My dog ​​eats everything lying around: causes and solutions

Why does your pet dog have this behavior? How to cure it? Our answer.

Cigarette butts, chewing gum, shoes… Your dog grabs and swallows whatever he finds on the ground, whether it’s 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 everything he meets in his path. Its behavior is natural, it corresponds to the discovery through the mouth of its environment. As a baby does in the oral phase. It also learns what is edible and what is not. This special period must end with the training of your dog. In adulthood, if your dog continues to behave like this, it is abnormal behavior. And since this puts your animal in danger, you must be vigilant.

This action is called pica : a perversion of eating behavior that causes your dog to consume non-food substances. It can be a child’s toy, fabric, clothes, an object, toxic products, soil, wood, pebbles, grass… When excrement is ingested, we talk about coprophagy.

There are several reasons for this behavior:

  • Hunger, nutritional deficiencies or frustration: this can be associated with 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 your master’s attention: Swallowing objects is also a way to get your attention

How do you stop a dog from eating something lying down?

You need to identify the causes of this abnormal eating behavior and then remedy it.

One of the effective ways to act is to first secure its environment in the house by putting the objects or substances that it could swallow (children’s toys, dangerous products, socks) out of your dog’s reach.

As for outdoor use, when walking, use a leash and muzzle. Avoid going near cafes (because of cigarette butts on the ground) and restaurants (food). You can offer him a replacement, such as a treat or a crunch. You can also take a bone or a chew toy with you for a walk: your dog will drop what he has caught or will no longer be interested in what is on the ground.

It is necessary to train your puppy so that he stops swallowing everything in his way, making him integrate “no” and the command “you go” or “you let go”. Also, teach him to only touch his belongings (his bowl, his toys). Be patient and constantly remind of the prohibitions. If you are an adult, this learning has not been acquired before, retrain it.

If his behavior is related to boredom, try to occupy your dog during your absence. Give him more time, give him more hugs. Be sure to take regular walks with him.

Make sure your dog is eating correctly, in quantity and nutritional quality.

Regarding certain digestive problems, remember to worm your dog very regularly. For other diseases, 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 dog behaviorist.


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