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Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt: The Truth Behind this Curious Behavior

Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt: The Truth Behind this Curious Behavior

Dogs eat dirt for a variety of reasons, depending on the type of dirt they are eating and the symptoms that are present. For example, if your dog eats sand, he could be trying to remove irritating objects from his gastrointestinal tract.

Eating dirt can also be a sign of general lack of appetite or boredom. It can also be caused by an underlying medical condition like intestinal obstruction or parasites like whipworms.

Here is some more information about why dogs eat dirt…

Section 1: Why do dogs eat dirt? Section 2: Symptoms that might be present Section 3: What should you do if your dog eats dirt? Section 4: How can you prevent your dog from eating dirt? Section 5: Conclusion

Why do dogs eat dirt?

1. Sand A lot of dogs seem to find sand a wonderful thing to eat. This happens most often if you give your dog a container of sand in which to play and he is not allowed to eat it.

2. Powder Some dogs love to eat powder, especially if it’s yellow. Probably due to the fact that the sugar-sweet taste of yellow powder is different from the taste of clay, your dog could be ingesting one or both. In addition, dogs often like to eat yellow powder when they are constipated. They think the yellow powder will help them pass their stool.

3. Watermelon Most dogs love the taste of watermelon and this is due to the citric acid and sugar in the juice. They might also like the smooth texture and the water.

4. Dirt This is sometimes a problem when the dirt is hard and therefore can be hard to chew.

Symptoms that might be present

• Frequent throwing up

• Uncontrollable diarrhea

• Aggressive behavior

• Swollen face or neck

• Nasal discharge

• Unexplained hair loss

• Extreme lethargy

Blood in stool

Vomiting up crystals (lymph)

Symptoms that can help identify the cause of the problem • Calcium and phosphorus (found in some dirt) may be the cause of severe calcium imbalances in the digestive tract. Fecal crystals can become stuck in the intestinal tract, blocking the passage and causing acute pancreatitis.

• An intestinal blockage could be caused by candida or worms.

• Infections like roundworms or whipworms can cause intestinal blockages, diarrhea, vomiting and anemia.

• Protein (found in dirt) can be found in the stomach lining and cause nutrient deficiency.

What should you do if your dog eats dirt?

If your dog has become distressed about his/her refusal to eat food, you may want to do a nutritional investigation.

Your veterinarian can examine your dog’s stool, take x-rays, and perform fecal and blood tests to determine if your dog is in the early stages of starvation.

In order to complete this evaluation, your dog needs to be willing to eat a soft or dry food.

This means that his/her normal diet should not be a source of comfort.

If your dog’s poop is soft, it means he is not consuming enough nutrition to digest his food and absorb necessary nutrients.

In addition, the lack of quality protein can also cause diarrhea and weight loss.

How can you prevent your dog from eating dirt?

Use wooden, plastic or rubber toys to provide your dog with tactile sensations instead of sand, dirt or grass.

Give your dog an enticing treat that is not being eaten, then stand nearby and encourage him to finish it.

Keep your dog’s mealtime very short. Try using lettuce leaves in place of sand.

If your dog does not seem to understand that eating dirt can be harmful to his health, you might want to consider consulting with your veterinarian.


It’s hard to know for sure why dogs eat dirt but in most cases it’s not because of an underlying medical condition.

Like all habits, the “why” behind your dog’s behavior isn’t always clear.

However, it’s important to know that his instinct is trying to keep him healthy, by making sure that things that may be irritating to his digestive system are removed.

If you are wondering why your dog keeps eating dirt, you should have a close inspection of his gastrointestinal tract and give him a few visits to the veterinarian.


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