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  1. #1

    my dog eats rocks.

    my dog brings rocks in at times and chews on them. i've seen him eat several rock. does anybody have a clue as to why he is doing this? my pup ethol is now bringing them in and chewing on them. i'm puzzled about this.

  2. #2
    i don't know why, but my weimaraner did this too. It is bad for their teeth, and I would recommend taking them away and giving a toy to chew on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Camp Pendleton CA
    I cant remember if thi is 100% right or not but I seem to remember hearing that if your dog is eating rocks he is eating them because his food is not providing the nutritional valuse that he needs and he is hungry.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Camp Pendleton CA
    I found this for you

    Regarding the gravel chewing, it sounds as if he is displaying the telltale signs of a condition known as "pica." Experts define pica as eating "non-food" items. Oddly, rocks are frequently the item of choice for dogs. Pica can be very dangerous, so you are correct to remove the rocks from your dog's mouth. Your pup is at risk for suffering severe - potentially deadly - intestinal damage. An ingested rock may cause a blockage that requires surgery. Keep a close eye on him; if he stops eating or going to the bathroom, vomits, becomes dehydrated or suddenly loses weight, seek medical attention right away. Chewing rocks will also cause severe damage to his teeth, and he could cut the inside of his mouth.

    According to Arizona Humane Society Chief Veterinarian Kathleen Croteau, the exact cause of pica is a bit of a mystery. Specific to rock chewing, many suspected that it stemmed from a mineral deficiency in the dog's diet; however, that explanation has never been proven. These days, Croteau said, the cause is thought to be behavioral and may even signal an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    "Pica may be the result of anxiety," Croteau said. "It's no different than a person displaying a nervous habit. The problem is that a rock-chewing habit is not safe."

    Some dogs may respond to training, attention or exercise to curb the habit. For example:

    • If the rock chewing stems from boredom, your dog will benefit by getting plenty of daily exercise and having "fun" and "stimulating" projects to occupy his time.

    • Consider purchasing a doggie toy that has openings in it to hide peanut butter or small pieces of kibble. Your dog will have to "work" to get the yummy treats out.

    • If he enjoys the company of other dogs, consider adopting a playmate for him.

    • When possible, include him in your family "pack." Walk him, talk to him, brush him and allow him to spend quality time with your family. Isolating him will only worsen the problem.

    • Consider a "diversion tactic" by giving him something else to chew. Pet product retailers offer a variety of hard-rubber dog toys that are virtually indestructible. These toys are made specifically for the dog who loves, or needs, to chew.

    Unfortunately, many dogs with pica are fixated on a particular object and will chew only that object. And training does not always work. If that's the case, it's up to you to create a safe environment for him.

    "In cases where a pet is focused on one particular item, the best bet is to remove that item from his environment and prevent him from coming into contact with that type of item," Croteau said.

    Depending on the amount of gravel in your yard, you may consider removing some or all of it and replacing it with gr$#@!. If you aren't ready to re-landscape your yard, you'll need to keep your dog indoors. Be prepared to supervise all of his outdoor excursions.

    Finally, talk to a professional behaviorist and consult your veterinarian. A behaviorist can $#@!ist you with training issues. Your veterinarian should do a complete examination and blood work to rule out a possible underlying medical condition. In severe cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to reduce your pet's anxiety level.

  5. #5
    great post, but you do need to put the source! I was gonna come back and say, in addition to being bad for the teeth, your dog may also swallow the rocks and cause a blockage, possibly resulting in surgery or death.

  6. #6
    ALL puppies eat/chew on rocks, at this stage they are testing/tasting everything with their mouths to see what is good/bad... dont let them swallow the rocks, as that will cause a blockage and they could die..

    instead redirect them to other things, pick up the rocks, or if you cant, go and get Bitter Apple Spray or Bitter Ends Spray and spray all the rocks , its a nasty taste that most dogs hate.

    it doesnt necessarily mean its PICA

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Camp Pendleton CA
    Quote Originally Posted by maryellen View Post
    ALL puppies eat/chew on rocks, at this stage they are testing/tasting everything with their mouths to see what is good/bad...
    Not really, I have never ever had a dog who ate rocks....ever

    Quote Originally Posted by maryellen View Post
    it doesnt necessarily mean its PICA
    No your right, it doesn't, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of what it is called especially if this is a problem that presents itself long after mouthing should be over

  8. #8
    i don't think it would be a nutrition thing. i'd have to look at the bag to spell the name but it is the best dog food you can get. i also give them vitamins every morning when they eat. i think the name is eukanuba dog food. i'm not a spelling major(you'll notice this in many of my posts). these dogs are involved in everything we do here. they are pretty much like my children. i take them out several hours a day when i'm home from work. they run and romp in the yard and chaz(my older dog) plays fetch hours on end. i throw it down hill so he has to run back up hill. he loves it. ethol chases right after him everyplace he goes. he has so many toys it's not funny. he has one that he likes to be picked up by and swung around in a circle. i call it his purple wombat. it is bone shaped and has hole in it and nubs all over it. it was made to fill up with water so when he grabs it it sprays him. he hates that so we just throw it and pick him up by it. he will let go on command and just sits and waits for you to throw it then. i've only seen him chewing on rocks. he might have swallowed a small one but he has had no problems. ethol just gets them from him. she is bad about taking his toys away from him!!!! if it is in his mouth she has to have it. they play tug a war all the time!!!

  9. #9
    Eukanuba is not a good dog food, in fact, it is one of the worst. There are many threads about pet food, or you can go to There is a lot of good information there. Also, ask anything you want about food, you will get an honest and blunt answer, so hopefully you don't get insulted too easily

  10. #10
    most pups do eat things.... rocks, acorns, sticks, leaves, etc... yes it could be pica as well, but for most pups its just the mouthiness phase of tasting stuff.... i have had pups come in who didnt eat anything , and some pups who did, and i fed top of the line food as well.(timberwolf, raw, canidae)

  11. Jake is a year and 6 months and ive tryed the new hard toys and ham bones and placeing him in a nother area of the yeard to play he is funny about it. he plays with them first and chew on them then spits them back out, i try and get them away but hes NO Puppy any more, hes a 94 pound dog and he beets me up, my husband can wreastle with him to pin him to the ground so i can remove the rocks Ive also replaced his food several times he so spold and picky that i cant aford them exspencive foods out thier, but i think i have found a cheeper dog food called old blue you get at a feed store, he loves it

  12. #12
    i'll try a better brand of food. my older dog is picky about food. ethol isn't. if it goes in the food bowl she's all over it. niether of my dods are out of the puppy stage yet, so i feed them puppy foods. what brand do you all preferr to feed your dog's? i was always told eukanuba was the best to feed. any in put would be great.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by gonzo View Post
    i'll try a better brand of food. my older dog is picky about food. ethol isn't. if it goes in the food bowl she's all over it. niether of my dods are out of the puppy stage yet, so i feed them puppy foods. what brand do you all preferr to feed your dog's? i was always told eukanuba was the best to feed. any in put would be great.
    I feed Wellness, a lot of people here feed Innova and Canidae. Nature's Variety is also a great food.

  14. #14
    what about vitamins? what is a good brand of vitamins for my dogs? i just want to make sure they are healthy and strong.

  15. I use ol'blue you can get it from a feed store, its great for thier vitamins and minarals, its a old dog food us country pepole and their dogs love it, it's great for their coat as well makes it really sinny, gives them energy as well with the vitamin b12 if you have a lazy dog, i would talk to your vet about that every dog is differant

  16. #16
    huskylove Guest
    Jesika, if you're talking about Ol' Roy dog food in the blue bag, it's garbage. It's made with primarily cheap fillers like corn, just look at the ingredient list......

    Ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, wheat middlings, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid), chicken by-product meal, rice, animal digest, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, vitamin E supplement, niacin, copper sulafate, manganous oxide, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, menadione sodium bisulfite (complex source of vitamin K), calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, cobalt carbonate, folic acid, sodium selenite

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by gonzo View Post
    what about vitamins? what is a good brand of vitamins for my dogs? i just want to make sure they are healthy and strong.
    Most of the good, high quality foods don't need additional supplements to be healthy and have what your dogs needs.

  18. #18
    i'm a engineer for the rail road. the rail broke about a year ago and a entire shipment of ol roy dog food was all over the place. it was out in the middle of the woods. NOTHING WOULD EAT IT!! no coons, possums, deer, bears i mean nothing would touch the stuff. after seeing that i would never think of feeding ol roy to a animal i loved or hated for that matter;). i try to buy the higher priced brands. the thing i noticed with cheaper foods they go to the bathroom more than with better foods. i guess with better foods they use it instead of just it running threw them. i give them vitamins just to be safe. we all want the best for our animal friends. i've seen natures varity in wal-mart and skipped over it. so it is a good brand? i don't buy dog food at wal-mart period. i go to pet stores and get the best they have there.

  19. #19
    They don't sell Nature's Variety in Wal-mart....maybe you are mistaking for another brand? Sorry haven't been in a wal-mart store or anything for a while, but Nature's Variety is sold is smaller, more local pet feed stores. I think Purina or one of those brands came out with something and called it similar.

    Also, if you give vitamins, and your dog doesn't actually need them, oftentimes they can actually do more harm then good. A lot of people don't realize that. Same with us, if we take too many vitamins, they can do more harm than good. That said, I do take vitamins right now, because the food I am fed is not very nutricious, and I don't have much of a choice as to what I can eat. For me, I searched and researched before I found a decent multi-vitamin, and its from GNC.

    A lot of the vitamins that I have seen on the market for dogs aren't all that great, and are made and marketed towards people with good intentions, (I said A LOT, not ALL). I believe that some of the people on here that feed raw use some vitamins, so maybe they can answer better for you. My own dog does take a Cosequin, which is a glucosamine supplement, but that is due to some health issues, and her vet said she needs it. Really, unless your dogs aren't healthy, or their diet is missing something, you really don't need extra supplements.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Camp Pendleton CA
    I used to feed ol roy. I didn't know any better until my lad started flaking like crazy. When I found out is was the dog food I stated buying Iams. I know I know its not the BEST food out there, but 90 days later the flaking has stopped all together and both dogs do well on it. For us, it is working well. You just have to find the food that works best for your dogs, feed them good treats and put them on a good schedule.

    I am done with my food rant now

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