My Pet Child

3 Reasons Why Your Dog Likes to Eat Gravel and Rock

Dog Rocks & Gravel

There are certain dogs out there that tend to like eating gravel and rocks, and this is definitely not a good product for your dog to be munching on. What you might not realize is that this behavior could be a sign of a medical issue affecting your dog. You’ll find a few of the top reasons for this behavior listed below and we’ll talk about what you should do to prevent this risky behavior.

1. Your Dog May Have Stomach or Intestinal Issues

If your dog is eating rocks, this could be a sign that he has an intestinal issue or stomach issue that needs to be dealt with by a veterinarian. Stomach tumors, inflammatory bowel disease, and hookworms could be the cause of this issue. If your dog has an unbalanced diet he also might try to eat rocks or gravel.

Gastrointestinal intestinal issues could lead to your dog thinking he is starving, which is due to signals being sent from the brain. When this happens, your dog might just try to eat anything that is near him. Anemia also can cause this problem and your dog is eating rocks because he has some intestinal bleeding.

2. Eating Gravel May be a Past Behavioral Problem

Behavioral problems also might be causing your dog to eat rocks or gravel. This could be boredom or attention-seeking behaviors, just as you might see in a small child. A chemical imbalance in the brain could end up causing compulsive behaviors such as eating anything in site.

Behavioral problems also could be the result of previous abuse or starvation. If you know the background of your dog was full of abuse or neglect, this could be the main reason for the gravel eating. It’s very difficult to get a dog to stop this behavior if it’s coming from a place of previous abuse.

3. Your Dog is Getting Too Bored or Stressed

A dog that is bored or really stressed out might also choose to eat rocks. Boredom could result in your dog trying to find his own entertainment, such as eating various objects. Stress can cause this as well, especially if your dog was previously abused and has certain triggers such as being outside. Try to provide him with multiple toys he can play with. If it’s stress-related, you will need to try to determine what is causing him stress and remove it from his environment.

How to Stop a Dog From Eating Rocks

The first step you want to take is to call the veterinarian for advice on the matter. It’s important to rule out any mineral or vitamin deficiencies, illnesses, digestive issues, or other medical causes for the rock eating behavior. After you have ruled out medical causes, you must move onto a trial-and-error process to stop the behavior. The first step really is to remove all of the rocks and gravel that your dog could get into, including in your flower beds, driveway, and other places your dog goes. If this is not possible, then you must keep your dog away from the areas where gravel is present.

You also might need to hire a trainer if you need to work with your dog on obedience so that he will stop eating rocks when you use a certain word. Providing your dog with more stimulating play and activities could also help stop this behavior. Make sure you are playing with your dog and making him active throughout the day. The more stimulation your dog has with toys and other objects, the less likely he will be to go after gravel.

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About the Author
is the owner of an awesome toy poodle. John started MyPetChild.com to share his experience and knowledge of being an apartment-living pet owner.