Some dogs go through life like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park. They might not be quite as terrifying, but they do tend to eat everything in sight. Most of the time, this perfectly normal canine behavior doesn’t result in anything too awful.

However, when dogs eat weird stuff, they can find themselves in some pretty big trouble. We’re here to help dog owners understand the difference and know when it’s time to intervene.

A Head-Scratcher

When it comes to the odd choices dogs make regarding what to sample and what to leave alone, it may come as no surprise to owners that dogs simply like to experiment with flavors. What’s more, they don’t seem to mind eating off the floor, munching on old food, or crunching away on organic matter until the cows come home.

Something Missing?

It’s reasonable to assume that dogs are seeking supplemental nutrition from outside sources. Often, dogs who like grass are seeking more fiber or bulk to help aid their digestion. However, this behavior can flummox owners when their pet seems to eat grass in order to throw up.

Indeed, grass can be used to induce vomiting. While this probably won’t harm your dog in the long run, they really shouldn’t eat grass that’s been treated with fertilizers or insecticides. Plus, eating grass may encourage them to move on to plants, shrubs, or flowers that could be toxic to them.

Sticks, Mulch, and Wood

When dogs eat weird stuff like sticks or pieces of wood, they’re doing it out of boredom. Plus, it probably feels good on their teeth and gums. However, small pieces can get lodged in the soft tissue of their mouth and esophagus, leading to injuries. Larger pieces of wood can cause gastrointestinal obstruction, tearing, or worse.

The bottom line is that it’s normal for dogs to want to chew on or eat wood/sticks, but it’s best to redirect their interest to a safer alternative.

Chew on This

Sometimes, dogs eat weird stuff simply because it’s available. Provide them with proper chew toys instead of allowing them to find their own items on the ground. Something that offers a reward, like a Kong, can be a great option. Positive reinforcement training also works like a charm.

Dogs Eat Weird Stuff

Many dog owners are painfully aware of the fact that their best friend eats poop. This harsh (and gross) truth stems from the reality that dogs may actually enjoy the taste of feces from other animals (provided it’s fresh). Sure, this is disgusting, but it’s even worse if the poop found by your dog was left by an animal infected with a zoonotic disease.

Please let us know if you have any questions about your dog’s behavior. Certain health issues may be driving their constant need to eat grass, poop, or other non-food items. We can help you rule out any problems and make sure your pet remains happy and healthy.