6 month old puppy eating mud and chewing stones!

by Sanjeev

I have a 6 month old male rottie - Whenever and where ever, he makes sure he feasts on mud and starts chewing stones and anything which is down on the ground!

Despite calling it out loud - NO! or Don't - he wouldn't care a bit! I am scared, if it has any impact on his health system!

What could be the remedy?

Hi Sanjeev
Eating rocks and stones are more of a danger than eating mud, because their size/weight could end up causing an obstruction in his digestive system - this would need emergency surgery.

Quite a few puppies eat stones, rocks, dirt, sticks etc. - mostly because they think anything is edible and are curious. Most puppies will grow out of it by around 6 months old, so your pup may be start to reduce the time he spends on this habit fairly soon.

However, some pups carry it on into adulthood and then it's usually become an obsessive-compulsive behavior, meaning that they feel a strong compulsion to keep doing it over and over again. It's also called 'pica' which can refer to the desire to eat any type of non-edible stuff, not just rocks.

Keeping your puppy busy and active - making sure that he has plenty of safe, sturdy chew toys and gets enough exercise and daily training sessions - can help, because a bored pup/dog or one whose brain and body is understimulated is more likely to indulge in this type of behavior.

Constant correction (that 'no' you mention) is very important and you must stop him from doing this as it could hurt him. I'd recommend making sure he doesn't have unsupervised access to areas that contain gravel, rocks or stones that he can eat. Keep him indoors where you can watch him, and when he's outside make sure he's in a fenced area that is concrete or grass and where there are no rocks/pebbles to tempt him.

When you are out walking use a prong collar and give it a quick tug while saying 'no' whenever he tries to put a rock in his mouth. As a last resort you can use a muzzle on him when out walking to prevent this behavior. But with a Rottweiler this can also give people the wrong impression and make him appear aggressive, so it's important to weight up the odds.

With constant correction, plenty of action and stimulation, and limiting access to rocks/stones you should be able to help limit this and eventually remove it all together.

Very occasionally, rock or dirt eating can be a sign of a dietary deficiency or a physical health issue. So I would recommend making sure he's eating a premium puppy food that is specifically designed for large breed puppies and also have your vet give him a check up to make sure he's 100% healthy.

Hope this helps, best of luck.

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