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Eating sticks (2)

Quote | 3 years ago

My uncles dog Dacio loves to chew on sticks but lately I notice him trying to eat them and him chewing on rocks? How do we stop this? He has bones and a rope he shares with his brother

Quote | 3 years ago

Hi, Vanessa, and welcome back! Eating non-food items is condition called Pica and it occurs in humans as well as animals. Here's a bit of info that may be helpful:

It’s Called Pica, and There’s No Real Cure

The term used to describe dogs who eat non-food items like rocks and metal or wood is pica.

Pica is not an abnormality of the digestive system — it’s actually a psychological abnormality. So it’s not caused by a shortage of vitamins or nutrients in the diet. It’s a habit, more akin to an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

How to cure pica? There’s no real cure, unfortunately. But you can try these things:

Provide plenty of suitable chew toys (Kongs are perfect). In serious cases, a muzzle may be necessary. Do not use a muzzle if your dog is by himself. Speak with your vet for more ways to control pica.


It can be very dangerous if a dog swallows wood slivers or rocks because they could pierce or block his digestive tract. If you catch the dog trying to eat wood or rocks, you can use negative reinforcement like saying NO! firmly and clapping your hands to train him that it's not acceptable behavior in the same way you'd train him not to get on the furniture or jump up on people.

You should also watch the dog to see if he's eating dirt. Eating dirt can be a sign that he's trying to self-medicate for a serious condition such as hypothyroidism or an intestinal disease. In this case he needs to be seen by a vet without delay.

Hope this helps and please keep us updated.X

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