As pet parents, it’s natural to worry about what your dogs get into, especially when it’s something weird that gets swallowed right before your eyes. While some of that weird stuff is totally fine, others warrant immediate action and maybe even a trip to the vet.
Here are four weird things dogs eat that are perfectly normal, and four harmful things to be aware of:
Weird but normal
Bones provide minerals and other healthy nutrients that help satisfy your dog’s appetite. They also help stimulate your dog’s brain and prevent plaque from building on their teeth. When treating your dog to a bone, make sure to only offer raw meat bones and never feed them cooked bones which can easily splinter and break. You also want to keep bones size-appropriate to reduce the risk of choking, and monitor during chewing to keep things safe.
· Quail eggs
Raw quail eggs are quickly becoming an addition to dog food bowls across Canada – shell and all! Quail eggs are an excellent source of protein, and they help to support healthy organ function throughout the body. Before adding raw quail eggs to your dog’s diet, make sure you consult with your vet for dietary restrictions.
· Chicken feet
You can feed chicken feet to your dog raw or dehydrated. Chicken feet are naturally high in glucosamine and chondroitin, which both support joint health and mobility. Chewing on chicken feet is also a great way for your dog to combat dental disease since it helps naturally remove plaque and tartar buildup. Before treating your dog to chicken feet, make sure you consult with your vet for dosage.
While eating grass is weird behaviour, it’s not always something to worry about. Dogs are omnivores, which means they survive on both plants and animals to survive, so eating grass is sometimes an instinct. Although it’s not typically harmful, keep an eye on it because eating grass can cause intestinal parasites from animal droppings, or contain harmful herbicides and pesticides.
Weird and harmful
The scientific name for this gross habit is coprophagia, and it’s common among dogs. Try discouraging the habit by supervising your dog on walks and keeping their living/backyard area clean. If you notice they just won’t stop, consult with your vet to rule out health problems like parasites and diet deficiencies.
There aren’t many dog owners who haven’t witnessed their dog eat their own vomit. It’s disgusting, but it’s their natural behaviour. Dogs eat their own vomit because it smells like food to them, so make sure you clean it up right away. Excessive vomiting can be a serious issue, so make sure you check with your vet if your dog’s vomiting continues for 24 hours.
Dogs chew on all sorts of things, but socks are a popular weird item of obsession. Even freshly cleaned socks smell like you, which piques a dog’s interest in licking and chewing them. But beware, licking and chewing often leads to ingesting, and swallowing a sock can lead to all sorts of stomach issues.
Since garbage tends to smell like and carry food remnants, make sure to keep it out of reach for dogs who like to go trash-can diving. Lots of garbage is filled with toxins and plastics, which can lead to some serious issues. If you’re having a hard time keeping your dog out of the garbage, try investing in a locking lid or start taking the trash out right away.
If your dog won’t stop eating harmful things you should visit the vet to make sure your pet isn’t suffering from any nutritional deficiencies or illnesses. Your vet is always the best resource to help keep your pet healthy and safe.