HomeBehavior & trainingDo Dogs Outgrow Pica?

Do Dogs Outgrow Pica?

by Adopt a Pet, | February 7, 2024

Do Dogs Outgrow Pica?

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Some dogs outgrow pica while others will need treatment of the underlying medical or behavioral condition that is causing the pica. It’s not something that should be ignored as it can cause serious health issues for your pet. In some cases, it can be stopped as simply as providing lots of chew toys for your dog. In more severe cases, professional intervention may be required.

What Is Pica? 

Pica is eating objects that are not edible. This could include dirt, paper, cloth, rocks, feces, and many other objects. It’s easy to see the dangers of the condition, and many dogs require surgery after ingesting rocks or need other medical treatment after eating something toxic.   

While a puppy with pica may outgrow the condition, adult dogs usually will not. Causes of pica include:

  • Stress or anxiety

  • Boredom

  • Depression

  • Lack of socialization

  • Malnutrition 

It can also be triggered by one of a long list of medical conditions such as:

  • Diabetes

  • Iron deficiency

  • Parasites

  • Anemia 

If the behavior started suddenly, schedule an appointment with your vet to rule out a medical cause. If there is no medical condition that’s to blame, you can try to treat pica yourself or work with a behavioral therapist.

If you think your dog may be bored or lack stimulation, try spending more time walking and playing with your pet. If that was the cause, you may see an improvement pretty quickly. Generally speaking, working with a qualified trainer or behaviorist is the best course of action to get lasting results.

While you’re working on stopping the behavior, you’ll have to keep a close eye on your dog in order to stop him from eating something that could harm him.           

Pica is a potentially dangerous condition that needs to be dealt with in order to keep your pet safe and healthy. The good news is that, with proper treatment, most dogs can be cured of the behavior. 

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