What is it that makes dirt so attractive that some dogs add it to their diet? It can be especially frustrating when you feed your dog the highest quality food, home-cook, feed complete raw meals or a combination of any of these.
There are several reasons put forth as to why dogs eat dirt – missing nutrients, vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies, indigestion, attempting to neutralize toxins. Of course, if you’ve followed all the feeding requirements as told by the professionals in the pet nutrition field, it may be simply an acquired habit. One day your dog started playing with a clump of dirt and decided it tasted okay and it became a fun game.
Today’s produce may be grown in soil that depleted of nutrients. Spraying insecticides and herbicides produces toxins on plants that leech into the soil. If you or your gardener use any of these products , your dog and cat too, is in danger of ingesting these toxins. And the animals used in pet food graze on the plants. Today’s highly processed foods remove many of the vitamins and minerals. Although they may be replaced by the manufacturer after processing, they may not be easily absorbed by the body or in the necessary amounts.
If your dog is a dirt eater, it’s a good idea to have the vet give him/her a comprehensive blood workup including a complete blood count (CBC) to check for any deficiencies. There is a plasma induction method that tests your dog’s hair for minerals which does so accurately. Ask your vet about it.
If tests show that all is normal and your dog continues eating dirt, there are a couple of things you can do to help discourage this behavior.
Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. Boredom can be the problem. Divert his/her attention from eating dirt by introducing playtime.