3 Reasons your Puppy Eats Everything! (and how to stop it)

My Puppy Eats Everything

Our puppy just turned 11 weeks old. And he is chewing everything. Nothing is safe. Puppies chew everything! Our puppy eats everything in the yard, eats everything in the house, and tries to eat everything on our walks.

Right now his latest fascination for chewing is the seat lever on my office chair. I even put habanero oil on it. He didn’t care.

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Give your puppy appropriate items to chew on.

Puppies love to explore the world by using their mouth. That is the reason you will always find them chewing or mouthing and even swallowing objects no matter if they are edible or not.

Most of the time, this habit may harm them because they may consume something poisonous. Many moons ago, one of the veterinarians I worked for had a saying. He’d tell dog owners, “The only way to make sure they won’t eat something is to deny them access.”

And that’s really it. You have to puppy-proof your home and make sure that the puppy cannot gain access to anything you do not want them to eat.

Even if a puppy eats a stick like this and gets sick, they will not learn from it.

Can dogs have pica?

If your dog is consuming non-edible objects repeatedly, it can mean that he has pica. This condition is different from eating things by mistake.

The term refers to the stage in which your puppy gets a craving to eat rocks along with some mouth full of dirt or sand.

In this case, you should get an appointment with a veterinarian to see if pica is being driven by health issues.

And of course we don't want our dogs eating our holiday pie!

Reasons that Puppies Eat Everything

The main reason is that they are learning and exploring. They truly don’t know any better.

It’s also important to remember that dogs cannot learn long-term cause and effect. As in, if we go to a restaurant, and 8 hours later we develop nausea and diarrhea, we likely will not return to that restaurant.

Puppies are unable to make that connection. Even if their ‘dietary transgressions’ require surgery, they will not learn from it.

Here are some other reasons that your dog or puppy is eating everything they see.

  • Vitamin deficiency in dogs: Puppies usually eat grass because they are suffering from a deficiency of some essential vitamins and minerals. Make sure their diets are providing enough nutrients.
  • Hidden things in the grass: There is a possibility that your dog is not eating dirt or grass. But maybe it is eating the leftovers of meals. Moreover, your puppy wants to chew rocks because it seems attractive.
  • Lack of attention or boredom: Sometimes puppies and dogs eat everything they see because they feel bored, are feeling anxious, or have separation anxiety. 

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When do puppies stop eating everything?

Most of the time your puppy will stop eating everything as it matures. Some breeds may take more time to stop this habit. 

Your puppy’s behavior to stop eating everything also depends on training. You need to train your dog not to eat certain things for their safety. 

It is highly recommended to keep teaching the basic commands so your puppy grows into a well-mannered puppy.

Will my puppy grow out of eating everything?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

Many puppies outgrow this behavior, but many do not.

Dogs work on ‘primal’ rewards. Chewing that item or eating that item brings them a reward. Whether it’s taste, texture, or alleviating boredom or anxiety, chewing that item fulfills a need for them.

In addition to denying your puppy access to items you do not want to be chewed, you must help them fulfill that need elsewhere.

That can be low-calorie treats, chew toys, regular exercise, attention, and mental stimulation.

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How do I get my puppy to stop eating everything?

If your puppy’s favorite menu contains just anything that comes into his mouth, then it is a problem that may bother you as a dog parent.

None of us like the half-eaten sneakers, socks, and furniture all over the house.

The main thing you can do is deny them access. Make sure that their environment is well controlled if they are unsupervised. That means no shoes, kids’ toys, or other items out on the floor.

You can teach your puppy not to eat everything. 

  • Going for the walks method: As the name implies, you keep your puppy entertained by taking it for walks so it does not get boring and eat things in the house.
  • Train your puppy outside: Maybe your puppy is eating everything because he is just getting bored.
  • Teach your dog tricks: Puppies love learning new tricks. Spend some time with your puppy to teach it new tricks so its mind is stimulated. 
  • Keep changing routes: Changing the routes will be helping for your dog to smell something new regularly so he will not crave something specific.
  • Spend quality time with your puppy: Spend time playing with your puppy, walking them, and teaching them new commands. Not only will this help create a bond with your puppy but it will also keep your dog from being bored and destroying your home. 
  • “Leave it”: For this method, you will train your puppy inside the house. Begin by placing an item in front of your puppy. The next step is to teach your puppy to leave the item. Offer them a reward for not investigating that item. You can work with a qualified dog trainer for more commands on training your puppy.

Puppies are so soft, cute, and snuggly. But they have to be watched closely. We don’t want our new best friends to get sick or even require surgery.

Remember during all the frustrating times to enjoy your puppy. Because puppyhood ends so quickly!

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