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Author Topic: Eating dirt  (Read 4601 times)

Offline Kristin M

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Eating dirt
« on: April 20, 2013, 12:47:48 PM »
My little pooch Fenway has taken to eating dirt. He has always liked to nibble on the mulch and dirt in my yard, but it seems to have gotten worse recently. Does anyone have any ideas on this? Is there a special food or a supplement I can give him? I give him Innova for seniors now (he's 7, about to turn 8).
Thanks!
Fenway, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, born June 29, 2005

Offline Alyssa L

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2013, 09:53:41 PM »
I'm curious about this too. Is Fenway eating actual soil or the larger bark-like mulch that people use in landscaping? Since my Hardy has started teething, he likes nothing better than chewing on that bark stuff. Maybe if Fenway has a toothache, that could cause him to start chewing...? That might be a stupid idea, though, because if I had a toothache, I certainly wouldn't want to chew on anything at all.

Is he an outside dog?
Hardy, male P&S Standard Schnauzer, born November 20, 2012

Offline Jojo

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 06:06:13 AM »
Oh I hear you!! Nixie ate great clods of grass from the ride on mower the other day like it was steak  :shocked:  She stops at every bird & wallaby poo to gulp them down. I've taken to keeping her on leash to stop all the revolting food (and who knows what parasites/worms etc) from being ingested. Other dog owners say not to worry , that their dogs have been eating it for years with no problem. I think sometimes we need to just get over it & trust our pooches know what they are doing  :devil: :chew:
Nixie, female black Standard Schnauzer, born December 16, 2012

Offline Peter Christensen

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2013, 11:00:15 AM »
My dogs will eat just about anything, though never dirt that I know of.

But what I realize is that since they are house dogs, these things are all tempting "treats" because they so rarely have the opportunity to eat them.

It would be different if they spent their days in the yard and could eat pussy willows and grass and sticks and rocks all day long. They would tire of it, I'm sure. Or eventually put 2 and 2 together and figure out that it made them sick.

Peter
Mukaluka Dirtypaws, male black Miniature Schnauzer, 11/09/07, 15-1/8", 17.0 lb (goal) [medical]
Pukalu, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, 03/27/10, 15", 15.5 lb (goal) [medical]
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Offline Kristin M

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 12:11:56 PM »
Fenway is an indoor dog, but goes out to the garden off the family room several times a day. He does like to each bark mulch (particularly when it's "fresh") and loves to eat grass when it's available. I don't worry much about that. For the dirt, I just noticed that he's been eating a lot of it recently - pretty much every day. He's dug a little hole in the garden that he eats from or sometimes eats dirt out of the flower pots on my desk. It just makes me wonder if he's missing some nutrient from his diet. Puzzling.
Fenway, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, born June 29, 2005

Offline Doris

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 07:35:17 PM »
Rudy likes mud.  I posted something awhile back titled "I have a mud eater".

http://www.myschnauzer.net/forums/index.php?topic=3222.0

I asked the vet about it and he said that they usually do it for fun and not to worry.  We've had considerably less rain this year so it's been less of an issue.  However, I keep him away from the mud.  I do let him eat grass but only if I know it hasn't been treated.  I wonder if there is something new that has been added to the mulch that you're using that makes it more tasty? 
Rudy: ms DOB e 8-5-07, rescued 8-5-11 - Our First Three Years with Rudy
Izzy: :cat: dsh, tabby, DOB e 4-06, rescued 4-22-07

Offline Pat & Cliff

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 07:46:27 PM »
Jeremy loves the clumps of grass that fall off the mower's undercarriage.  Grass is fairly indigestible for single stomach animals.  Last Fall I worried that he'd swallow a really big clump and it would stick in his throat or clog his stomach.  That never happened.  Since he is older and considerably larger this year, I don't think I'll worry about it as much.

AS for dirt...he likes finding clods and carrying them into the house where they get broken up and dispurse wall to wall.  He likes chewing on them.  I don't think it's the dirt itself he is after, but the ball like object and the entertainment.  I've never had a dog do this before though, so I also wonder about nutritional needs.  Of course he also tried to eat snow balls but that didn't worry me....
Thanks for being here, Pat and Her Boys:
One dog loving husband:  Cliff
Chester Field (motley mix) 11 yrs and counting
Go Mi Nam (aka Jeremy) 6/09/12  Male B&S Miniature Schnauzer
Go Mi Nyu (aka Gemma) 1/20/14 Female B&S Miniature Schnauzer

Offline Pam O

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 08:00:32 AM »
I'd be happy if Lucy ate dirt....her favorite thing is cat poop...she thinks the litter box is her treat box.  All I have to say is Lucyyyy and she scrams.  Little sneak!!
Lucy, CGC, TG3, TIAD, RATI, RATN, NF, SPJ, SPK - 11/10/09 - 14". 16 lb. - Black mini w/ white markings

  

Offline Ken

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 12:14:04 PM »
I'd be happy if Lucy ate dirt....her favorite thing is cat poop...she thinks the litter box is her treat box.  All I have to say is Lucyyyy and she scrams.  Little sneak!!


 :confused: That's always funny for dog owners. :shocked: Cat's have short digestive tracks and so their poop has a lot of poorly digested food in it, a doggy delight! Less work!
Winston has thrown up once or twice and promptly gobbled it back up before we could do anything. Tastes better the second time around!!


He does a lot of grazing on grass when he's outside also with no problems.
Winston aka The Full Metal Schnauzer, male silver Miniature(?) Schnauzer, born May 19, 2011, 18 inches tall, 35 lbs.

Offline Kristin M

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 07:37:33 PM »
So funny! I love reading about the lengths our furry friends will go to in order to fulfill their desire to eat non-stop. Why are we paying so much for fancy dog food when there appear to be so many great "organic" options available for free?? ;-)  (JUST KIDDING, of course!)

Fenway, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, born June 29, 2005

Offline Robin G

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2013, 04:09:05 PM »
Actually he's probably eating dirt to help his stomach.  Animals have been using dirt/clays to help their digestion system & I've been told ancient man did too.  I have a clay that I've used in horse/dog feeding & used it for myself too.  It absorbs toxins & things that upset the gut & carry it out in the poo.  Same with grass, all that wonderful chlorophyll & enzymes help their tummies.  Back on the farm my dogs favored recycled grass by way of horse or cattle.  It's gross to us humans but to a dog, it's natural & normal.

I get the powdered clay from some place like Swanson vitamins & sprinkle it on their food.  If I have a dog that got sick, I have some pre-mixed & put it down them wet or make it into a watery solution & syringe it down them (no needle).  I've had clay help dogs who were vomiting or having upset tummies.

Your dog may have something irking his tummy & naturally goes to the dirt to help him fix it.
Poochie, Female black Giant Schnauzer, 3 years old

Offline Pat & Cliff

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2013, 05:16:15 PM »
Thanks Robyn.  I'll be checking with our Vet about nutrition for Jeremy. 

I think Jeremy started picking up grass clots and soil clumps as a game.  He'd toss them then pounce on them.  It's just that he swallows some and then vomits.  We worry about getting clumps of wet grass stuck in his stomach and it becoming an obstruction.

Cliff mowed today.  This time of year the grass grows faster than we can mow it and it's very juicy - thus sticking together rather nicely.  So we used it as an opportunity to do clicker training with the comman "drop it".  It seemed to work and it was fun.

Everything is an opportunity, isn't it?
Thanks for being here, Pat and Her Boys:
One dog loving husband:  Cliff
Chester Field (motley mix) 11 yrs and counting
Go Mi Nam (aka Jeremy) 6/09/12  Male B&S Miniature Schnauzer
Go Mi Nyu (aka Gemma) 1/20/14 Female B&S Miniature Schnauzer

Offline Kristin M

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 07:39:23 PM »
Thanks Robin - that is very helpful! I wish I could figure out the root cause and find a food that gives him what he needs and doesn't upset his tummy. In the meantime, though, I'll try the clay. I went to Swanson's site and found 100% Pure Bentonite Clay Powder. Is that what you use? I was a little confused because the site talks about it as a good mixture for facials, but doesn't say if it's digestible.
What do you think?
Fenway, male S&P Miniature Schnauzer, born June 29, 2005

Offline Robin G

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Re: Eating dirt
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 11:11:58 AM »
The stuff I use is Calcium Bentonite (Montmorillonite).  Some of what I have is purchased from Dynamite Marketing & the other I have is through Swanson.  I'd tell you what it says on the packaging except it's packed away for our up coming move at the end of this month.  One thing to be very careful of.  I have a friend back home who read the canister that they got from me & determined it's the same kind of Bentonite that you buy at a construction store to plug hole/leaks in ponds.  This genius decided to go cheap because he had a horse with a problem & went to a hardware store & bought a 50 pound bag.  You can get away with using that stuff topically but NOT internally.  If it's used to plug holes in ponds you can bet they're not quality testing it for internal use.  

On the Swanson site look at the Redmon Clay which it talks about for internal use.  The other types may be fine to ingest but I always err on the side of caution.  The trick to clay is that you can not touch any of it with metal or it kills the drawing aspect of the clay.  So put it in a glass container & stir it with wood or plastic but not anything metal including your rings.  I have a canister of the stuff they use for facials for topical use.

I start out slow so I start out sprinkling just a little on the food like I would salt or pepper.  I do this for about a week.  If you feed any kind of wet food this is easy.  Since mine eat raw I can just sprinkle & go.  If the dog is finicky & turns their nose up at it, I mix the clay in water as if I were going to drink it myself (distilled or reverse osmosis water) & clay.  I let it sit all night & in the morning I stir & then syringe up some (no needle) & just give it to them that way.  For small dogs you might do just 1/4-1/2 cc in the syringe & keep any eye on the dog when they go out to go to the bathroom.  For some dogs just a little of the clay water every day or it on their food like this takes care of their tummy & they don't have to go eat weird things.  For a bruiser like my giant I'd probably do 2 cc's starting out.  

Okay well I love the clay so I have to share this with you.  If you get a bug bite, spider bite, snake bite, unidentified weird spot, odd swelling CLAY is the bomb for drawing out toxins through the skin.  If your face needs a good cleansing you can use it as a facial.  If you burn yourself, just put the clay on the burn.  (CAUTION:  when that clay hits the burn... you might want to be prepared to avoid wetting your pants because that burned skin will feel like it's burning to the bone... don't rub it or take it off... grit your teeth & bear it).  Once that hideous part is over you will be glad you did.  Once that clay dries & comes off or you rinse it off sometime later someone may ask, how's your burn & you have to look to see where it is.  No pain, no blistering, no peeling.  Works like a charm but you gotta cowboy up through that initial part because it's a booger.  IF you ever have to use it where there is toxin or venom substance (such as I did when my dog was snake bitten) then you clean the site with peroxide then you use an antibiotic substance to stave off secondary infections then you cover the bite site & fan out so 6-12 inches around the bite site is covered in clay.  

Well... as you can tell I LOVE the clay.  I've used it internally & externally for dogs, horses, cattle & people (including myself) for years now.  The joke in my house is... 'rub some dirt on it'   :cool:

Kristin, we used pre-mix the clay with water then we'd take maybe a 1/2-1 teaspoon & mix it with a little raw hamburger & probiotics for dogs.  I'd make them into little balls & the little dogs got these nightly as their treat.  My dogs eat raw so this is normal yet for dogs who don't eat raw, it's not enough to upset their tummy.  The enzymes & goodies they get this way is quite healthy & is sometimes the easiest way to deliver clay to a dog who's not keen on eating dirt unless its his/her eyes  :wink:  lol
Poochie, Female black Giant Schnauzer, 3 years old