Anyone that has wisely chosen to have a dog for a pet would know that these animals are addicting. One dog in the family will never be enough. Dogs are aptly branded as man’s best friends because of their affectionate and loyal nature. Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years. Despite the long years of association these animals would exhibit behaviors that are puzzling to man. Eating dirt is one. So why do dogs eat dirt?
It is necessary for a dog owner to know the reasons behind the pet’s partiality to dirt so that the habit can be curbed. Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease with a high mortality rate. Dogs that eat dirt can be infected with parvovirus easily as the virus that is shed through the feces by an infected dog can remain on the dirt for months.
A dog that has the habit of eating dirt can be infested with whipworms. A dog that eats dirt can die from poisoning if the dirt eaten is contaminated with toxic substances like anti freeze. Knowing the reasons why the pet eats dirt is therefore necessary in getting rid of this unwanted behavior.
Dogs have gained the reputation for being rapacious eaters and when a dog has resorted to eating dirt it is highly possible that the dog does not have enough food to eat. Dogs though are pampered pets thus it would be impossible if owners would let the pet go hungry. Dogs therefore have a natural inclination to ingest not only food but any kind of non-food substances that have no nutritive values. This behavior of ingesting rocks, papers, grasses, woods and dirt is known as pica. Pica and other unwanted habits can be the outcome of a behavioral concern. Dogs are social animals and habitually being left alone can be the reason for the unacceptable behavior. The bored dog may eat dirt.
Dirt eating may be a sign that the dog’s diet is nutritionally deficient or that the dog has a gastrointestinal concern. Stomach upsets are not uncommon given the indiscriminate eating habits of dogs. Vitamins and mineral deficiencies would be the outcome of giving the dog poor quality commercial food. Dogs have an uncanny ability to correct an imbalance in their system. Dog experts believe that by eating dirt the dog can cope with the vitamins and mineral deficiencies. Needless to say, the dirt eating habit must be curbed because of its dangerous effects. A dog that eats dirt may be crying out for help.