Why does your canine pet have this behavior? How to cure it ? Our answers.
Cigarette butts, chewing gum, shoes… Your dog grabs and swallows what he finds on the ground, whether in your house or outside, during walks. A normal behavior for a puppy but which is no longer normal for an adult dog. These ingestions of inedible food, objects or products can be dangerous for your pet: risk of poisoning, perforation…
Why does my dog eat everything he finds?
Your puppy swallows what he encounters in his path. Its behavior is natural, it corresponds to the discovery by the mouth of its environment. Like a baby does in the oral phase. It also teaches what is edible and what is not. This particular period must end with the education of your dog. In adulthood, if your dog continues to act like this, it is abnormal behavior. And as this endangers your animal, you must be vigilant.
This action is called the pica : a perversion of eating behavior that causes your dog to consume non-food substances. It can be a child’s toy, fabric, clothing, an object, toxic products, earth, wood, pebbles, grass… In the event of ingestion of excrement, we then speak of coprophagy.
There are several reasons for this behavior:
- Hunger, nutritional deficiencies or frustration: this can be linked to a poor quality or unbalanced diet
- Diseases (such as diabetes, Cushing’s disease or certain cancers), digestive disorders (such as pancreatic insufficiency, intestinal parasites, ulcers)
- Boredom: your dog can hardly stand loneliness
- Attract the attention of his master: swallowing objects is also a way to capture your attention
Read alsoDogs and cats: the basics of health prevention
How do you stop a dog from eating anything lying around?
You must identify the reasons for this abnormal eating behavior and then remedy it.
One of the effective ways to act is to secure, at first, his environment in the house by putting out of reach of your dog the objects or substances that he could swallow (children’s toys, dangerous products, socks. ..).
As for the outdoors, when walking, use a leash and a muzzle. Avoid walking around cafes (because of cigarette butts on the ground) and restaurants (food). You can offer him a substitute, such as a treat or a kibble. You can also take a bone or a chew toy on a walk: your dog will drop what he has caught or will no longer be interested in what is lying on the ground.
It is necessary to educate your puppy so that he stops swallowing everything that is in his way, making him integrate the “no” and the order “you leave” or “you let go”. Also teach him to touch only his belongings (his bowl, his toys). Be patient and constantly remind the prohibitions. If adult, this learning has not been acquired before, re-educate it.
If his behavior is related to boredom, try to occupy your dog during your absences. Give him more time, give him more cuddles. Be sure to take regular walks with him.
Make sure that your dog is eating correctly, in quantity and nutritional quality.
Regarding certain digestive problems, remember to deworm your dog very regularly. For other illnesses, consult a veterinarian for a diagnosis.
If your dog’s behavior does not change after implementing the necessary measures or treatments, you can refer yourself to a canine behaviorist.