The Big Why Behind Dogs Eating Dirt
Dogs cannot be considered dogs if they do not engage in a wide variety of peculiar behaviors. These peculiar antics are frequently what end up making us appreciate them even more. On the other hand, it may be cause for concern if you discover that your dog is enjoying mud pies or if they are unable to seem to remove their nose from your gardening bed. Consuming dirt, also known as geophagia, can occur for a variety of different reasons. You are fortunate in that the majority of the time, your dog’s chomping on Earth is not a reason for concern. On the other hand, if it happens regularly or if they choose soil as much as they choose kibble, it is time to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

Dirt is probably one of the least nasty things that my own dogs have tried to wolf down (pun intended), among all the things that they have tried to wolf down. Just as they are about to give me a passionate kiss, I notice that they have a pungent order of who knows what on their breath (oh my goodness, excrement or vomit kills me!). Wow! Yes, you are aware of what I am referring to. To answer your question, yes, when it comes to having to smell filth up close and personal, it is not the worst situation.

Puppies and young dogs who are still exploring their environment may ingest dirt as part of their normal, everyday routine. When dogs dig, sniff, or nibble and eat what they find, it’s usually because they’re following their noses. But if your dog is always chowing down on dirt, or if other indications of sickness show up at the same time, it’s important to take immediate medical action.

The following phase, after eliminating potential causes of dirt ingestion, is management. “Do your best to prevent access and to redirect to more appropriate objects (chews, food puzzles, etc.),” suggests Sinn. Make sure your dog can’t get to the dirt piles they love and keep an eye on them at all times when they’re outside.

When your dog is showing signs of wanting to sniff around the house or investigate anything other than food, use positive reinforcement to encourage them to do so. As an example, you can teach your dog tricks like shake on command or roll over, or you can encourage them to play with a ball or tug toy if that’s more their speed.