Why Do Dogs Eat Everything?

Some dogs eat anything and everything. Even things that you’d never expect!

There are several reasons why dogs eat everything. Sometimes it is perfectly normal dog behavior, while other times, it’s due to serious conditions.

Let’s look at the most common types of non-edible objects dogs eat, why they may eat them, and what you can do to prevent it.


What Are They Eating?

Of course, dogs will eat traditional things like a steak off the table or wait below your feet for forbidden morsels to drop to the floor. But what happens when you yell at your kids for dumping over the garbage only to find out it was actually your dog going through the trash?

Sometimes we will find our dogs eating grass, dirt, rocks, trash, or even their own poop. We know it’s disgusting, but it happens.

beagle chewing grass


This is a common one and not always harmful. Sometimes dogs will eat grass to supplement the fiber in their diet. If the grass isn’t coated in pesticide residue, and the plant itself is not poisonous, eating grass is not something to raise the alarm about. Especially if your dog is otherwise healthy.


Much like how babies put everything in their mouths, teething puppies like to do the same to explore the world around them. When you think of dirt or soil, think about how many different smells and textures there are.

All of these smells are appealing to puppies. Eating dirt is also a way for puppies to learn more about their environment.


This one is a big no-no. Not only can eating rocks break your dog’s teeth, but it warrants taking your dog to the vet. Rocks can become lodged inside their intestines and be difficult to pass. This would be a medical emergency.

An excellent solution for pups obsessed with chewing rocks is ensuring they have ample chew toys. It helps satisfy that chewing urge that most dogs have, and they may just leave your rocks alone.


Gross. We know. But it’s definitely a thing that pet owners commonly encounter. Dogs will eat their own poop for various reasons, and most times, it is not harmful.

Problems occur if they begin to eat other dogs’ poop because it can harbor harmful bacteria and parasites that your dog’s gut is not accustomed to.

So why do dogs chow down on poop? Sometimes it’s just because they’re dogs, and it’s a new smell. Other times it could indicate something a little more serious, like malnutrition issues or parasites. Either way, if you notice your pooch eating poop, call your vet for further clarification.


Why Do Dogs Eat Everything?

Dogs are not able to verbalize like a human can. For example, if a toddler is hungry, they can either sign, speak, or cry to let an adult know they need something. For a dog, it’s a bit different.

If a dog is acting out by destroying pillows, you might assume he’s bored or needs more basic training. If Fido is urinating on the floor, you might take him to the vet to check for a UTI.

Like the conditions above, eating abnormal things could indicate an underlying condition. Read on to discover why your dog may be choosing something other than their healthy Rick’s Dog Deli food.

yellow lab holding empty food dish in mouth

They Are Hungry

If you notice your puppy eating things out of the norm, ensure you are giving them enough for their age and weight. In fact, puppies are growing so fast that they actually need more food than an adult dog.

The same goes for adult and senior dogs. Each stage of life (depending on the size of your dog) has its own needs. Check out our chart for a handy guide on how much Fido should eat.

They Are Bored Or Curious

Dogs—no matter their breed—need exercise and attention. A dog that is alone all the time is not going to be stimulated enough. (They are pack animals and need socialization, after all.)

Make sure your pup gets quality family time, sunshine, walks, and attention every day. It doesn’t have to be hours of your time, but just being around you or your family will suffice.

More and more locations are offering dog-friendly options. If you want to go out to dinner, check to see if the place is dog friendly. You might be surprised how much dogs love to spend time going out on adventures with their pet parents.

It’s In Their Genes

While any dog may eat some weird stuff from time to time, some dog breeds are more likely to eat strange things than others.

Dogs with high energy (like Australian Shepherds and Jack Russell Terriers) are more prone to weird eating habits because they have a lot of pent-up energy. These dogs (among many others) need a lot of exercise to focus their energy on other things.

Puppies from large litters also have a predisposition for eating strange things because they always had to fight their siblings for food.

They Have A Medical Condition

Of course, there are some instances where your dog is not just bored or curious, and they actually have a medical condition called pica.

Pica is a term that is not unique to dogs. It causes things that are not food to look appetizing. Pica can occur in many mammals (including humans).

dog chewing on white slipper

This medical condition can be due to behavioral or health issues, and there are a few ways to help your pup through it. Depending on what your vet uncovers, you may be able to supplement their nutrition to curb the pica. Or you can make environmental changes around your home, so your dog is not tempted. For example, if your dog likes to eat socks, get a dog-proof hamper to keep them in.


Make Sure To Provide A High-Quality Diet

Regardless of why your dog eats everything, you should be providing the best diet possible for your dog. At Rick’s Dog Deli, we make your choices easy. We have guides for sizes, ages, and breeds.

If your dog seems to be eating things out of the norm and you’ve spoken to your vet, we are more than happy to accommodate any special requests for dietary needs and supplements. We make delicious and healthy food that your dog will love to eat.

Give us a call today to discuss your pet’s needs.