Dogs are scavengers by nature and may eat anything they come across. They have no idea, nor can you explain to them that eating something they find on the ground may be dangerous. Chewing rocks can damage your dog's teeth and cut the inside of her mouth. Swallowing stones may create an intestinal blockage, lead to vomiting and diarrhea, or cause your dog to choke. Some veterinarians think a dog who has swallowed and not eliminated rocks over a period of time has a 50/50 chance of survival. Eating rocks can be fatal!
Many people whose dogs eat rocks have successfully altered or stopped this behavior by using the methods suggested in this article. With patience, luck and determination, you will find the best way to stop your dog from eating stones.
A dog who eats stones may be acting out of boredom, anxiety or frustration.
Your dog may be ill, in pain, in need of exercise or lonely. She may have a condition called pica, which causes people or animals to compulsively eat nonfood items.
For some dogs, attention, exercise and training may help curb the habit. Try diversionary tactics such as providing toys that are made specifically for dogs who need and love to chew.
Teach your dog the command "Leave it!" After you give the command, you must make sure your dog does not touch or pick up the item. When she listens and leaves the object alone, it is crucial that you immediately reward her with something she really likes. Practice this over and over again.
If you catch your dog eating rocks, try startling him by shaking an aluminum can filled with coins or taking aim with a squirt bottle filled with cold water. Do not let your dog see you rattling the can or spraying the water, because you do not want him to associate your presence with the unpleasant noise or water. You want him to associate the negative experience with the rock-eating behavior. Always praise him when he leaves items alone.
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