Dogs can often get themselves into trouble and this includes developing unhealthy habits such as gravel eating. If you are asking, “Why does my dog eat gravel?” it’s time to understand what the root cause is and how to stop it.
Gravel is often noticed in a variety of places making it important to keep your dog away and/or under control.
The places can include:
- Your Driveway
- Gravel in Your Yard
- Gravel Available During Dog Walks
This detailed guide will go over answering the question, “Why Does My Dog Eat Gravel?” and the best way to stop it using traditional methods.
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Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food is an award-winning option that works well for various dog breeds. It’s delicious, full of nutrients, and is going to offer a wonderful alternative for dogs that are eager to eat gravel and/or other things available outside.
This dry dog food is heralded for providing a good blend of antioxidants and vitamins without compromising on taste.
If the goal is to get your dog to stop eating gravel outside, it’s recommended to begin with something as effective as this dry dog food. It will make a serious difference.
Why Does My Dog Eat Gravel?
Dogs eat gravel because they find it to be a potential source of nutrients, but can also consume it as a replacement for missing calories (i.e. not getting enough food to eat). It’s often seen as a sign of desperation in dogs that don’t have available food sources in their vicinity.
If your dog is eating gravel, it’s highly recommended to put a stop to this right away.
There are several dangers associated with gravel eating in dogs and letting it continue “as-is” can lead to a host of health problems.
The dangers include:
- Choking on Larger Stones
- Dealing with a Long List of Digestive Issues
- Attracting Diseases
Designing a comprehensive strategy to stop a dog from eating gravel is essential. Many dog owners don’t know how to do this and that is what leads to below-par results.
Your top priority has to be to understand where your dog is eating gravel and what can be done to put an end to it.
Tips On How To Stop Dog From Eating Gravel
Tip #1 – Use Better Dog Food
The best starting point is to focus on what your dog is eating during the day.
Gravel is often used as a meal replacement by dogs because their body is telling them to eat more. Unfortunately, they are inquisitive and will be okay with biting away at the nearest gravel available to them without realizing it is doing more harm than good!
This is why it’s best to consider buying new dog food for your dog.
This is going to be a good change for them and may ensure they don’t eat gravel or grass as a replacement.
The benefits include:
- Can Influence a Dog’s Taste Buds
- Can Increase Nutritional Intake
- Can Help Regulate Bad Eating Patterns in Dogs
When you are thinking about buying new dog food, make sure it is being given to the dog in sizeable portions. One of the major issues that can trouble dog owners is not giving their pet enough to eat. If the dog isn’t getting enough to eat, it will act out in different ways such as eating gravel.
It’s your responsibility to understand what the dog needs.
Sometimes, all it takes is the right type of dog food to get a dog to stop eating gravel. They will begin to feel full and that alone is more than enough to put an end to the gravel eating.
Tip #2 – Buy Dog-Friendly Chew Toys
Dogs can sometimes use gravel as a way to chew on something when they’re bored.
It becomes a natural replacement for their toys and that’s why you have to mix things up. By purchasing a new dog chew toy or two, you will make it easier for the dog to avoid eating gravel throughout the day.
It’s important to think about this and investing in nutrient-dense chew toys for dogs. These will work well and make sure they are not putting themselves in harm’s way.
The best part about buying chew toys for dogs is knowing there is a variety of them to choose from. It’s all about finding something that works well for your dog.
Of course, it’s important to find the right type of chew toy for dogs that eat gravel.
You don’t want a situation where the dog’s health comes into question due to what they’re chewing on! This is a concern many dog owners have and it’s always best to sift through a variety of options before choosing.
When a dog has something to eat, they are less likely to start going after gravel on the ground. This is a natural reaction to being preoccupied with their chew toy.
Tip #3 – Use a Firm “No!”
This is the best short-term strategy when your dog eats gravel.
You want to let them know it’s the wrong thing to do and something they have to avoid. If your dog is well-trained, they are going to pick up on these verbal cues within minutes.
While this isn’t the right long-term strategy since your dog may become prone to this bad habit, it’s still a good starting point.
You are going to see a long list of benefits stemming from simply saying “NO!” to your dog when it starts eating gravel.
The benefits include:
- Dog Begins to Understand Eating Gravel is Bad
- Helps Create Negative Association with Gravel
- Easy to Implement
In general, you want to always train your dog to listen. It’s going to make it easier to get the point across when they do something wrong.
Over time, you can start to pay attention to what they are doing and what they are eating. Whenever they are near gravel, you want to be hyper-alert and ready to say no. With time, you will start to see a change in their behavior.
Don’t assume it’s going to happen overnight. It will take time.
The goal is to remain consistent, so your dog starts to build a connection between you saying no and them eating gravel.
Tip #4 – Buy Dog Treats
Just like using dog chew toys, you also want to buy dog treats.
What are you going to get from buying dog treats?
There are several reasons for doing this and sometimes it comes down to keeping the dog occupied. If they are always eating treats or being kept busy, they are less likely to venture towards something like gravel.
When you are buying new dog treats, make sure they are healthy for the dog. There is no reason to replace gravel with something that’s still bad for them!
A lot of people don’t realize this, but dog treats can also reinforce your relationship with the pet. They will start to bond with you and that is never a bad thing.
Take advantage of what you are doing by using dog treats. They may also start to listen to you more because of the dog treats.
If you aren’t doing this, there will come a time when the dog is going to ignore what you are saying. This is why you have to be proactive and look to invest in quality dog treats. They will make a serious difference and are good for the dog too!
Tip #5 – Stay Consistent
Implementing a positive change in your dog’s life is important but so is consistency.
Consistency is essential whether this involves saying “NO!” when your dog is eating gravel or giving it a set of chew toys to use.
If you aren’t focused on making these subtle changes, your dog will continue to do the same thing. In some cases, a dog will stop for a while but then go back to eating gravel all over again. It’s important to stay on top of things and make sure you are as consistent as possible.
There are many reasons for being consistent and it’s important to make this a priority when it’s time to stop your dog from eating gravel.
The reasons include:
- Helps Build a Dog’s Habits
- Create a Set Routine for You and the Dog
- Your Dog will Subconsciously Avoid Eating Gravel
Over time, you are going to realize the dog has become used to not eating gravel. They will steer clear of it and that’s when a positive change is made in their life.
Don’t be afraid to focus on this diligently in the early days. This is the only way you are going to get through to the dog and make sure they realize what you want from them.
The best part is, when you do make the change, they will likely become used to avoiding gravel and it will become easier for them.
This is the answer to your question, “Why Does My Dog Eat Gravel?”
Yes, it is not easy to watch as your dog starts licking and/or eating gravel. However, the goal is to make sure you use your voice and let them know it’s bad.
By implementing a good blend of short and long-term strategies, you are going to see a change in your dog’s eating behavior. It may take a bit of time to settle in, but eventually they are going to understand that eating gravel is bad.
Focus by investing in good dog food, buying chew treats for dogs, and making sure you are diligent with your dog’s eating habits.
For more on helping your dog, here are a few articles to read through – why is my dog eating grass?, good multivitamins to include in a dog’s diet, ways to help a dog drink more water, and premium chew treats for dogs to eat.