My Dog Ate . . . WHAT???

As we all know, dogs will eat just about anything. Scavengers by nature, they seek out potential tasty treats on the ground, in the trash and off the floor. Your dog eating garbage or poop may creep you out, but is it really harmful? In most cases, the answer is yes.

Dog Poop

As disgusting as this seems to us, it’s very common for dogs to eat their own and other dogs’ poop.  There’s no known cause for coprophagia (that’s the technical name for this behavior) but theories range from boredom to vitamin deficiencies.

Harmful? Your dog could pick up parasites or other diseases if she eats poop from an infected dog. It’s also good to have her checked by the vet to rule out any nutritional issues.

Cat Poop

Some dogs find cat poop delicious and it can be an ongoing battle to keep them from snacking in the litter box. This can stress out your territorial cat or family members the dog decides to kiss.

Harmful? A dog that eats cat poop probably eats at least some cat litter, which contains chemicals. Cat litter that clumps expands 15 times when wet, and could cause an intestinal blockage. And, just like dog feces, cat poop may contain parasites and other disease-causing germs.

Grass

Some people think that dogs eat grass because their tummies are upset. While it’s true that dogs eat grass and then sometimes vomit, there’s been no proof that puppies ingest grass as a medicinal herb. They eat grass because they like the way it tastes.

Harmful? Grass and other plants that have been treated with fertilizer or herbicide will cause stomach upset and could be serious. Keep your dog away for these chemicals.

Cat Food

If your dog loves to clean out the cat bowl in addition to eating her own food, she’s getting way more calories than she needs. As carnivores, cats require a diet of meat and meat products. Cat food has more calories and fat than dog food, which makes it super-yummy for pups.

Harmful? Cat food will not harm your dog in the short-term. Over time, eating rich cat food can lead to obesity and digestion problems.

Garbage

Dogs see garbage or trash as an all-you-can-eat buffet. The food found there is so much more exciting than their daily kibble. Also, if you share food off your plate or leftovers with your dog, he doesn’t know the difference between those okay treats and the ones he finds himself.

Harmful? Eating garbage can cause more harm to your dog than just an upset stomach. Garbage contains many toxic elements that can poison dogs and even kill them. They can choke on bones and ingest non-food items that may cause intestinal blockage.

Dirt

It’s called pica when a dog eats dirt, mud, rocks, wood or anything without nutritional value. If you’re feeding your dog a nutritionally balanced diet, pica may be a behavioral problem caused by boredom or the need for attention.

Harmful? Many icky things can be in dirt or mud such as antifreeze, intestinal worms or parvovirus. Check with your vet if your dog continues this behavior to rule out parasites, nutritional deficiencies or other health problems.

Weird Things Dogs Have Eaten

•  13 rocks eaten by, Lucy a Lab puppy

•  Rubber ducky swallowed by Ozzie, a Staffordshire Terrier pup (above)

•  10-inch toy arrow consumed by Betty, a Bull Terrier pup

•  Chocolate and plastic egg with Homer Simpson figurine eaten by Dixie, a Dalmation

•  Fork swallowed by Apachee, a Husky

•  Magic fairy wand wolfed by Pip, a Whippet pup

•  130 (!) nails eaten by Roxy, a Basset Hound

•  15 baby pacifiers gobbled by Lulu, an English Bulldog

•  Mobile phone consumed by Nero, a Doberman/Great Dane mix

 

Legal Disclaimer

This post is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for a vet’s professional diagnosis and treatment.

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