Why Do Dogs Eat Ground?

Why Do Dogs Eat Ground? Discover the Secret Behind Why Dogs Eat Dirt

Have you ever looked at your pup and wondered why they’re eating ground up pieces of dirt? It may seem strange, but there’s actually a good reason for it. While eating dirt isn’t the healthiest thing in the world for your four-legged friend, there is science behind their craving for soil.

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring exactly why dogs eat ground up pieces of earth and discussing some ways to make sure that their habit doesn’t get out of control.

So if you’re curious about what could possibly be motivating Fido to munch on grass clippings or dig around for breakfast every morning, this post will shed some light on the topic!

See more: Why Do Dogs Save Their Food?

why do dogs eat ground
why do dogs eat ground

Why Do Dogs Like to Eat Ground or Dirt?

Dietary Deficiencies

One potential explanation for why dogs might eat dirt is to supplement their diet with dietary deficiencies. If a dog’s diet lacks variety, or if their food does not provide the necessary nutrients, they may turn to dirt for the minerals and vitamins that are missing from their regular diet.

Dogs might also be drawn to dirt if they have a problem with their teeth or gums and are having difficulty breaking down harder food, such as kibble.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Another possible explanation for why dogs eat dirt is that they may be dealing with gastrointestinal issues. If a dog has an upset stomach or is dealing with other digestive problems, their bodies may be trying to eliminate toxins by digesting dirt. Ingesting dirt could also help to neutralize the acid in their stomachs and relieve some discomfort.

Behavioral Problems

Finally, a third potential reason why dogs eat dirt could be because of a behavioral problem. If a dog has been confined to an area that does not provide enough stimulation or exercise, it may start engaging in behaviors like digging and eating dirt as a way to pass the time.

This is especially true if there are other animals around that take up much of their owners’ attention and the dog is feeling neglected or lonely.

Overall, there are a variety of potential explanations for why dogs eat dirt, including dietary deficiencies, gastrointestinal issues, and behavioral problems, or it’s just they smelled something tasty mixed in the mud.

Is it Harmful to Dogs to Eat Dirt?

Most of the time, dirt is harmless to dogs. In fact, many dogs even enjoy eating it! However, dirt can be harmful if it contains parasites or toxins that are dangerous for your pup. For example, some soils may contain roundworms and other parasites that can make your pet sick. 

Additionally, if you live in an area where lawns and gardens are treated with fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, these chemicals could also be present in the dirt and can make your pup sick if ingested. 

If you notice that your dog is eating dirt more frequently than usual, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as pica or nutritional deficiencies. It is a good idea to consult your veterinarian if you are concerned. 

Eating dirt can also be a sign of boredom or lack of mental stimulation, so it’s important to provide plenty of activities and toys for your pup to keep them entertained. 

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Dirt

1. Provide your dog with enough exercise: Dogs that are not getting enough mental and physical stimulation can resort to eating dirt as a way of self-entertainment. Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise and playtime every day.

2. Keep an eye on them outdoors: If you’re letting your dog out in the yard to play, keep an eye on them and make sure they’re not eating dirt. If they seem interested in it, call their name or distract them with a toy so they don’t start.

3. Eliminate sources of stress: Dogs can resort to eating dirt if they are anxious or stressed. Make sure your dog is in a peaceful environment and determine what may be causing them stress.

4. Provide plenty of chew toys: If your dog loves to chew, make sure there are plenty of safe chew toys available for them to play with. This will help distract them from eating dirt, as well as providing them with an outlet for their chewing instincts.

5. Change your routine: If you’re noticing that your dog is eating dirt at certain times of the day, try changing up your routine. This can help break the habit and reduce stress levels associated with the behavior.

6. Consult a veterinarian: If all else fails, consult with a veterinarian to determine the cause of your dog’s eating dirt. Depending on the severity, they may recommend dietary changes or medications to help stop them from eating dirt.

By following these steps, you can help prevent and reduce your dog’s dirt-eating habit so they can lead a happy and healthy life. Remember, if you’re ever concerned about your dog’s health, be sure to consult a qualified veterinarian for advice.

How to Train Your Dog Not Eating Dirt

Dirt can be a tempting treat for your pup, but eating dirt can have unpleasant and even dangerous health consequences. Training your dog not to eat dirt is important. With patience, consistency and positive reinforcement, you can successfully teach your dog to choose healthier treats over the delicious dirt.

1. Supervise Your Dog: Do not give your pup the opportunity to eat dirt. Always keep a watchful eye when your dog is outside, and be sure to check for any signs that he’s indulging in his “dirt dessert”. If you catch him in the act, make a loud noise like clapping or saying “No!” to interrupt him and discourage the behavior.

2. Provide Healthy Alternatives: Offer your pup something more nutritious and delicious than dirt, such as a healthy treat or chew toy. Praise him when he takes it from you. This will help reinforce that the healthier option is always better for him.

3. Redirect Attention: Take your dog away from the dirt, or distract him when you notice him sniffing around it. Engage with him in a game of fetch or tug-of-war, as he will be more likely to forget about the dirt if his attention is on something else.

4. Reward Good Behaviour: Whenever your pup avoids eating dirt or chooses a healthy treat instead, reward him with verbal praise and a special treat. This will help him to learn that good behaviors are always rewarded.


What are some of the best ways to clean my dog’s teeth after eating dirt? (Shortly paragraph)

One of the best ways to clean your dog’s teeth after eating dirt is to brush their teeth regularly. Make sure you use a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for dogs, as regular human products can be harmful. 

In addition, it is important to feed your dog dental chews or treats that are specially formulated to help remove tartar and bacteria from your pet’s teeth. Regular checkups at the vet are also important to ensure that everything is in good health. 

With a combination of brushing, dental treats, and regular visits to the veterinarian, your dog should have clean teeth and healthy gums in no time! 

Another great way to keep your pup’s teeth clean is to feed them a diet of fresh, real food. Fresh food has natural enzymes that can help keep teeth and gums healthy.

Do all dogs eat dirt? 

No, not all dogs eat dirt. Some dogs may have an occasional interest in eating dirt, but this behavior is not typical of most dogs and it should be discouraged. 

Eating dirt could put your dog at risk for GI upset or ingestion of parasites, toxins, or foreign objects. If you notice your dog eating dirt or other non-food items, it is best to talk to your veterinarian about possible causes and solutions. 

Additionally, if you are concerned that the dirt may contain parasites or toxins, it can be tested by a veterinarian. It is important to provide your dog with healthy treats or toys instead of allowing them to snack on potentially harmful substances like dirt. 

What minerals are dogs lacking when they eat dirt?

Dirt is made up of a variety of minerals, so the specific minerals lacking in dogs when they eat dirt depend on the type of soil. Commonly, dirt can be deficient in calcium and phosphorus, two essential minerals for canine diets. 

Dogs may also lack certain trace minerals such as zinc, iron and manganese when eating dirt. These minerals can be found in commercial dog food, so it is important to provide a balanced and complete diet for your pet.


In conclusion, dogs may eat ground dirt for a variety of reasons. It could be a sign that they are not getting the proper nutrition that their bodies need, or it could just be an instinctive behavior to help them cleanse their systems and heal themselves naturally.

Regardless of the reason, we should always monitor our pets to make sure they are happy and healthy. If the behavior persists or becomes more frequent, it would be wise to check with a veterinarian to ensure that there is no underlying medical condition at play.

We hope this post has been helpful in understanding why dogs eat ground dirt and how to best address the behavior. Remember, we should always be mindful of our pets’ well-being and take proactive steps to ensure they are healthy and happy! Thank you for reading!


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To provide you with the expert assistance you need, Vet Ranch with licensed veterinarians can answer your health-related pet issues. For the purpose of sharing knowledge with each other, we have jointly created this website, where you can get useful information from us and also where we expand our knowledge through your comments from you.