Help. I have a dirt eater.

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby iluvk9 » November 18th, 2009, 5:37 pm

Lenny, my 10 year old Golden, has finally given up eating dog crap and has moved to the crunchier DIRT. :shock:

I have researched WHY and have gotten answers from: he is bored, he is angry, he has a mineral deficiency, he needs more salt, he needs a better food, he is not getting enough attention and he is trying to get my attention because of jealousy.

:bs:

I can argue against every one of them. The mineral deficiency does not make sense because he does have a high quality dry food with yogurt added, NUPRO supplement, a half a banana before bedtime.

He started just chewing the grass this summer. Now he has moved on to little holes with his front teeth into the soil. I would guess he eats about a teaspoon.

Any ideas? :sad2:
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Postby BigDogBuford » November 18th, 2009, 5:38 pm

Maybe it's your cooking? :|
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Postby iluvk9 » November 18th, 2009, 5:41 pm

Bwahahahaha! 8)

Hence, I don't cook for them. Just add stuff. :neener:
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Postby plebayo » November 18th, 2009, 6:03 pm

I found an article one time that says dirt eating can be a sign of anemia.

I would just monitor it, if he starts eating more then I might consider a vet checkup.

It could also be a compulsive/anxiety based disorder. I know you might not think your dog is anxious, but it could be a geriatric thing as well and be more of a compulsive 'I'm old, I'm gonna lick this thing' type of thing.

My dog has seperation anxiety, but even when she isn't anxious she compulsively licks herself, for no reason.
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Postby iluvk9 » November 18th, 2009, 6:45 pm

plebayo wrote:It could also be a compulsive/anxiety based disorder. I know you might not think your dog is anxious, but it could be a geriatric thing as well and be more of a compulsive 'I'm old, I'm gonna lick this thing' type of thing.

I think you may have something there. When I got him (at 9 yrs old) he was OBSESSED with drinking water. My Vet and I think it was because he was in a cage 24/7 and only got to drink water with his evening meal. He would literally sit in front of the water pail and sip all day. :(

Then he moved on to the eating of crap. Then the grass. Now this.
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Postby Pit♥bull » November 18th, 2009, 7:25 pm

Why not feed him some of Truman's hay. :|
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Postby madremissy » November 18th, 2009, 7:27 pm

Mine like to dine on anything that interest them for the day. Dirt, grass, rabbit and deer poop. I was walking Gotty around the yard the other day and he stopped and starting eating a little tree. :crazy2: I was always the reasons why they did it but now I just accept it.
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Postby iluvk9 » November 18th, 2009, 7:41 pm

Pit♥Bull wrote:Why not feed him some of Truman's hay. :|


8)

madremissy wrote:.... but now I just accept it.


Yes, but I a type A Virgo, so that won't work for me. :neener:
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Postby HappyChick » November 18th, 2009, 8:14 pm

I don't know about all that anxiety/compulsive stuff with dogs so I can't speak to that. However, I can tell you that Guido has eaten dirt for YEARS and he is not an anxious dog. I've thought for awhile now that he digs up bugs that are in the dirt and those bugs are a delicacy for him. He doesn't eat dirt every day or all the time, but often. My 2 cents.

Oh and G eats grass too, but not to throw up.
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Postby Pit♥bull » November 18th, 2009, 8:27 pm

Trouble thinks bird poop is a delicacy :puke: Licks it off the driveway.
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Postby airwalk » November 18th, 2009, 11:34 pm

Scooter is and always has been a grass eater :| I've given up worrying about it, his health is fine...he's just my cow dog!
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Postby plebayo » November 19th, 2009, 12:34 am

Then he moved on to the eating of crap. Then the grass. Now this.


Honestly, I'm not sure why you're rocking the boat by asking about this. I think this thread should be a celebration of the fact he isn't eating poop! :P
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Postby Malli » November 19th, 2009, 4:30 am

Grass, I wouldn't worry about-not unless its bags and bags of it. Dirt? Now dirt could be an issue.

We have a dog at work that wears a cage muzzle outside because she eats dirt like its kibble! Had to have a substantial obstruction sugery performed and a portion of her intestines removed!

I doubt most dogs would have these issues but, and seriously take a look at his poop! When its really bad you'll see it start to look LIKE dirt; we have a few dirt eaters and you can tell.

I have a couple theories - food hounds and boredom(the work dogs have a life of leisure, and sometimes I think leisure turns into boredom)... for the dog at work I think its a combination of the two.

Oscar loves grass! Grazes like a horse - never pukes it up.
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Postby iluvk9 » November 19th, 2009, 7:35 am

Thanks everyone. :)

Mallika, since I pick up everyone's poop, a few times a day, I do look at it. :dance: His is actually "fine". I don't see any dirt in it and it is the "correct consistency" and color.

Your food hound idea may also play into this. When I got him, he was on Ol' Roy. He was so hungry all the time, that I was feeding him 4-5 small meals a day. (All mine get 3 meals a day.) Like the water situation, I think he may be obsessed that he won't get more food.
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Postby Ino » November 19th, 2009, 9:20 am

My neighbors 2 senior dogs (age 12 & 13) started eating dirt a lot. It seemed there was certain spots that appealed to them most. I am not sure why they did it but it seems to have become less of an issue for them since the weather started changing. They mostly ate moist dirt that isn't quite as moist as mud but not totally dry. They usually would dig a little bit before eating to uncover the top layer :crazy2: . I am not sure if they chose spots where something was urinating or if there was decomposing bugs or other matter like someone else suggested :puke: . The Shepherd used to eat poop and grass mostly but then switched to the dirt and we never could figure out why. Hers did become a problem because she had dirt textured poop that would explode when it hit the ground (crumbled like dirt) and she seemed to not be able to hold it indoors. She would quiver and poop immediately. She started becoming sneaky because she knew we would stop her from eating the dirt, so she would fall behind or run ahead on walks to get to her spots :rolleyes2: . The younger dogs also ate dirt for a while because she did but they did not seem as interested in it as she was- they seemed to do it to get attention and to get chased away from it. They young ones also did the same thing with the poop eating- they did it because she did. If your dog prefers certain spots like these girls did, maybe something can be used as a deterrent or repellant :| . Bitter apple didn't work for these guys because they eat the small bitter apples that fall off the tree (and hot sauce seemed to make poop seem more tasty for the lab mix) but maybe something that tastes bad but is safe can be poured into the dirt to help address your problem. Not sure if it will help or if your dog frequents the same dirt spots but it is all I can think It can be hard to break a dirty habit :doh: !!!! Best wishes to you both. :D
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Postby iluvk9 » November 19th, 2009, 4:45 pm

Ino wrote: They mostly ate moist dirt that isn't quite as moist as mud but not totally dry. They usually would dig a little bit before eating to uncover the top layer :crazy2: . I am not sure if they chose spots where something was urinating or if there was decomposing bugs or other matter like someone else suggested


Exactly the same! :wave2: I have a resorted to putting covered wire down on the two spots they were eating. Now I am going to be vigilant and make sure they don't start another spot.
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Postby Malli » November 19th, 2009, 4:51 pm

Oscar has gotten fat of late


I have been adding green beans to Oscar's food, you could add other plain veggies too, like carrots etc to help him feel more "full"
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Postby HappyChick » November 19th, 2009, 5:41 pm

iluvk9 wrote:
Ino wrote: They mostly ate moist dirt that isn't quite as moist as mud but not totally dry. They usually would dig a little bit before eating to uncover the top layer :crazy2: . I am not sure if they chose spots where something was urinating or if there was decomposing bugs or other matter like someone else suggested


Exactly the same! :wave2: I have a resorted to putting covered wire down on the two spots they were eating. Now I am going to be vigilant and make sure they don't start another spot.


That's the same thing G does too! The digging down before chowing down is why I think he is eating live bugs or worms.

Joyce - who is they? Lenny isn't the only one eating dirt?
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Postby iluvk9 » November 19th, 2009, 6:46 pm

Angie, it seems Lenny STARTED it all and eats the most. But now I see Truman licking the dirt where Lenny has been grazing. :rolleyes2:

Darlene and Harleybird would NEVER eat dirt! She is a Princess (except for the time she ate a whole rabbit and threw it up on my bed.) He has a sensitive stomach.
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Postby hugapitbull » November 19th, 2009, 8:04 pm

I'm thinking Lenny has to eat dirt because the pony eats his food. :shock:
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