Why do dogs eat dirt? There are a variety of different reasons why your dogs eat dirt. This may at first seem like harmless fun. There are some risks to dogs eating dirt alongside causes that may need a vet.

What are the risks of dogs eating dirt?

There are the obvious risks such as ingesting large quantities of pesticides and other unwanted chemicals.  Dirt is likely to contain stones and other shrapnel that could potentially damage your dog’s teeth. Dirt also contains a variety of parasites which could affect your dog if ingested in large enough quantities.

The major risk with eating dirt is the effect it can have on your dogs’ guts. Large amounts of dirt can lead to constipation. If left untreated the dirt will eventually become impacted which in turn could lead to surgery.

What are the underlying causes of my dog eating dirt?

One of the major causes of your dog eating dirt is an imbalance of nutrients in their diet. This could stem from poor diet and veterinary consultation would help to identify and address this issue.

Boredom can be a cause for your dog eating dirt. If your dog lacks stimulation, then it could be eating dirt as a way of passing the time. Like boredom stress can induce your dog eating lots of alternatives to normal food including dirt. 

Something as simple as a stomach upset may lead to your dog eating dirt. This should be checked out by your vet to see what the underlying cause might be. Finally, anaemia can be a cause and would need to be treated by a vet.

How to stop may dog eating mud?

It isn’t abnormal for puppies to eat dirt as they grow up. Like children, puppies are curious and tend to be into everything. However, if this behaviour continues into adulthood, then it should be checked by a professional.

If medical causes have been discounted, then distraction techniques may be the answer.  Using other stimuli to distract your dog when around mud could break the habit. A simple answer would be to avoid soil, this is harder in real life of course! 

Spend time understanding the cause of this behaviour. If you get to the bottom of the cause, whether medical or psychological, you can act accordingly.

If in doubt consult your vet.