Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt: The Answer Might Surprise You

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Much as humans enjoy the occasional snack of French fries or apple pie, many dogs enjoy a quick bite of dirt. While this might seem like an unsavory behavior, there are actually many reasons why dogs will eat dirt. For one thing, eating dirt is a natural instinct for puppies and young dogs who still have their baby teeth and haven’t learned how to chew on solid food.

When you see your dog eating dirt, it can be hard to tell if they are doing so out of boredom or curiosity. It might seem like a harmless act, but you should know that eating dirt can actually be very dangerous for your pet! The answer to the question of why do dogs eat dirt is complex and not fully understood. Some scientists believe that dogs eat dirt for minerals, while others think the behavior might be rooted in a need for attention.

Reasons Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt

Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt

Dogs are often seen as clean animals, but they regularly eat dirt. Dirt eating is a common behavior for dogs, and the reasons why they do it may surprise you. There are three possible explanations for this behavior:

1. The Dirt Tastes Good

Many people are curious as to why their dog eats dirt. The answer is simple, the dirt tastes good! When a dog uses its tongue to lick and eat dirt, it is often accompanied by a yelp or a laugh. Dogs have a unique sense of taste and the dirt tastes good to them.

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2. Clean their Teeth and Gums

Dogs love to eat dirt because it helps to clean their teeth and gums. Dogs instinctively know that their mouths are dirty, so they use dirt as a form of natural toothpaste. Even brushing your dog’s teeth with regular pet toothpaste is not enough to keep their mouth healthy.

3. Stomach Ailment And Needs To Vomit

Many dogs will eat dirt, typically in the event that they are trying to vomit. This may happen because there is something in their stomach that needs to come up, or it could be due to an illness. The dog’s body can go through a natural process of vomiting when this happens. However, if the food the dog ate is solid and not liquid, they could get blocked by the food in their mouth or throat.

4. Anemia In Dogs

Dogs that are anemic will often compulsively eat dirt as a form of hunger pangs. Eating dirt seems to alleviate the symptoms of anemia in some cases, but it does not cure it. In other cases, eating dirt is a sign of a vitamin deficiency or a parasite. Dogs can eat dirt because their stomach acid allows them to digest it fairly easily.

5. Reduce Anxiety and Boredom

Dogs commonly eat dirt because it is part of their natural diet. Dogs evolved from wild canines, and in the wild, they routinely chew on earth to reduce anxiety and boredom and aid digestion. When dogs are bored, they often eat dirt to occupy themselves. Dogs that are not properly fed may eat dirt to fill their stomachs. It is important for owners to feed their dogs adequately.

What Can Happen If A Dog Consumes Too Much Dirt

Many people do not realize that though many dogs may enjoy playing in dirt, they can also eat it. Eating dirt can be dangerous as the soil contains parasites and bacteria which can cause serious health problems such as intestinal infections or an upset stomach. When a dog eats too much dirt, there is a possibility that the dirt will form tarballs in its stomach and intestines, which can lead to blockages and death. Symptoms to look for include vomiting, diarrhea, and black stools.

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How To Stop A Dog From Eating Dirt

Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt

Dogs are curious creatures who like to explore their surroundings. Sometimes, they can be tempted to eat dirt or other foods that they find on the ground. If you’re struggling to stop your dog from eating dirt, there are some things you can do.

1) You could fill your dog’s food with nutmeg, which is believed to mimic the smell of soil and grass.

2) You could also try using a training muzzle until your dog gets used to not eating dirt.

3) make sure that he always has access to water. If he’s desperate for water, he may end up drinking grass.

4) If you think that your dog is eating dirt just because he’s bored, try using a puzzle toy to keep him occupied.

5) Try using a bell. When your dog starts eating dirt, ring the bell to distract him.

6) You could also use a bell collar. To stop your dog from eating dirt.

Dirt-Eating Is a Behavioral Problem

Dogs are often seen eating dirt throughout the day. This can be a behavioral problem that is caused by many factors, including environmental or sensory stimulation. It is more common in dogs that are over-stimulated or anxious; however, it can also be caused by diet changes, boredom, and other dogs nearby.

Dogs eat dirt for many reasons, but the most common reason is that they’re trying to get nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium. These nutrients can crave in soil due to animal waste or by way of fertilizer that may have been spread on the ground.

When To Ask A Vet

Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt

Dogs can become addicted to eating dirt, which can lead to life-threatening complications, such as bloating and intestinal blockages. It is recommended that you contact the vet if you notice your dog is eating dirt, as it is a sign that he is in need of a diet change. If your dog is experiencing any gastrointestinal disorders, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss, it is best to contact your vet. The vet can examine your dog to determine what is causing the issue. Your vet will then recommend a treatment plan that will correct the problem. If your dog has a gastrointestinal disorder, he may be prescribed an antinausea medication. Your vet will also advise you on a dietary plan that will help your dog’s digestive tract heal.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is eating dirt bad for dogs?

Dogs are often attracted to dirt, and for some dogs, this might lead to ingesting it. This can be a problem because soil can contain bacteria, parasites, and other organisms that can cause harm to a dog’s digestive tract. It is important for owners who live in areas where there is a lot of earth around their home or spend time with their dog on the ground to monitor the pet’s behavior and make sure they don’t eat dirt.

Is it an Eating Disorder? Pica in Dogs

Pica is a disorder most common in dogs, and it is most prevalent during the first year of life. It can be referred to as a “stupid” or “pig-headed” disorder because it is most often caused by the dog finding satisfaction from eating non-food items. A dog with pica may eat dirt, rocks, paper, rubber bands, and anything else they might find around the house.

What minerals are dogs lacking when they eat dirt?

Many think that dogs just want to taste new flavors or get rid of parasites. The truth is, they are missing some very important nutrients. They can lack essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, chromium, zinc, and more.

What can I give my dog to stop eating dirt?

Giving your dog a raw bone can help keep them away from eating dirt. You can also throw it some special treats like peanut butter or canned pumpkin to give them the nutrients that they need. There are also certain foods you can purchase for your dog like Dinovite and Laxatone which are specifically designed to stop this problem.

What can I feed an anemic dog?

If your dog has anemia, you should consult with your veterinarian about what food to feed them. There are a variety of foods for dogs with anemia that will provide essential nutrients and calories. You may want to feed them food containing more protein and fewer carbs, as this might help relieve some of the symptoms of anemia.


There are many different theories as to why dogs eat dirt. Some say it is a way of self-cleaning, while others believe they do it for nutrients. As with most dog behaviors, there is no easy answer to this question. Dogs might eat dirt because they were trained to do so by their owners, because they are bored and need something to do, or because they have allergies and the dirt helps them out.

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