The gluttonous behavior of dogs can seem funny on certain occasions, however, when we talk about the consumption of stones, we are faced with a serious and even dangerous problem that we must solve as soon as possible. If a dog tries to eat everything it finds, it can ingest chemical substances, excrements, foreign bodies and even food that is harmful to its health.
In this sense, something that happens with some frequency and we must be vigilant is the habit of eating stones . And if you are suspicious or have directly seen your dog swallow stones or other strange elements, you may ask yourself questions like: “why has my dog started eating stones?” And more importantly, “How do you know if my dog has swallowed something?”
Thinking about it, in this article from Animal Expert we will solve your question about why my dog eats stones , detailing the possible symptoms of a foreign body in dogs and the causes why dogs eat stones. Shall we start?
You may also be interested: Why does my cat eat dirt?
- Why does my dog eat stones?
- 5 reasons why dogs eat stones
- Symptoms that my dog has swallowed a stone
- My dog has swallowed a stone, what should I do?
- My dog eats stone: what should I do?
Why does my dog eat stones?
The ingestion of stones is very dangerous, since it can irritate and inflame the gastrointestinal mucosa, leading to a case of gastritis in dogs . In more serious cases, a dog that eats stones can suffer an intestinal perforation, which can cause internal bleeding and even lead to the death of the animal.
But why does a dog start eating stones? Well, the truth is that there is no single explanation for this behavior in dogs. A dog that swallows foreign bodies can do it for different reasons and, to identify the specific cause of why your dog has started to swallow stones, you will need to pay attention to his routine, nutrition, state of health and behavior on a daily basis.
Taking into account the possible risks of ingesting stones for the health of your best friend, we advise you to go to the vet urgently if you have seen him carry out this action or are suspicious that he may be eating stones, dirt and foreign bodies in your absence. Likewise, below we will summarize the most frequent causes of why dogs eat stones:
5 reasons why dogs eat stones
These are some of the causes that explain why my dog eats stones, however, it is important to note that there are many more:
- Pica syndrome : Pica syndrome in dogs is a pathology that causes the intake of all kinds of food, including of course stones. The animal can try to eat all kinds of inedible materials, such as plastics, wood, stone …
- Discovery in puppies: It is totally normal that, at the puppy stage, dogs accidentally nibble and even ingest all kinds of objects, including stones. Although it is “normal” it is not an acceptable behavior. However, we should never forcefully remove a stone from our mouths, as this can cause them to be ingested quickly to prevent them from being removed. The ideal in these cases is to start working with the dog and teach him to drop objects .
- Stress and anxiety: there are many reasons that can provoke the appearance of stress in the dog , such as lack of exercise, confinement, lack of mental stimulation, constant punishments, etc. The dog may find in the habit of chewing and consuming stones a way to relieve accumulated stress. It is common in shelter dogs.
- Demand for attention: Dogs that spend long hours alone or that do not receive enough attention can consume stones or other inedible foods (as well as carry out many other inappropriate behaviors) to attract the attention of their handlers. The dog prefers to be punished to not receive any kind of attention. It usually appears in very extreme cases.
- Parasite infestation: Various studies indicate that in the wild, dogs eat plants or herbs to eliminate an intestinal parasite infestation. In their absence, they may consume other foods or resources they find. Visit your vet to rule out this or other health problems.
Symptoms that my dog has swallowed a stone
Not always a dog will present visible symptoms after swallowing stones or grains of sand, and the owners can only notice it when observing their feces , since the dog’s organism will not be able to digest these elements and will need to expel them through the excrement.
However, if your dog ingests larger stones, it will probably present alterations in its state of health and behavior. Below, we summarize some of the symptoms that may indicate that your dog has swallowed a stone:
- Gagging, coughing, vomiting, and vomiting
- Constipation or difficulty passing stools (stones can “get stuck” in the intestines, preventing the dog from defecating normally)
- Presence of blood in the stool (the stones can cause perforations in the intestine, causing bleeding)
- Symptoms common to gastritis in dogs, such as vomiting, loss of appetite and weight, diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, excessive drooling, etc.
- Weakness and loss of interest in your daily activities
My dog has swallowed a stone, what should I do?
If your dog has swallowed a stone or other foreign body, it is very important that you take it to the vet quickly . Although you can find many homemade methods to make your dog expel a stone, these routines are not always recommended, because depending on the size and location of the stone in the animal’s body, trying to make it vomit or defecate can damage its gastrointestinal tract and further aggravate the condition, which will require veterinary intervention.
If you want to know how to get your dog to expel a stone, you should consult a duly trained professional. By performing a physical examination and requesting some studies, the vet will be able to know the exact location of the foreign body in your dog’s body. With this information, then, I will proceed to recommend the most convenient way to remove this element from your gastrointestinal tract without causing serious damage to your body. In some cases, it may be necessary to perform a surgical intervention to extract the stone completely safely.
But if your furry chokes on a stone or other element, we will tell you what to do if your dog has something stuck in his throat .
My dog eats stone: what should I do?
Now that you understand that eating stones is bad for dogs , you know that you need to combat this dangerous behavior on your furry dogs . To do this, you will need to pay attention to the following guidelines to prevent your dog from eating stones and foreign bodies:
- Provide you with a complete and balanced diet , according to the nutritional requirements of each stage of your life.
- Reinforce your physical activity, always respecting the type and amount of exercises most appropriate for your dog’s age.
- Always use appropriate toys to play with your furry, avoiding presenting a stone or another strange object like a toy.
- Provide adequate mental stimulation, presenting intelligence games and canine activities such as searching.
- Enrich your environment so that your dog finds positive ways to spend his energy and have fun, even when you are not present at home.
- Offer adequate preventive medicine to your best friend, always respecting their vaccination schedule and periodic deworming , in addition to making preventive visits to the vet every 6 months.