Dogs have great appetites and these animals have the inclination to eat questionable (at least to us humans) things. The habit of eating non-food items is called pica. Eating non-edible items is a normal behavior of dogs but dog owners would still be puzzled by this behavior more so if the pet is provided with enough food. Most dogs would love to gnaw and eat rocks.
As mentioned, dogs love to eat rocks but this habit is most commonly seen in puppies. Puppies are naturally inquisitive and one way of discovering their world is by using their mouth. These “baby” dogs would chew rocks as if the stony fragment is a fruit flavored bubble gum. The habit of eating rocks can endanger the life of the pet. Because rocks are hard, the teeth as well as the soft tissues inside the mouth can be damaged. Moreover this object is not meant for the dog’s delicate digestive tract as ingestion can result to diarrhea. What would be more alarming is the fact that a rather large rock ingested by the dog can be life threatening if an esophagus or an intestinal tract blockage is created.
We know that dogs are voracious eaters. Pet owners would do anything to have the most well behaved pet but of course this is not possible as dogs are known to adapt dangerous and abhorrent behaviors. Dog owners will still be perplexed by the dog’s craving for rocks. This undesirable habit can be attributed to a medical concern such as brain diseases. If an underlying medical concern was ruled out, the rock eating habit of the pet can be attributed to behavioral problems.
Boredom, stress or anxiety can urge a dog to feast on rocks. Dogs are social animals thus they would crave social interactions with dogs and with humans. Dogs that do not get any attention from the family will be bored. Bored dogs will develop destructive behaviors. Eating rocks is a sign that the dog is bored. This behavior can also be the dog’s way of getting the owner’s attention.
Various lab tests would be necessary to know the health concerns of humans. Dogs really do have amazing abilities, one of which is knowing what is wrong with their system. Rock eating can be the dog’s way of correcting an undiagnosed nutrient deficiency. The rock eating habit can be a wake up call for the dog owner not only to provide the dog with premium quality dog food but also to make time to bond with the dog.