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Thread: Old Dog Eating Dirt

  1. #1
    Senior Member Billie's Avatar
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    Default Old Dog Eating Dirt

    Any experience on why my old gal (13yrs ) is eating dirt. ??
    Shes healthy, eats well, no diarrhea . Had a full workup earlier this year , no abnormalities,
    I'll call my vet and see, but thought in the interim if anyone had any experience with it?
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    Senior Member 1st retriever's Avatar
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    She is lacking some mineral that she is finding in the dirt. Not sure what she is lacking, could be a number of things.

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    I have 2 ages 4 and 6 that do it all the time. I give pet tabs and fish oil with food but the still eat the dirt.

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    Senior Member 1st retriever's Avatar
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    I know horses will lick the dirt to get the salt that is in the soil.

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    Senior Member Andy Carlson's Avatar
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    My crew will also eat dirt. They are all on premium dog food and I supplement with brewer's yeast and Fish Oil. Not sure why they do it, but I have got a ton of holes in the airing yard from them eating dirt.

    The one and ONLY reason I like winter is the ground is either frozen or covered with snow so they can't eat any more dirt and make more holes!

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    One of my dogs, age 7, eats dirt during the cold months only. Here in MD that would be December through February. We suppliment his breakfast with a half a cup of oat meal (cooked) and that takes care of the problem. Other options would be grass stems, Boston lettuce, parsnips, buckwheat, millet, carrots or cucumber rind. Our dogs are fed a raw diet.

    I researched the problem using Holistic Guide For A Healthy Dog written by Wendy Volhard and Kerry Brown DVM. Dirt eating indicates a lack of silicon.

    I hope this helps.

    Laurie

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    Senior Member windycanyon's Avatar
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    LEM-- like Silica???? That wouldn't explain why my oldster (13.5) also has been rutting, well, before we froze up that is. We have a very high silica level naturally in our wells here and I feed a lot of good green (kelp, etc) supplements w/ micronutrients.

    I wrote it off to rutting for worms cuz she thinks she's "hungies", lol. I don't think it's too serious.... feed the poor girl! Anne

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    Silica is a form of silicon which is abundant in the earth's crust. Dogs that graze on grasses are likely in need of silicon also.

    My dog responds to the oatmeal after only a day or two. Other wise, he is out making a moon scape of our backyard and depositing dirt stools! My younger dogs don't eat dirt and only chew grass on occasion so I'm guessing it is an imbalance over time.

    Laurie

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    Senior Member windycanyon's Avatar
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    That's interesting-- I curse the silica deposits my well water leaves behind and that's what my dogs drink too! I did find that in addition to food change, the green mix (alfalfa, kelp, etc) I use in my dogs' meals really helped to curb grass eating long ago, so I do think that's nutritional. And w/ old coots, I'm sure their systems are a bit off anyhow.

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    Senior Member suepuff's Avatar
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    My old girl did this too. We also hypothesized that the digestive systems of the old guys aren't as hardy...eating dirt cna help settle the stomach. No diahrrea with this girl either...appetite good. Makes sense to me. We give cows clay (sodium bentonite) regularly to bind toxins and help regulate the digestive system. Though they're ruminants, they still have a true stomach also in addition to the 3 other compartments.

    If you ever get the opportunity to attend one of Wendy's seminars, please do. She lives fairly close, 2 hours, so there are seminars around here regularly. Even if you don't buy into the whole holistic thing, it's another interesting perspective and will make you think.
    Sue Puffenbarger
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