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 By Mike Coviello (Tanner)
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Why Do Puppies Eat Rocks?

Last week my 3 month old lab mix came in from the back yard with his tongue darting in and out like a lizards tongue. He was moving erratically around the kitchen floor as if something was bothering him. He heaved a few times as in trying to throw up when all of a sudden a rock almost the size of a golf ball popped out of his mouth onto the floor. I was concerned. My back yard is littered with rocks. It would be impossible for me to remove them all. I had to find a way to stop him from eating rocks. I did some research and found that puppies eat just about anything including rocks and stones. Eating rocks and other non-food items is common in puppies and young dogs.

Rock Eating Puppy



Some dogs develop a behavior of eating non food objects. This behavior is called Pica. Pica is the craving and ingesting of nonfood items. It applies to humans as well as animals. Pica is sometimes caused by medical disorders including iron deficiencies, intestinal tract disorders or diabetes mellitus to name a few.

Ref: Craving Earth: Understanding Pica--the Urge to Eat Clay, Starch, Ice, and Chalk


How Can Chewing Rocks Hurt My Dog?

Chewing rocks can damage your dogs teeth and mouth. If swallowed, rocks can cause intestinal blockage, vomiting, diarrhea and choking resulting in death.


Why Do Dogs Chew Rocks?

There a many reasons why you dog may chew rocks. The reason may be medical. The only way to determine if the reason your dog chews rocks is medical is to visit your veterinarian.


The reason your dog chews rocks may be behavioral.

  1. To get your attention

  2. Out of boredom

  3. From anxiety

  4. Out of frustration.

  5. Because he is just a puppy and will grow out of it.


How To Stop Dogs From Chewing Rocks

Try everything. Take your dog to the vet and make sure his rock eating is not caused by medical reasons. Then try some of the following.

  1. Place many chew toys around the yard.

  2. Catch him in the act and startle him with a loud noise.

  3. Position a few rock in strategic locations and spray them with bitter spray.

  4. Try to get him to play with some rocks that have been sprayed with bitter spray. That way he will learn to associate bad taste with the rocks.

  5. Play with your dog more and give him more attention.

  6. Play with and tire your dog out before letting him alone outside in the yard.

  7. Try changing his diet.

  8. Walk your dog on a leash near rocks. When he goes for them give him a correction.

  9. Supervise your dog when he is outside.

  10. Remove all rocks from your back yard, if possible.

  11. Place hard bones in the yard as a substitute for rocks to chew.


Authored By Mike Coviello (Tanner)


Ask A Question/Tell Your Experience



Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2011
Subject: Puppy Rock Chewing

Thank you for this very interesting rock chewing story, my boerboel puppy has been chewing rocks since Sunday