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Dogs will put anything in their mouths

by Jack Taylor

I read an item about a 7 year old Golden Retriever named Gordon from Eden Prairie, Minnesota,  that ate close to two pounds of rocks.  Gordon had emergency surgery and the doctor removed 16 individual rocks.  Gordon's outlook is good, he's expected to back on his feet in no time.  I thought goldies were smarter than that but apparently this condition is not uncommon in dogs.

One of the more annoying dog habits is when they eat poo poo, their own or some other dog's.  But they may stuff themselves with other items such as socks, rubber balls, string, rubber bands, you name it.  If your dog doesn't choke, it may face intestinal blockage and both can be fatal.

The condition is known as pica, the ingestion of non-food items.  It may signal a lack of vital nutrients or it could be behavioral.

Changing you pup's food is good place to start and that may involve nothing more than a high fiber diet.  Ease into the change as dogs don't always respond well to a complete change in food.

If your rock eating dog still insists on chugging stones you're gonna have to out think him.  If you catch him at the dirty deed, startle him with a loud noise.  Try to sneak up on him and make sure to praise him for dropping that rock.  Your dog may be starved for attention.  You know what needs to be done in that instance and it's something that you should've been doing all along.  And make sure there are plenty of chew toys which you can use to play dog games.

Lots of information on pica out there.  Of course, talk with your veterinarian whenever you plan on changing your dog's habits.  If those habits don't change you will need all the help your doctor can give.