Wednesday, December 1, 2021

What should I do when my dog eats everything?

A dog that eats everything: find the reason!

The dog is a very curious animal, with a natural tendency to go for anything it doesn’t know, whether it’s an unknown congener, your distant aunt or a pigeon droppings. $Sometimes, some dogs develop behavioural problems that cause them to eat absolutely everything they can find: potato peelings, pieces of steak on a plate that’s lying around, paper, etc.

This behaviour can be quite annoying at first, but can become downright dangerous if your dog’s environment is not safe. Dogs don’t know the difference between what is toxic to them and what isn’t, which can lead them to ingest rat poison, a whole bar of chocolate or medicine lying around.

It is therefore of paramount importance to prevent this type of behaviour from occurring, and to remedy it as quickly as possible if your dog has already adopted it.

Identifying the reasons for his “bulimic” behaviour

There are many possible reasons for this:

  • Simple curiosity;
  • The need to chew;
  • An unbalanced diet;
  • The dog is bored;
  • A health problem.

First of all, it is important to identify the reasons why your dog may want to ingest whatever he finds. The first possible cause, if the dog concerned is a young puppy, is simple curiosity.

Indeed, the puppy is a very curious animal that discovers life and explores its environment by tasting everything it finds. If your dog is in this case, you can ensure that he only has access to harmless food, which will satisfy his curiosity without endangering him. In addition, be very careful when you take him outside and forbid him to eat what he finds on the ground (papers, cigarettes, chewing gum…)

If you catch him in the act, argue with him and tell him to let go. If he doesn’t, go and get the garbage out of his mouth. It is not pleasant for you, but at least the dog understands the prohibition.

A second possible cause is the need to chew. Your dog may gnaw on your slippers or a bone found on the floor to satisfy his instincts and help maintain his teeth. Dogs need to wear their teeth on hard surfaces to keep them healthy. We advise you to buy him solid toys that will allow him to make his teeth safely.

Dogs can also eat whatever they find if their diet is not balanced. In fact, in the event of a deficiency, the dog will instinctively try to consume the food that allows him to remedy it, and if he can’t find any, he will eat anything and everything.

Another possibility is that your dog is bored. Indeed, since we may tend to fiddle with an object in our hands when we are bored, dogs may try to break the boredom by sniffing or licking the floor, by watching for the slightest crumb, by circling around you at the table… In this case, make sure that the dog always has something to do.

Finally, if your dog has never exhibited this type of behaviour before and suddenly starts eating his own feces or those of other dogs or cats during the walk, he may be suffering from a health problem. If in doubt, take him to see a veterinarian, who will determine if your dog is in perfect health and whether or not the problem is behavioural.

We are going to offer you a series of tips so that your dog stops eating everything within his reach. Also, it is important to keep in mind that positive education works better than punishment: reward your dog when he behaves well instead of punishing him when he does something wrong, and he will be much more likely to obey you.

Adapting the dog’s environment

The first thing to do if your dog eats everything he can find is to make sure he finds nothing but his food. Don’t leave anything lying around, place your food out of his reach, be vigilant and always put away shoes, clothes, tissues and other objects that might be of interest to your companion. In any case, these habits should always be followed for dangerous products regardless of the age of the dog.

If you have young children eating snacks on a coffee table or if you have to handle food within the dog’s reach, consider putting up a gate or closing the door to keep it out.

Ignore him completely during meals

This is perhaps the most important point, which is often the cause of dogs begging and trying to eat whatever they find… The watchword is: ignore it at mealtime! Don’t look at him, don’t touch him, don’t talk to him, and above all don’t answer his requests for a small piece of bread or meat fat. Ask other members of your family to do the same, and don’t make any exceptions.

This way, your dog will quickly understand that when you’re at the table or cooking, you’re not available to him and he won’t get any response to his requests. He will also get into the habit of not coveting your food and thus reduce his desire to eat everything you have in the house.

Leave enough toys at his disposal

If your dog gets bored and eats whatever he finds to keep him occupied, consider offering toys. Choose several models, choose the ones he likes best, and if he doesn’t play with them spontaneously, praise him when he takes an interest.

dog with his toys

In order to keep your companion interested in his toys, don’t leave them permanently at his disposal, so that he will have the pleasure to find them every time. Vary the pleasures by buying new toys regularly.

For an animal that eats everything, it is best to take solid toys like those of the Kong brand. This allows him to chew as he wishes without ingesting the plastic by biting on it.

Teach him the “no touch”.

One learning that proves very useful for this type of behavior is the “don’t touch” command. Gradually, praise your dog when he moves away from a given object or when he lets go of something in his mouth.

With regular training, you’ll learn to anticipate your dog’s attraction to certain objects, and he’ll move away from them immediately when you ask him to. If you can’t get your dog to listen to you, the training collar is a great training aid. As soon as the dog approaches or swallows an object, activate a stimulation.

Provide a balanced diet

As we’ve seen, your dog can look for anything he can find to eat if he is deficient. To do this, analyse the nutritional composition of his kibbles and check that they are of good quality, formulated mainly with meat and not cereals.

If you compose his diet yourself, you can consult a veterinarian to make sure that you are balancing his meals perfectly.

A dog whose diet is healthy, varied and in sufficient quantities will be much less inclined to chew your socks or to watch for the slightest crumb. In addition, he will keep an ideal body shape that is conducive to play without risking heart problems.

Interact with him and get him to work out

So that your companion is not too tempted to ingest everything he finds, try to give him enough time each day: walk him for at least half an hour during the day, play with him as much as possible, cuddle him…

If your dog’s social needs are met, and he can exercise himself sufficiently and get rid of his excess energy, he will be much calmer and soothed, and should give up his behaviour very quickly.

Provide a balanced diet

As we’ve seen, your dog can look for anything he can find to eat if he is deficient. To do this, analyse the nutritional composition of his kibbles and check that they are of good quality, formulated mainly with meat and not cereals. If you compose his diet yourself, you can consult a veterinarian to make sure that you are balancing his meals perfectly.

A dog whose diet is healthy, varied and in sufficient quantities will be much less inclined to chew your socks or to watch for the slightest crumb. In addition, he will keep an ideal body shape that is conducive to play without risking heart problems.

Interact with him and get him to work out

So that your companion is not too tempted to ingest everything he finds, try to give him enough time each day: walk him for at least half an hour during the day, play with him as much as possible, cuddle him…

If your dog’s social needs are met, and he can exercise himself sufficiently and get rid of his excess energy, he will be much calmer and soothed, and should give up his behaviour very quickly.

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