I don’t have any rock eaters (as far as I know), but I know this is a far too common problem. Consumption of rocks by your dog is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Check out this x-ray of a Labrador Retriever that swallowed 11 rocks. The $1500 vet bill will certainly be a topic of conversation for years to come.
What should you do if you see your dog swallow a rock?
- Call your vet. You can never go wrong with calling your vet and keeping him/her in the loop. Most likely, your vet will ask you to follow the next few steps, but always check with your vet first.
- Watch your dog’s activity level. Is your dog acting more lethargic than usual? If so, take your dog to the vet immediately.
- Look out for digestive discomfort. Be aware of any vomiting, diarrhea, or repeated coughing/retching to signal that your dog isn’t feeling well.
- Check your dog’s stool. Yes, I know… it’s gross, but it’s the only way to make sure your dog eliminated the rock.
- Head to your vet. If you are sure your dog swallowed a rock, but he hasn’t eliminated it, head to your vet. Your vet will most likely discuss the possibility of x-rays to examine the situation further or surgery to remove the rocks.
Why did my dog eat a rock anyway?
There are a number of possibilities that range from medical to behavioral. Chewing rocks may be one way for an attention-starved dog to get noticed. In this instance, the dog may even be acting out of boredom, anxiety or frustration.
There’s no singular reason as to why dog’s consume rocks. The behavior, called pica, includes consumption of any non-edible object. [pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Pica is the persistent eating of nonfood items.[/pullquote]Pica is particularly common in small children and animals. There are many medical and behavioral issues can lead to pica in your dog. It’s important to consider your schedule to determine if your dog could be bored, anxious, or frustrated. A trip to your vet can rule out any medical reasons, such as nutritional deficiency.
How can I prevent my dog from eating rocks?
The best way to prevent your dog from eating rocks is to remove the rocks from your dog’s environment. Replace rocks, pebbles, or pond stones with dirt, sand, or large rocks. If possible, remove them completely from your landscaping. When you are out and about with your pup, keep your dog leashed to prevent any snacking.
Has your dog ever swallowed a rock? What did you do?