Why Is My Dog Eating Dirt All Of a Sudden | ( 6-Minute Read)

Why is my dog eating dirt all of a sudden? Many an owner has asked this question. Man’s best friend is known to be playful, curious, and demonstrate other surprise behaviors depending on the type of breed. But there is one weird behavior that is unexpected from a dog and that is eating dirt, grass, and other yucky subjects.

The content takes around 6 minutes to read, but if you are in a hurry, we have also included a table of contents and infographic below so you can see at a glance what the content is.

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Now discover the hidden reasons why dogs eat dirt. They will surprise you.

Infographic – Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt:

why do dogs eat dirt
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1): Lack Of Nutrients:

Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt - Discover The Hidden Reasons

If you feed your dog with homemade feeds, you may need to check the ingredients to ensure that your dog is getting all the nutrients that it needs, to keep them healthy.

This behavior is most common if your pet spends too much time indoors and therefore has no access to bones, which are essential to dogs.

If you are not sure about which diet is best for your dog, it is important for you to take him to your vet, so they can help identify what is missing from the diet.

Info Box

Eating dirt could be a result of your dog lacking certain minerals, especially calcium and iron, which are found in soil.  You should consider switching to commercial feeds, which are usually graded and tested to ensure they are highly nutritive.
Adult dogs require sufficient nutrients to maintain and repair body tissues and meet energy needs. – (Source – aspca.org)


2): Expressing Their Feelings:

Dogs are intelligent and when it comes to being active and social, they are more similar to humans. dogs need to be shown affection, love, and care. Moreover, they like to be active, and also play is important. That’s why dog walks are important to them. Now, what happens when they are denied these.

When you talk about us humans, we have those little things we do when bored, like when someone needs attention and affection. Some of us bite fingernails, twitch our hair, or some just play weirdly with anything that happens to be around us.

So when dogs behave weirdly by eating grass and dirt, they could just be expressing how bored or how ignored they feel, when you are not playing with them.

Dogs are not as lazy as cats. dogs love being active, and playful and they love some work too, especially if you have a large breed of dog. Take them regular walks in order to eradicate any boredom, so that they will stay away from eating dirt.


3): Sweet Dirt:

Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt - Discover The Hidden Reasons

This may sound crazy, but what if your dog keeps digging into that dirt because it’s sweet? By sweet dirt, it could simply mean there is something sweet and nice under the dirt that is attracting them.

Remember that dogs have a very strong sense of smell and also memory. That is why they bury bones because they can remember where they buried them. In addition, they are also able to smell bones buried by other dogs.

It could also be the area where you always have your barbecue. So there are lots of remains in the soil and your dog can’t just resist digging there.

They can’t find the food itself, so they eat the dirt because it has food components. The owner should check on that reason, especially if the dog keeps eating dirt from around the same spot. You could have moved to a new residence and the previous owners used to have a barbecue at a spot.


4): Tummy Upsets:

Did you know that soil has beneficial purposes? This totally depends on the type of soil and the environment. In suburbs where there is not much pollution to contaminate the soil, it should remain in its natural state.

This enables the soil to harbor microorganisms that are helpful in the pet’s digestive system. The most common soil with this characteristic is clay soil.

Therefore, when your dog regularly eats soil, especially in suburbs and upcountry areas, they could be having tummy upsets and they are simply taking full advantage of the natural soothing remedy from the soil to help ease digestion.

Why Do Dogs Eat Dirt - Discover The Hidden Reasons

Remember dogs are intelligent. The soil has the ability to detoxify the digestive system and get rid of any worms that are harmful to the dog.  But if the rate at which the dog is eating soil appears high and you are worried, it’s always better to speak with your vet.

In addition, your dogs could be suffering from serious anemia problems. There are various types of parasites that suck blood from our pets. The most notorious internal parasite is known for this is the hookworm which sucks blood from the intestinal wall.

External parasites include mites, fleas, and ticks that suck blood from the skin. Lack of enough blood leads to a lack of enough minerals and calcium thus making the dog eat soil. Anemia could eventually lead to death so you should watch out carefully. It’s always important to deworm your dog regularly

Info Box

For starters, in rare cases, dogs with anemia may take a liking to dirt. The theory is that their bodies are trying to obtain more iron, specifically, in response to this health issue. In these cases, always consult your vet if you are worried – ( Source – PetMD.com )


5): They Want To Vomit:

When humans want to vomit, it’s because they have eaten something upsetting. They, therefore, want to get rid of it quickly, so they stick fingers down the throat to help induce vomiting. In the same way, dogs sometimes eat soil to induce vomiting for the same reasons. Always be aware of the things your dog cannot eat.





Generally, you don’t need to worry too much about your dog eating dirt, as in most cases, it is usually for the above reasons. But to avoid extreme cases of eating dirt, take on board the precautions mentioned, which include daily exercise to prevent boredom and a vet visit if you are worried.  Also, do not leave them alone for long periods. There are many additional questions on why dogs do the things they do.

We do hope that the information above has helped answer a very common question from dog owners. Why is my dog eating dirt all of a sudden?


Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals or veterinarians on any matter relating to their dogs’ health and well-being. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

4 thoughts on “Why Is My Dog Eating Dirt All Of a Sudden | ( 6-Minute Read)”

  1. Wow what a great article. Thanks! My dog does some digging in a particular spot often. I never let him dig for too long so as to not destroy the property. But I do wonder if there was something there, or if there IS something there. I may have to let him go for it!

    • Thank you for your kind comment. Very much appreciated. Glad it was of value for you


  2. Both our dogs (nearly two years old now) seem to crave grass. First thing in the morning they’re out there eating it and they are very picky for a specific type.
    They hardly every throw up from the grass snacking but they do often have poos with grass encapsulated mucous.
    This is a little worrying but we have started giving occassional probiotic type additives which do seem to help.
    I quite agree about the lack of nutrients in the diet and apart from calcium, magnesium is also very depleted in our diet as well as in the best quality dog foods.
    What do you think about a raw diet? We did try it and although the dogs loved it, it did upset their tummies somewhat. We did introduce it slowly but to no avail.
    We now feed mainly a wet food diet, all organic, plus a handful of kibble, also organic.
    Great post, thanks!

    • Ches

      Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. 

      With regards to the raw diet, it just depends on your dog and how it affects them. Some find it great and others, like yourself, it did not work out for them.


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