppies, eating stones can usually be blamed on the curiosity of the little quadrupeds. But when an adult dog eats stones, this is not a normal behavior that is in the nature of the four-legged friend.
Instead, it is an obvious behavioural disorder that can be triggered by various factors. It is possible that your dog is bored or lacks sufficient workload by playing games together or even dog sports.
Especially with animals that are kept in a kennel and are left on their own practically all day, such abnormalities can be observed quite often. Often a dog then not only eats stones, but also bites on other objects in its environment.
Besides boredom and underchallenge it can also be that the eating of stones is caused by the so-called pica syndrome. This is a severe eating disorder, which makes your dog tend to eat everything. Apart from stones, this can also include socks, foam and many other inedible things.
Malnutrition as a trigger for stone eating
Another possible reason for stone eating in dogs can be inadequate nutrition. It is possible that the four-legged friend lacks important nutrients, which he tries to absorb in other ways.
But maybe the dog also eats stones because he simply does not get enough food and is therefore hungry. Even if this cause for eating stones is comparatively rare, it is worthwhile in this context to take a look at the food of the four-legged friend.
Why it is dangerous if your dog eats stones
If your dog eats stones, you should never be careless about this. Because the consumption of indigestible foreign bodies is connected with an enormous health risk for your quadruped.
Of course, stones are normally not poisonous. However, under certain circumstances they can get stuck in the digestive tract.
While small stones may simply be excreted again, larger stones can then cause a dangerous intestinal obstruction in your dog, for example, or block his oesophagus.
In these cases, surgery to remove the foreign body cannot usually be avoided.
Even if your dog does not eat the stones, but only chews on them, this is not without danger. This is because the dog's teeth are excessively abraded and in the worst case can even break off.
What to do if a dog eats stones?
As you can see, it is anything but harmless if your dog eats rocks. Therefore, it is essential that you make sure that your four-legged friend gets used to this behaviour as soon as possible.
Make sure that your dog does not get bored and keep him occupied with playing together when you take him for a walk. Retrieving a ball or a stick is just as distracting as a search game.
In addition, you should think about whether you would like to try out dog sports with your four-legged friend. From obedience over treibball to agility there is something suitable for practically every dog.
The right food can counteract the eating of stones
Besides sufficient activity against boredom, it is recommended to check the diet of a dog that eats stones. This means first of all that you must check whether you feed your four-legged friend appropriate portions.
However, you should also make sure that the dog food of your choice is of convincing quality and provides your dog with all the necessary nutrients.
To this end, we recommend that you rely on the Bellfor nutritional concept. In our product range, quality-conscious dog owners will find everything they need for species-appropriate dog nutrition.
From the Chihuahua to the Great Dane, we offer a suitable solution for all breeds. In addition, we have numerous healthy dog snacks on offer. These are ideal as a reward, for example, while you wean your dog off eating stones.
What to do when a dog has eaten rocks?
If your dog has already eaten stones, it is important that you keep a close eye on him and, if anything is suspicious, see a vet immediately. After all, not every swallowed foreign object comes out the other end and problems such as intestinal obstruction can be fatal in the worst case.
Possible symptoms that you should be aware of in this context include vomiting, fatigue, a bloated stomach or even a lack of faeces.