Stop Your Dog From Eating Nonfood Items

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Stop Your Dog From Eating Nonfood Items
Stop Your Dog From Eating Nonfood Items

It's common for dogs to exhibit a few

irregular eating habits

when they're puppies. Some might chew on the legs of chairs, while others shred apart newspapers and drink from toilet bowls. However, the consumption of foreign objects and items not meant for eating may indicate a deeper health issue.The Oregonian reported that a 3-year-old Great Dane was admitted to the DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Northwest Portland in February 2014. The pooch's

symptoms included lack of appetite, repeated vomiting and retching

. After being checked in, Ashley Magee, D.V.M, brought the dog into the back room for X-rays.Upon discovering a vast amount of "foreign materials" in the canine's stomach that couldn't be digested, the doctor opted to surgically remove the objects. During the two-hour procedure, Magee uncovered the source of the ailments: The Great Dane had eaten more than 43 socks.Due to the bizarre nature of the problem, DoveLewis entered into a contest run by magazine Veterinary Practice News called "They Ate WHAT?" The publication highlights pets' strange eating habits that land them in the animal hospital. The sock-eating fiasco netted the office a $500 prize, which they donated to a fund that helps low-income pet owners pay for vet bills.Although the Great Dane's story is unique, pets can suffer from a specific type of eating disorder that causes them to ingest things they shouldn't.

Learning about pica

When dogs consume nonfood items on a regular basis, they

may be suffering from a condition called pica

, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. While it might indicate malnutrition, puppies and younger dogs might ingest foreign objects out of boredom. However, if gone unchecked, it can develop into compulsive behavior that doles out considerable damage to a pooch's digestive system.Puppies typically outgrow chewing and eating nonfood items after roughly six months, but they might continue to consume strange objects and need your help to stop. One of the easiest ways to tell if your dog has developed pica is if he or she seems intensely motivated to find and eat bizarre items like rocks, plastic bags or clothing. In addition, dogs will often eat grass when they feel sick to make themselves vomit and improve digestion. Because grass and soil can serve as dietary supplements, this kind of pica doesn't usually cause much concern among pet owners.

Fixing issues with pica

The

best option for interrupting your pooch's bizarre eating habits

is to take preventative measures, Cesar's Way explained. This can involve simple steps such as moving items out of the dog's reach to investing in new locks and cabinets to store objects out of sight.Similar to how parents babyproof their homes for newborns by removing sharp items and padding table corners, pet owners can make efforts to impact their dogs' pica. Although investing in locks might not be ideal, it's considerably more affordable than expensive surgeries like the sock removal procedure that was conducted in Portland. Dog owners can also distract their canines with mental exercise to keep them busy, such as playing with a variety of toys that are safe to chew. They should keep a close eye on their four-legged friends as well and be ready to fish any nonfood items out of their mouths to discourage

irregular eating habits

.Another option is joining

PetPlus

, where owners can have access to discounted medications and veterinarian appointments that can't be found anywhere else. Visit the site today and learn why it's the best place to turn to for medical assistance and food supplements for the family dog.

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