A holistic 6-step program to prevent dogs from eating dirt
Dogs! We love them, we care for them and sometimes we wonder why their habits are so different from ours.
It’s unlikely to see someone’s head in a planter or garden bed eating dirt, but many dogs do just that.
Naturally, you wonder if something is missing from your dog’s diet. Others would wonder if eating dirt is a sign of indigestion, toxicity or simply a bad habit born of boredom.
If your dog is a dirt eater, my plan is to walk you through six simple steps to help you stop your dog’s habit. So you don’t have to worry.
Step 1 – Check for missing minerals and toxins
Most people agree that most animals intuitively know what is good for them. When it comes to eating dirt, it’s very likely that your dog is trying to replenish missing minerals or neutralize toxins in his body.
Minerals should normally be obtained from food, but when you consider the level of intensive farming and soil depletion and the questionable quality of pet food ingredients, it is not surprising that deficiencies and toxicity can be very common conditions are.
To find out what your dog is missing, you can test your dog’s hair with a high-precision plasma induction method. Your dog’s hair roots are bathed in body plasma and contain minerals. While plasma levels of minerals fluctuate, these minerals are trapped in your dog’s hair and can be measured with extremely high accuracy. In a sense, your dog’s hair is a time capsule of his or her nutritional history.
Learn more about hair testing in dogs.
Step 2 – Detox the system, provide minerals
At this point you have the option to wait for the hair test results or have your best friend start an herbal liver detox, LiverTune, and a plant-based mineral supplement. If your dog stops eating dirt, it means that toxicity and deficiencies were the main problems. If the habit persists, here’s what you can do.
Step 3 – Rule out indigestion
The second most likely cause of eating dirt is indigestion. If your dog eats kibble, I recommend switching to cooked or raw food. Kibble, similar to human processed food, is far from what nature intended. Even though it’s made from the purest quality ingredients, the mere fact that processed food sits in bags for months (and sometimes years) causes fats to go rancid and its nutritional value to diminish.
If you would like to learn more about preparing raw or cooked food, sign up for our free raw and cooked diet course here.
Step 4 – Correct vitamin deficiencies and add powerful probiotics
Indigestion and nutrient loss can also be caused by vitamin deficiencies, especially B complex and vitamin B12, as well as intestinal flora imbalances, which can be corrected by powerful probiotics.
The paradox is that all-natural vitamins from whole foods help combat soil eating, but most vitamins are synthetic and can worsen the soil eating habit.
Step 5 – Check for other underlying problems
If your dog continues to eat dirt after you complete steps 1 through 3, I highly recommend comprehensive blood work including a complete blood count, chemistry, urinalysis, pancreas, thyroid, and adrenal gland testing. Click here for more information about hypothyroidism, pancreatitis, Addison’s disease or Cushing’s disease.
Step 6 – Help your dog be busy and happy
If all tests come back clear, chances are your dog is an obsessive ground eater. In this case, I recommend that you seek out an experienced animal homeopath, Bach flower practitioner or herbalist to help bring your dog’s body into balance.
It is also wise to prevent your canine friend from eating dirt while you are going through the elimination process.
Boredom can also be a factor. If your dog loves being around other dogs, play and park is the way to go. Every dog should take at least two 45-minute walks a day, and if you live in a region that’s too hot or too cold, safe play is a great way to keep your dog busy and happy.
Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM