It’s understandably frustrating when your dog won’t stop trying to eat things that aren’t food. However, pica in dogs isn’t necessarily a cause for concern.
If you have a puppy who is under six months of age, eating nonfood items is normal behavior. Puppies chew and swallow inedible things when they are learning about their environment and will typically grow out of this stage with nothing but a little discouragement from their owner. If you’re worried about your puppy ruining your favorite things, provide lots of safe chew toys, monitor her activities closely, and give her plenty of physical exercise to alleviate boredom.
Full grown dogs may eat grass when they feel nauseous as a way to make themselves vomit. Eating grass may also be your dog’s way to remedy certain stomach problems or to improve digestion. As long as your dog only does this occasionally, it’s not a cause for concern.
A full grown dog who is eating items like plastic bags, clothing, and rocks may have a nutritional imbalance. Your vet can run blood tests to see if a dietary change can help correct your dog’s pica.
If your dog doesn’t have a nutritional balance, his pica may be a compulsive disorder. This type of behavior won’t go away on its own. You’ll need to train your dog to break the habit. Medication might be needed in severe cases.
Until your pooch’s propensity to eat nonfood items has been addressed, you’ll need to “dog proof” your home in order to keep your pet safe. Many items that dogs with pica like to try to eat, such as spare change, cleaning chemicals, houseplants, and human pharmaceuticals, can cause death or serious injury. Keep dangerous items safely out of your dog’s reach and use a pet gate to prevent your dog from accessing common trouble spots in your home like the garage or bathroom.
Keeping Your Dog Healthy with Green Bark Gummies
Tasty treats can be useful as a training aid to discourage dogs from trying to eat nonfood items. Green Bark Gummies are free of any artificial flavors, colors, wheat, corn, and soy, and are also non-GMO. They are available in formulas for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties). Visit greenbarkgummies.com for additional information.