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How Can I Prevent My Dog from Eating Cat Litter, Old Diapers, and Glass?

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Dear VetBabble: Navigating Unusual Eating Habits in Pets

Question: What can I do if my dog won’t stop eating cat litter, old diapers, and even glass? How can I prevent her from accessing these, and alter her diet if necessary?

Answer:

Preventing Access to Harmful Substances

Understanding and managing your dog’s unusual eating habits can be challenging for many pet owners. Dogs, by their curious nature, can end up consuming items which are potentially harmful to their health. For instance, objects like cat litter, old diapers, and even glass are definitely not part of a balanced canine diet. If your dog has these tendencies, it’s apt to take some protective actions.

A suitable strategy could involve purchasing a trashcan with a lid for diapers or any other attractive non-food items. For cat litter, consider a covered cat box or placing it in an area your dog can’t access. If your pet continues to consume unacceptable items, it might be a symptom of a condition known as pica. To learn more about pica and other eating disorders in dogs, read our related article here.

Nutritional Enhancement

Sometimes, dogs may be driven to consume non-food items out of a quest for additional nutrients not provided by their current diet. Include high-quality, protein-rich food sources in their diet. When you shop at a pet store, ask for assistance in selecting high-protein foods, preferably where the chief ingredient is a proper meat such as deboned chicken. Avoid dog foods where the main ingredient is a corn or chicken byproduct as these are subpar nutrition sources.

Transitioning your dog to a new diet should be a gradual process. Start by mixing the new food with the old one, gradually increasing the proportion of the new food over a week or so. This should help your dog adapt without digestive upset. For more insights into what foods to avoid when feeding your dog, check out our article on the 10 Worst Foods For Your Dog.

Monitoring Unusual Eating Habits

Even after taking precautions and improving your pet’s diet, keep a watchful eye on your dog’s eating habits. Continual consumption of non-edible items might indicate an underlying health problem such as a digestive issue or malnutrition. Speak to your vet if your dog’s bizarre eating habits persist. Additionally, have a read through this article on Why Does My Dog Eat Cat Poo? to understand some of the strange dietary choices your dog might make.

Lastly, remember each dog is different, and a what works for one might not necessarily work for another. Regular vet visits are key to your pet’s health. Your vet is your most reliable source of advice particularly tailored to your dog’s needs.

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