Why Do Dogs Eat Rocks?

Do you ever wonder why your dog seems to enjoy eating rocks?

While it may seem strange to us, there is a reason behind this seemingly odd behavior.

Dogs eat rocks for various reasons, so the question “why do dogs eat rocks” can be answered.

Read on to learn more about this strange behavior.

Why Do Dogs Eat Rocks? – The Reasons

Because They’re Bored And Have Nothing Else To Chew On

Dogs eat rocks out of boredom and lack of other outlets for chewing.

It’s a behavior that often stems from anxiety or even fear, as well as the desire to find something unexpected to chew on.

Not all dogs eat rocks.

Some prefer other seemingly odd items such as socks, shoes, wood and plastic.

But it can be dangerous.

Eating rocks can cause cuts in their mouths or choke on a rock that is too large.

They can also develop an intestinal blockage which can be life-threatening if not treated quickly by a vet.

To reduce the behavior, owners should provide toys and cubes stuffed with treats to keep them entertained and stimulate their brains with engaging activities.

Regular exercise and plenty of mental stimulation will help stop them from looking for things to chew on in the first place!

For The Minerals And Nutrients That Rocks Can Provide

In some instances, rocks can provide essential vitamins and minerals that a pup’s body requires for optimal health.

Also, some rocks have a lot of iron, calcium, and other trace elements that may help with digestion and give you more energy.

Because these nutrients could help an animal survive in the wild, dogs may have learned to eat certain stones as a regular part of their diet.

Of course, you should always consult your veterinarian before giving your pet rocks as a snack!

Sign Of An Underlying Health Condition Such As An Upset Stomach

It is quite common for an upset stomach to cause a dog to have strange eating habits such as consuming inedible items.

If a dog has an upset stomach, the saliva glands become activated and provide relief from the pain and discomfort felt by a feeling of nausea.

Eating rough objects such as stones can aid the recovery of the upset stomach and allow the dog some relief until taken to see a vet for further treatment.

Therefore, it could be a sign that they need medical attention and should arrange an appointment with their vet immediately.

If Your Dog Is Eating Rocks, It’s Important To Take Them To The Vet To Rule Out Any Health Problems

Eating rocks might seem like an unusual hobby for a dog to have.

But it can be a sign of health problems such as pica, which is an appetite disorder that causes them to crave non-edible items.

If your canine pal has taken up a habit of consuming stones and pebbles, visit the vet right away to rule out any underlying medical issues.

Although dogs eating rocks can sometimes simply be a curious behavior, it is always a good idea to get them checked out just in case.

Risks When Dogs Eat Rocks

For many dog owners, their beloved furry friends are like family.

As such, we inherently try to safeguard our pets from potential dangers and keep them safe at all times.

Unfortunately, not everything can be seen with the naked eye and some of the most seemingly harmless items can prove to be health hazards when consumed by dogs.

Rocks may seem innocuous enough on first glance.

But they could potentially lead to a variety of major risks if your pup gets into the habit of consuming them. 

How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Rocks 

Understand Why Dogs Eat Rocks 

Dogs eating rocks can be a very dangerous habit and needs to be prevented as soon as possible.

It is important to understand why dogs eat rocks in the first place.

In some cases, it can be due to nutritional deficiencies or simply boredom. 

Dogs may also try to eat rocks if they have an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated.

Identify The Signs That Your Dog Is Eating Rocks 

Identifying the signs that your dog is eating rocks can be difficult, but there are some clues you should look out for.

If you notice your dog has rock-sized pieces of food in their mouth or feces, this could indicate that they are consuming stones or pebbles from the ground.

They may also start displaying unusual behavior such as excessive licking of their lips.

Take Steps To Stop Your Dog From Eating Rocks 

There are a few steps you can take to prevent this behavior from occurring again.

  • Firstly: make sure your pet is getting enough nutrition from a balanced diet. Also regular exercise is important. So they don’t become bored or under-nourished.
  • Secondly: provide plenty of chew toys and other items that can help keep them occupied while outdoors. This reduces the risk of them trying to find something like rocks to chew on.
  • Lastly: keeping your dog away from places where they may find rocks or pebbles will help prevent them from picking them up in the first place.

Monitor your dog’s behavior and provide positive reinforcement when they don’t eat rocks 

It is also important to monitor your dog’s behavior and provide positive reinforcement when they avoid eating rocks and other unsafe objects.

This way they will associate good behaviors with rewards instead of negative ones with punishment.

Some owners choose to reward their pet’s behavior with edible treats.

Others prefer verbal praise and physical affection such as belly rubs or ear scratches whenever their pup displays appropriate behavior around dangerous objects like stones or pebbles.

With patience and consistency, owners can stop their dogs from eating rocks. They can do this by knowing why dogs eat rocks in the first place, recognizing signs of rock-eating behavior.

Keeping a close eye on their dog, rewarding good behavior, and taking preventative steps like giving their dogs chew toys and blocking their access to stones or pebbles in outdoor areas.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate Rocks

If your dog has swallowed a rock, don’t panic.

Most likely, it will pass without complication.

Keep an eye on the dog for any signs of distress, such as vomiting or abdominal pain.

If you notice these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

Remember to keep a watchful eye on their feces to see if the rock passes naturally.

Rocks can be dangerous to dogs if they get stuck on the way down, so monitoring is important.

Similarly, if the stone has sharp edges, it could cause serious harm if it pierces the lining of your pup’s stomach or intestines along the way.

In that case it will be necessary for surgery to remove the rock and ensure no damage has been done.

In conclusion, it is important to monitor your dog’s chewing habits and ensure they are not consuming rocks.

Doing so could help you identify any potential underlying health issues before they develop into more serious problems.

Furthermore, make sure to provide plenty of interactive toys and desired chewing items that they can access with ease.

This will keep them amused and reduce the chances of them eating rocks or other unsuitable objects.

When correctly identified as an issue and managed positively, this abnormal behavior can be resolved with relative ease.

Before You Go…

Now you know why dogs eat rocks.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.