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Why Dogs Eat Strange Things

Some dogs really do eat the kid's homework and a lot of other weird stuff.

Sara-Louise Newcomer is a clinical instructor at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. She says the strangest thing she's seen a dog eat is an entire bar of soap. Other oddities dogs munch on include rocks, animal feces, paper, kitchen utensils, and clothing items.

Why would a dog that's fed a healthy diet devour something it shouldn't? Newcomer says young dogs getting new teeth may be looking for something to chew on. Grown dogs could be just plain bored.

"They're looking for some kind of appropriate outlet for play or exploration and come across eating things instead," she says. "You have to keep in mind too, I suppose, that there can be abnormal reasons which would include some kind of anxiety, or distress, or possibly underlying medical conditions as well, but those would probably be the main reasons that they typically do it."

Newcomer says to consult with your veterinarian to rule out anxiety or a medical issue. However if the dog puts its teeth on everything just for the fun of it, there are ways to correct the behavior.

"Teaching appropriate obedience commands and structuring their mindset so that they have more mental stimulation. That can also include appropriate outlets for play like taking them on long walks, and getting them really tired, just making sure their energy is expended," she says. "Or, providing things that they would rather chew on that are going to be appropriate or approved in the person's household."

See what else the dog could be munching on and how to stop the behavior.