It can be quite worrisome for dog owners when their furry friend will eat just about anything in sight. Not only will dogs eat things that are just flat-out gross, but they can also ingest objects or substances that can severely impact their health. In this blog post, our Austin vets share some reasons why your dog may eat everything around them, and how you can put an end to it.

My Dog Eats Everything!

If you find your dog eating everything and anything, you're not alone. Plenty of dog owners have this issue, resulting in them contacting our animal hospital to say "My dog eats everything off the ground"

Your dog's behavior may make you think your dog is a bit of a troublemaker, but the reality is that this is just their natural scavenging instinct. This will typically happen with puppies, as they explore new environments and objects that they tend to nibble on.

Common Things Dogs Will Eat

When it comes to dogs, they might feel a strong urge to munch on things like rocks, garbage, and dirt. They will basically attempt to eat anything smelly or bite-sized that they find whether you are at home or out on a walk. This habit isn’t just annoying and unpleasant, it can be dangerous and needs to be stopped right away.

Below, our Austin vets share the most common things dog owners find there canine companions getting into:


Puppies often eat dirt, and the exact reason is unknown. It may be because there are plenty of interesting smells to find when digging around, but regardless of the reason, they don't seem to mind the taste.

Eating dirt can be a way for puppies to learn about their surroundings. If your puppy eats dirt every once in a while, your shouldn't have anything to worry about. However, if they consume excessive amounts of dirt, it can lead to gastrointestinal problems and you may find yourself taking your pup in for emergency care.

If your furry friend seems to have a dirt-eating problem, take them to the vet is an ideal move. They can help you determine why your puppy is doing this, ensure they are in good health, and suggest ways to stop it.


If your dog is healthy, you probably don't need to worry if your dog eats some grass every now and then. It's safe for them to do so as long as the grass isn't covered in chemicals.

Dogs will eat grass for a variety of reasons. They simply may be bored, find it enjoyable, or are looking for more fiber in their diet. If you notice your dog eating a lot of grass, talk to your vet about reducing this behavior.


It is definitely reasonable for you to feel frustrated and embarassed if your dog has adopted the unpleasant habit of eating poop. You may feel the need to contact your vet saying, "My dog won't stop eating poop!"

This behavior could be due to psychological, behavioral, or genetic factors. Typically, it's considered harmless when dogs eat their own poop, but it becomes a cause for concern when they consume feces from other animals. This can be dangerous, as it can transmit viruses, toxins, and parasites.

One possible explanation for this behavior stems from your dog's natural scavenging instincts, developed as a survival mechanism for when food is scarce. When dogs can't find food easily, they can't afford to be too picky.

Some conditions and other reasons that could result in dogs eating poop include:

  • Cushing's Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Parasites
  • Diets deficient in calories or nutrients
  • Malabsorption syndromes
  • Steroids
  • Thyroid disease
  • Prescribed medications

Other factors include:

  • Anxiety
  • Inappropriate association with real food
  • Isolation
  • Restrictive confinement
  • Attention seeking
  • Boredom

Putting an End to Your Dog's Unusual Eating Habits

Regardless of what random thing your pup keeps eating, you can do a few things to curb the habit.

  • Frequently sweep your yard of any rocks, poops, or other items that they shouldn't be getting into. If it isn't there, they can't eat it.
  • Teach your dog the 'drop it' and 'leave it' command. These are crucial commands for any dog and can help keep your pup out of trouble.
  • Increase your pup's exercise and enrichment throughout the day. Busy, tired dogs are less likely to nibble on things they shouldn't.
  • Routinely bring your dog in for an examination. This allows your vet to look for signs of illness or to discuss solutions to behavioral issues.

During a physical exam, your vet can thoroughly check for any signs of sickness and offer helpful tips on how to stop your dog's need to eat everything.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you getting tired of your dog eating anything and everything that they can get their paws on? Contact our Austin vets to have your pup examined. We would be happy to help put an end to your dog's unusual eating habits.