What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Stones?

22 February, 2019
If your dog eats rocks and other things they can't digest. Then you should know that this is a disorder that happens for various reasons. Furthermore, you should find a way to prevent it from doing serious damage in your canine's body. Read on to find out how to avoid it.

Your dog probably likes eating different objects that he finds, either whole or in pieces. He may also eat stones, and other unpleasant things like poop, be it their own or another dog’s. So, what to do if your dog eats stones or other inedible objects? Read on to find out…

Firstly, we’d like to point out that this behavior is normal when they’re young, and is simply their exploratory behavior, designed to find out how the world works.

Problems arise, however, when such attitudes continue in adulthood, and they chew and eat stones as well as other objects that could end up causing them serious health problems.

If your dog eats stones or other objects, consult the vet so they can determine what the reasons for this behavior are, as they could cause serious damage to the canine’s body.

A disorder called pica

A dog lying down on the grass.

Pica not only affects dogs. Other animals (including humans) can also have a compulsion to eat non-edibles. Dogs can chew and swallow all sorts of things such as:

  • Clothes, especially socks
  • Books or magazines
  • Shoes or other types of footwear
  • Paper bags
  • Pieces of toys
  • Sand, cement, ashes, and stones

Possible reasons why a dog eats stones

So your dog eats stones. Why is that? And, more importantly, how can you prevent it?

It’s commonly believed that by ingesting stones, small rocks and other things, such as grass, the animal is trying to induce vomiting. They do this to try to relieve some kind of discomfort caused by digestive or kidney problems.

But there may other reasons, both physical and behavioral. Perhaps all your canine wants is to get more of your attention. Consult your vet if your dog displays this behavior, in order to find out the cause and to hear about the best possible solutions.

What are the consequences for a dog that eats stones?

Whether this behavior is pathological, merely juvenile curiosity, or even just a one-time thing, it’s best to keep an eye on your dog to keep him from ingesting rocks or any other objects that may cause him harm.

Pieces of rock or stones, especially those that are large or have sharp edges, could inflame the dog’s digestive tract. This would be reflected in a loss of appetite, diarrhea, and gastritis.

But there are cases where the stones can pierce the intestines, putting a dog at risk of dying. Or, alternatively, they may get trapped in their stomach and cause chronic gastritis. When this happens the only form of extraction is by surgical intervention.

In addition, chewing stones, rocks and other hard objects may even break the dog’s teeth and cause wounds inside their mouth. This behavior could suffocate a dog if they choke on the object they’re trying to eat.

Tips to keep your dog from eating stones

Seated dog looking at the camera.
If all physical conditions are ruled out, then some things you can do to keep your pet from eating stones are:

  • Say “no” firmly when you see the dog put any inappropriate object into his mouth.
  • Avoid games that include such objects. For example: don’t play catch with rocks.
  • Pay attention to them. When you ignore your animal, he will often start to behave strangely in order to get your attention, this includes eating rocks or stones.
  • Don’t expose them to stressful situations such as leaving them alone or locked up for a long time. It could trigger attitudes such as ingesting non-edible objects.