You feed your new furry friend proper amounts of nourishing food twice daily, so it’s understandable if you’ve found yourself asking, “Why does my puppy eat things he shouldn’t?” Your puppy should only eat puppy food, fresh fruits and vegetables (check to make sure they’re safe for dogs), and treats or chews designed for his health.

Some Breeds Just Want to Eat Everything

If your puppy is a retriever, setter, or hound, he is more likely to eat non-food items. Common objects for these breeds to eat include rocks, small balls, socks, and occasionally alarming items like car keys.

It’s important that your puppy not eat anything that is too large or sharp to safely pass through their intestinal tract. If your puppy swallows your socks or your keys, for example, it’s time for an emergency vet visit.

Your Puppy is Bored or Lonely

Your puppy is still getting used to spending time alone, and he needs a great deal of training and play time. If he is alone too long for his liking or is missing out on those essential hours of interaction, he’s more likely to gobble up things he really shouldn’t.

The best ways to combat this issue include positive crate or pen training, obedience training, and engaging him in active play until he’s worn out.

Your Puppy Is Enhancing His Diet

If your puppy is nibbling the tender tips off your grass, you have no cause to worry. If he’s gorging himself on large amounts of grass and leaves, compulsively eating his feces, or noshing on dead animals, he is more likely to be signaling that he’s missing key nutrients from his diet.

The best approach in such cases is a vet visit to rule out health issues. If your vet says your puppy is healthy, you’re dealing with a behavioral issue that needs to be corrected through training.

Your Puppy Loves His Toys Too Much

It’s not uncommon for puppies and dogs to tear apart their toys and eat the stuffing or squeakers out of them. Chew toys that can’t stand up to your puppy’s strong jaws will be an issue, too, so make sure his chew toys are made of chew-proof materials.

Your dog’s toys are for playing with, not eating. If you’re training your puppy not to eat his toys, don’t leave his toys in his reach when you are not actively supervising him. Instead, leave him with a chew-proof toy stuffed with healthy treats. This technique will distract him from his loneliness, teach him that something good happens when you leave, and give him something to gnaw on when the urge to chew strikes.

All Dogs Unleashed can teach you a variety of training techniques that will help you correct compulsive eating of non-food items before your puppy does any damage to his health—or too much damage to your wallet!

A single surgery to remove items like socks, large rocks, or squeakers from toys will cost far more than training sessions ever could. At All Dogs Unleashed, we know that a well-trained dog is healthier both physically and mentally. We know this result is precisely what you want for your precious new puppy, and we’re here to help.

Contact us today to schedule your first training session. Your puppy is old enough to take training courses if he was old enough to leave his mother, so there’s no time to waste!