How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Rocks

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Dogs certainly have a reputation for eating just about anything they might think is tasty, including rocks. 

There are many different factors that ultimately determine how dangerous this is for your pet. In this article, you will learn how to keep your canine companion from doing this.

Why does my Dog Eat Rocks?

There are numerous possible explanations for your dog eating rocks that it finds outside.

1. They Have a Nutritional Deficiency

As strange as it might seem, dogs sometimes eat rocks because they are not being fed the right food. If your dog isn’t getting all of the nutrients its body needs, they could start eating all sorts of things.

This is just one of the reasons why it is so crucial that you make a point of keeping your dog on a healthy, well-balanced diet of nutritious food. Make sure that the food you give them consists of high-quality ingredients.

2. Neurological Problem

There are some neurological problems that can cause a dog to start eating rocks and other strange things it comes across outside. These conditions can often be treated, but your dog will need to go to the vet as soon as possible.

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3. They Are Very Anxious

Some dogs can struggle with severe anxiety, which often leads to a variety of odd behaviors. If you got your dog from a shelter, it is possible that they were traumatized at some point. This is why it is so important to learn as much as possible about a dog’s background before choosing one in particular.

4. They’re Trying to Get Your Attention

Your dog might start eating rocks and other things they shouldn’t as a way of getting your attention. This is actually pretty common among dogs that aren’t played with enough on a daily basis. Some dog breeds need more attention than others, so you will need to keep this in mind. If you have a very needy type of dog, you might have to spend more time with it each day.

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5. There Is a Problem With Their Thyroid

It is also possible that your dog’s rock eating is connected to a thyroid issue. This can be fairly serious, so it is important that you know some of the signs.

A few of the most common symptoms of a thyroid problem in dogs include:

  • Sudden weight gain
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Intolerance to cold weather
  • Thickening of skin
  • Changes in the appearance of their skin and coat
  • Obesity

If you think that your dog might have an issue with its thyroid, it is important that you take it to the vet right away. Your veterinarian will be able to run a number of tests to confirm this. There are multiple medications that can help with managing their symptoms.

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6. They Have a Parasitic Infection

Certain parasites can cause your dog to suddenly crave strange things like rocks. While treating this type of infection is pretty straightforward, it can take a long time for it to clear up completely.

Some of the other signs of parasitic infection include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Persistent cough
  • Scooting behavior
  • Bloating of stomach

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Rocks

If you noticed your dog eating any rocks, you’ll want to keep a close eye on it. Monitor your dog’s condition closely for any serious symptoms like persistent vomiting, diarrhea, stomach bloating, lethargy, or lack of appetite. These symptoms could indicate a major problem with your pooch.

You’ll want to get your dog to the vet right away if you notice any of the symptoms listed above. This will greatly decrease the chances of anything truly bad happening to your pet. You shouldn’t hesitate when it comes to getting them medical attention in this situation.

Ways to Get Your Dog to Stop Eating Rocks

There are a number of methods that you can use to get your dog to stop eating rocks, and it is important that you are aware of your options.

1. Go to the Vet

First, you will need to take your dog to the vet so you can make sure that this behavior isn’t being caused by a medical condition. Whether it is a parasitic infection or even pica, you will want to rule out this possibility. Your vet may want to run a number of tests to narrow down the possibilities. This is often the only way to give a definitive diagnosis.

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2. Take All of the Rocks Out of the Backyard

You’ll also want to make a point of removing any and all rocks from your backyard right away. This will make it impossible for your dog to eat any rocks while it is in this area. While it might take a while to do this, it is definitely worth the effort.

3. Keep Your Dog On a Leash

When you take your dog outside for a walk or to the park, make sure that you keep it on a leash. This will make it easier for you to control them so they don’t eat anything they aren’t supposed to.


  • While eating rocks may not be fatal for your dog, it can cause a variety of serious health issues.
  • There could be some underlying medical problem that your dog has that is causing it to eat rocks.
  • Your dog could have a neurological disorder that is negatively affecting its brain function, which is another possible explanation.
  • Some parasites can cause dogs to eat strange things they find, including rocks.
  • If you want your dog to stop eating rocks, you should clear them out of your backyard entirely.
  • It is also a good idea to keep your dog on a leash when you are taking them for a walk or at the park.