Why do dogs swallow non-food items?

by Vivien Richardson on December 27, 2009

Some dogs will swallow anything they can get their hands on and this can cause a real problem for their owners, not least because they may regularly end up at the vets and cost a small fortune in vets bills and dog insurance premiums.

In some reported cases a vet has opened up a dog to find he has swallowed a mouth organ!  Other often-reported items are brooches, earrings, and small pieces of Lego.

It is not easy to ascertain why some dogs enjoy eating unusual items as they surely cannot be tasty.

Stones can be a single attraction to some pets. You will know if this has happened as you will see them come out the other end or it has even been known for an owner to hear a clinking of them rattling around in their dog’s stomach!

No one has any idea what causes this habit apart from a dog enjoys gobbling things up but a few things could be the cause.

Your dog could be simply bored – ensure he has plenty of chews and toys to occupy him.

Worrying over an owner taking something from them can cause them to quickly eat an object.  Ignore your dog if you think he is doing this for attention, and then distract him before picking up the object.

Training your dog to pick up an object and ‘hold’, then ‘drop it’ are one word commands which can help. Rewards of course must be given with plenty of praise.  A hand clap will help when asking him to drop his training toy as he will match the action and command together.  Once the training is in place you have a command and signal that he will respond to when he picks up items that he should not be swallowing.

Filed under: Care & Training
Vivien RichardsonPost Author
"Why do dogs swallow non-food items?" was written by Vivien Richardson
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