Why Is My Dog Eating Dirt?

In this article, we will be taking a look at the question “why is my dog eating dirt“? Although there are a number of different reasons that your dog may choose to eat dirt, there is rarely a serious concern provided the dirt is free from pesticides and other chemicals.

In this article, we will be going over the main reasons that dogs may choose to consume dirt as well as how to remedy the situation. Thankfully, the majority of people should be able to treat the problem without the need of professional help.

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Why Is My Dog Eating Dirt All Of A Sudden

Poor Diet

Kicking off our list of reasons that your dog may choose to eat dirt is a poor diet. Ordinarily, this is triggered due to a lack of vitamins and minerals that are being provided to your dog from its food. In some cases, it can also be due to your dog trying to seek out a probiotic from the dirt if one is lacking from its food.

An unbalanced or poor diet is thankfully an easy fix. Swap your dog over to a high-quality dog food and use high-quality dog treats to ensure that it is getting a full nutritional profile and all of the vitamins and minerals that it requires.

The Pica disorder can occur in humans and there are theories that it can also occur in dogs. It is a disorder that encourages creatures to eat non-foods such as glass, sand, and dirt. There is a small chance that your dog may be consuming dirt due to suffering from Pica. As touched on earlier, it is usually more common if your dog has a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Our articles below may be able to offer more advice on improving your dog’s diet:-

A Medical Condition

Conditions such as hypothyroidism and inflammatory bowel disease can cause your dog to eat dirt in search of additional vitamins and minerals. IBD, in particular, can cause excessive ulcers and bleeding in your dogs’ bowels that may lead to anemia. There is also usually a decreased level of B vitamins when suffering from IBD leading your dog to seek out additional sources of vitamins.

If your dog has a parasite infestation, bleeding tumors, kidney problems or ulcers they may lead to anemia. In turn, this could lead to a vitamin or mineral deficiency and end up in your dog eating soil.

There are a number of high-quality dog vitamin and mineral supplements on the market that you can take advantage of. This will help increase the essential vitamins your dog is missing as well as help complete its required nutritional profile to lead a healthy life. Once normal levels have been achieved, your dog will usually stop eating dirt.

Why Is My Dog Eating Dirt?

Dirt With Flavours

If you are a fan of having a garden BBQ then there is a chance that the excess fats from the cooked meats have leaked onto soil in your garden. There are other ways things like this may happen such as a compost heap that can have an effect on the taste of the soil in a particular location of your garden.

If your dog only ever eats soil from this one location then this could be due to the additional flavors rather than the dirt itself. As we touched on earlier in the article, the majority of dirt is relatively harmless for your dog so if you feel that this may be the cause of your dog eating dirty then there is no reason to worry.


Beleive it or not, boredom can even come into play as a reason a dog may eat dirt. Just think of some of the bad habits humans can develop out of boredom. Some people chew their nails, some crack their nails, and some will overeat.

Dogs can also develop habits of their own, especially working dogs who have been bred for high energy output but end up locked indoors most of the day. Some dogs will end up destroying furniture, some will excessively spray around the house and others sometimes turn to eating random things.

To some extent, dogs can also develop a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. This can sometimes manifest itself as consuming dirt when their OCD triggers.

This can be displayed more in puppies or younger dogs and then develop into a long-term habit that can become a nightmare. The best way to try and avoid this or get rid of the habit once it has been developed is to use toys for enriching your dog’s life as best as possible.

Here are some of our other articles that may help you keep your dog entertained:-

Upset Stomachs

Although uncommon in topsoil, some patches of soil can contain clay, chalk or other soothing agents for common digestive issues in dogs. Not only can these normalize the pH of your dog’s stomach but they can also help deal with various parasite problems as well as detoxing your dog’s systems.

If you suspect that this may be the issue with your dog then try to improve its diet. Budget food options can contain various ingredients that may cause upset stomachs to help reduce their costs. Switch over to a high-quality dog food and see if your dog stops eating soil.


Is It Bad For A Dog To Eat Dirt

As we have already touched on earlier in the article, the vast majority of dirt is not necessarily bad for your dog. If you use any pesticides in your garden for your plants or use snail and slug pellets then these can be a problem.

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