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eating dirt

October 9th, 2006, 01:41 PM
My 3 year old Boston Terrier has started eating there something missing in her diet that makes her do this? How do I make her stop?:dog: :usa:

October 9th, 2006, 01:48 PM
What is she being fed? What, specifically is she eating, in the dirt? Could she be eating cat, raccoon, other animal feces???

The only way to 100% tell if she was missing something in her diet would be to have bloodwork done and all her mineral levels checked.

As for getting her to stop, that depends really on whether or not she's found feces in the dirt to eat, or if she's just eating pure dirt. A lot of it could be boredom, or something in there that tastes really yummy, but I'd guess that some basic training methods (and keeping her away from areas of open dirt) would probably prevent her from continuing.


October 10th, 2006, 12:22 AM
Some dogs do it because they're missing nutrients and others just do it. :D

One of my dogs ate dirt from one place only, and if we don't go there, he doesn't eat dirt at all. :shrug:

It is essential that you get him good food with nutrients he can absorb properly. Some dogs absorb nutrients from some sources better than others, so it's important to find a food that is right for your dog and that keeps him healthy, his coat shiny and soft and his energy up.

October 10th, 2006, 08:57 AM
If you are feeding your dog a high-quality dog food, he is probably not lacking any key elements in his diet. Most cases of dogs eating dirt or grass are behavioral problems. It is usually nothing to be worried about, but if you are concerned that he might have an illness that is causing him to eat dirt, then it would be a good idea to take him to your veterinarian for a physical exam and some blood work to make sure he is healthy.

You've been given excellent advice here but just to add to it I found this from a vet web site:

The only cause for eating dirt that I can think of is pica (eating or
licking unusual objects) associated with anemia. If there is no evidence
of anemia, then this isn't very likely. Sometimes pica occurs with chronic
gastrointestinal disease, chronic pancreatitis and exocrine pancreatic
insufficiency but it doesn't seem to be a prominent aspect of these
diseases. There are probably other conditions that this can occur with
that I am not aware of, but it is not a sign that can be consistently linked
with any condition that I know of except the iron deficiency anemia's.

It would be worth considering repeating the lab work after a couple of
months (or sooner if your dog doesn't feel well) just to be sure that
there isn't a subtle disease process that might show up in repeat lab work.

Mike Richards, DVM

October 10th, 2006, 10:13 AM
All great advice. Some dogs also like to get at the worms in the dirt ~ I try not to think too hard on whether it's the texture or taste, Bridie likes to bliss-roll around on the spot afterwards . Some dogs also eat dirt because their stomachs are queasy and the clay in the soil seems to help settle it or they need some "help" to vomit.