M. L. asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Older dog eats EVERYTHING (edible or not) that's not nailed down!!!?

I have a 13 year old, spayed female Choc. Lab who's had a life-long obsession with eating anything that's not nailed down or that doesn't eat her first. She's had surgery once for an obstruction caused by a tube sock and been hospitalized recently for 3 days for a partial obstruction from eating dried corn husks that blew into her run. She will steal tissues right out of the box, eat plastic wrappers, swallow all sorts of clothing (without even putting a tooth mark or hole in them), has ingested small batteries and even eaten an alarm clock and a calculator. To keep her from eating stuff, I have to watch her like a hawk in the house and she now goes outside with a muzzle on. Even with that, she's found a way to continue eating inedible things and, as if the other things aren't bad enough, she's suddenly taken to eating large quantities of marble-sized rocks!! She passes 5 or 6 of them with each BM...often passing the half dozen rocks 2-4 times a day!

Over the years, I've tried treating objects with all sorts of bitter, sour and/or spicy sprays, powders and pastes and it only seems to make the objects even MORE enticing to her. I'm at the end of my rope as I'm certain this habit will result, sooner rather than later, in yet another obstruction that she might not pull through at such an advanced age. Is there any hope of breaking my dog's life-long pica habit and how can I do it?

Update:

Thanks for your answer Wonderwoman. I'll have to talk over the meds with my vet because I'm not talking about pea gravel. I'm talking about what's known as "2B" rocks - the size rocks that typically make up a driveway or the "French drain" around the base of homes. They're about as big around as your thumb, maybe 1-1.5" long and very irregularly shaped. In addition to possibly obstructing her, I suppose they might even be able to perforate her bowel, too.

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sounds like a lab. Maybe she has some compulsions, have you ever tried any medications, like xanaz or prozac? These are both used in dogs for anxiety disorders which may be at the root of your dogs behavior. You are right to worry, pea gravel can cause intestinal obstructions.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Only feed what is recommended on the type of food you use - do not allow her to eat the other dogs, the cat's, or your food. She should be fine on what is recommended daily food, typically it's a couple of cups per day. A few cookies here are there, but that's all. Many times the dog is not eating because they are hungry, they are eating to get attention, so show they are alpha/pack leader, or just because it is there. Make sure she has a lot of exercise, long walks/runs, and perhaps obedience training to keep her mind off food and on to something else.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have just describe my dog Quilo PERFECTLY! (when he was a puppy and middle aged dog) - he and his brother between them made a hole they could fit through through our living room to stair WALL (will admit the wall was thin - but it WASN'T plaster board or similar, it WAS solid!) and destroyed our sofa (I'm sure we had more cushions, legs and arms to that chair) it was a THREE SEATER SOFA with mostly wooden frame - it was unusable after that.

    He still eats our clothes and a few of my toys / pieces of coursework (miss the dog ate my homework!) but ever since I got annoyed and covered one of my teddy's in salt, left it in the middle of the room and waited for him to eat it his 'swallow things I shouldn't' attitude has decreased dramatically. The result of the salt (a WHOLE packet was a VERY sick dog for a few days literally and metafolcly) :)

    Source(s): personal experience
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