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Why Do Dogs Eat Rocks? The Answer To This Curious Dog Behavior

Why Do Dogs Eat Rocks? The Answer To This Curious Dog Behavior

Dogs are curious animals. They will explore their surroundings and chew on anything they deem edible. For many dogs, rocks are a tasty snack. But why do dogs eat rocks?

It turns out that there are several reasons.

Some dogs eat rocks because they have a mineral deficiency or to help with gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or constipation. Others might eat rocks because of boredom, anxiety, or stress. A dog may also develop the habit as a puppy and continue the behavior into adulthood.

The reasons vary from dog to dog, but it is important to note that eating stones can be very dangerous for both humans and pets alike.

Here, are some reasons why.

Section 1: The Science Behind Why Dogs Eat Rocks Section 2: Why Do Dogs Eat Rocks? Section 3: Dealing with a rock-eating dog Section 4: What to do when your dog eats rocks? Section 5: Conclusion

The Science Behind Why Dogs Eat Rocks

In a study of wild dog populations in South Africa, researchers recorded the number of rock-eating dogs each individual kept in their home territory. Researchers also wanted to see if the frequency of rock-eating differed between breeds. They found that the average number of rock-eating dogs per individual was 10.4. But out of those 10.4 dogs, only 8.7 were pure-bred dogs. Another 5.3 were mixed breeds. The team suspected that the mixed-breed dogs ate more rocks because they were the result of more frequent mating between two different populations. Because mixed-breed dogs are related to other individuals, they might have received more rock-eating behaviors from other dogs.

Why Do Dogs Eat Rocks?

You probably aren’t surprised to hear that dogs often eat rocks when they’re bored, but why do dogs chew on them and swallow them whole? Simple – dogs love to chew on anything and everything, and rocks are no exception. Rock-chewing is more common in dogs that do not have a tooth-growth condition such as canine dwarfism, as these dogs simply have very small molar teeth. Also, in most cases, a lack of chewing can actually make dogs very sick. Rock-chewing can result in tooth decay and causes blockages. In some cases, dog owners will feed their dog a small amount of calcium carbonate daily, while others feed their dogs calcium chews. Both are safer than simply allowing dogs to chew on rocks.

Dealing with a rock-eating dog

If your dog has a problem with rocks, the first thing you should do is pay close attention to the symptoms. If your dog’s behavior becomes more serious, it may be a sign that he needs veterinary care. If your dog is eating rocks more frequently than is expected or you are noticing signs of illness or injuries on his paws or body, it might be a good idea to consult a veterinarian. If your dog is eating a lot of rocks, you might consider giving him a specific diet containing more calcium. While calcium has the best nutritional properties for canine teeth and gums, many veterinarians won’t recommend calcium supplements for healthy, active dogs, as they can interfere with daily activities.

What to do when your dog eats rocks?

If your dog is ingesting large amounts of rocks and continues to do so, it's time to visit your veterinarian. The best course of action is a visit to the vet and various tests to determine the underlying issue.


At this point, it is difficult to say exactly why a dog would eat rocks. But perhaps you can give it a try! If you notice your dog chewing on rocks, the chances are that it is just looking for something to do. After all, you do know that dogs don't like being bored.


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