At The Pet Vet, sadly we see a number of puppies coming in having chewed something or eaten something they shouldn't have. It's completely normal behaviour for a puppy to chew but this is where training is particularly important to help prevent any nasty accidents.
“One of the key things to help with these undesirable behaviours particularly with puppies is to distract them with something really exciting, Kong toys filled with something tasty can be a gamechanger for some pet owners, it could keep your puppy entertained for a while.”Emily, Senior Veterinary Nurse at our Rotherham surgery
You may have heard of the term pica, this is a medical condition whereby a person or an animal eats something that is not food. It is a habit that is probably something to do with their curiosity but sadly does have its consequences. Puppies have a specific diet that they need to follow when they are young to make sure they develop and grow normally. If you let them consume inedible objects this may cause a problem with their growth or indicate that they have worms or something similar. Eating strange things may also be an indicator of psychological problems, for example they may be stressed or anxious at being left alone. Puppies need a lot of attention and time and someone to keep an eye on them at all times to make sure they are not having a literal rubbish feast!
It is commonly noted that grass is something picked by puppies. There could be a number of reasons for them choosing this particular dish for example it could be curiosity, but it could also mean that they are not getting the nutrition they need from their regular diet. Puppies are often not developed enough in order to digest grass and will often vomit it back up. Do also be mindful of any grass that may be treated with any forms of lawn treatment such as pesticides.
Yes it’s true, some puppies decide that the best thing to eat in the whole wide world is another dog’s poop. Again, like the grass scenario, there are many reasons for them to choose to eat this. Try not to be too concerned about it, it is most likely down to curiosity. A puppy may be drawn by the smell but it could also mean they are bored or suffering from separation anxiety or it could simply mean that they are hungry.
If reading this is making your stomach turn, it isn’t for your puppy! Although this is a very unsavoury behaviour, it is something that is quite common. Some dogs will vomit if they’ve eaten too quickly or haven’t spent enough time chewing each piece. Thanks to this, their sick will be rather appealing if it is undigested! However, if your puppy is sick a long time after they have eaten, it may be a good idea to have a chat with your Vet to see if there is some other illness or even a food intolerance, especially if it is repeatedly happening.
Much like the grass and the poop scenarios, chewing stones is also another thing that comes up on the menu for puppies. It could again be a sign of boredom, separation anxiety, hunger or a deficiency in their diet meaning that they are not getting enough iron, calcium or phosphorus.
It is often a standing joke that the puppy goes for dad’s slippers or mum’s boots, but really it is no laughing matter and should be taken very seriously and discouraged immediately. Nobody wants to have to go to see the Vet in an emergency situation. Puppies have a lot of energy and need to be fed well and stimulated both mentally and physically to ensure the boredom doesn't strike and they don't go for your favourite pair of shoes!
If you have any concerns about your puppy and their eating habits please contact us for advice and how to treat this issue.