Canine Pica

Canine Pica occurs when a dog is so desperately short of nutrients that they starts eating weird things they find like coal, wood or rubber.

A dog's survival instinct is so strong that their bodies' urgent nutritional requirements drive them to try and obtain these nutrients from the most unlikely sources.

A dog called Chester, for example, used to hunt down anything made of rubber. He especially enjoyed chewing on used condoms which he devoured with relish. This was much to the embarrassment of his parents.

Pica is not reserved for dogs alone. All animals will do go to great lengths to satisfy their nutritional needs. When you think about it, the obsessive consumption of processed and overly sugary foods like Mars Bars are a form of human pica!

How To Treat Canine Pica

You can treat pica in dogs by supplying them with an easily digestible food and nutritional supplement. This is the to treating Canine Pica. Raw meat and bone is the most appropriate and easily digested of all foods available for dogs.

Raw meat and bone is entirely natural, full of enzymes and bursting with nutrients. Mixed with PET Plus, the body can easily digest and absorb the nutrients and micronutrients. Download my diet sheet for more information.

Feeding your dog in this way will gradually rectify their nutrient deficiency, but it will take time.

The dog will be seriously depleted of nutrients to get to the extreme state of Canine Pica. Therefore it will take a while for those nutrient levels to return to normal. Don't expect results immediately - instead be patient, and persevere with proper feeding.

Changing Your Dog's Eating Habits - Forever!

If Canine Pica has been an issue for some time, the strange items the dog has become used to finding and eating may have become rather a habit.

So later, even when there is actually no nutritional need to go and eat these found things, the dog may continue this behaviour, given the opportunity.

In order to address this, you will need to change your routine. Go for walks somewhere else, remove all sources of rubber, for example, then the dog will eventually forget about trying to find peculiar things to eat because there will no longer be any nutritional need.

But make sure you continue to feed raw food and PET Plus to prevent the recurrence of Canine Pica.

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2 comments on “Canine Pica”

  1. We have a 11 week old puppy. A couple of days after we got her, 8 wks., she digested two of her litter mates collars. Yes, true story. She also eats dirt and I think rocks. Is this pica? Is she old enough for raw bones and supplements. Thank you

    1. Yes, this sounds like pica, or some sort of nutritional deficiency. Unusual in such a youngster.
      What breed is she and what is she currently eating?
      At this age, they are losing their primary (baby) teeth as their adult teeth erupt, so they are naturally looking for things to chew. But you say this has been going on since she was 8 weeks old and maybe before. Could you ask the breeders if they noticed anything?
      Have a good look in her mouth and see if you can spot any abnormality that may be causing her to want to chew on things.

      I'm sure you've read the advice on my web site. If it is indeed a nutritional issue rather than a desire to chew just anything, it seems that whatever she is eating now is not satisfying her. In an older dog, one would think there may be a hormonal disturbance, but that's unlikely in a pup.

      So I'd suggest you get them all onto raw food as soon as possible. Start with minced meat, bone and offal with blended greens and Pet Plus. After a week or so, you could start giving them raw meaty bones. I'd recommend chicken wings and chicken drumsticks as the bones are pretty soft so unlikely to damage their teeth.
      As she is so desperate to chew and has been chewing rocks, you could start giving them the raw meaty bones sooner.
      If they are a big breed, I find a whole chicken carcass with skin and as much meat as possible satisfies them for longer as it's more difficult to chew.

      Also follow the other advice for their general health, summarized here:
      Fresh chemical free water always available
      No chemicals at all, including household products, pesticides on fields where you walk and everything you can think of
      Worm with herbal products, like verm-x, available online at
      Unlikely to have fleas when fed raw with Pet Plus, but if you do, use essential oils and other natural products, not chemical sprays, spot on's or even worse, tablets! Maybe give them some garlic if there's a problem.
      Don't vaccinate. She will have had her first lot I expect...I don't understand this trend to vaccinate immunologically immature babies (of all species) as by very definition, their immune system cannot respond. Maternal immunity covers them till at least 12 weeks, which is why they are given their final 'shots' at 12 weeks. But don't give her any more as her system is already terribly upset by something
      Keep them away from any WiFi, 5G, Smart meters, Smart phones, computers, cordless phones and all electrical equipment! Turn everything off at the wall when not in use as the cables even generate EMFs. Definitely turn off WiFi as soon as it is not being used. Put all appliances on airplane mode and keep internet use in cables (like dLANduo for example)

      Let me know how you get on!

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