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Lisa
Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 13544
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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Why does my dog keep eating fabric She is eating blankets,

Resolved Question:

Why does my dog keep eating fabric? She is eating blankets, sheets, and pillowcases.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 5 years ago.

HiCustomer

 

In regards XXXXX XXXXX eating/chewing, it sounds to me like she is displaying the telltale signs of a condition known as "pica", which is essentially eating "non-food" items. Oddly, rocks and fabric are frequently the item of choice for dogs. Pica can be a pretty dangerous obsession to have as your pup is at risk for suffering severe - potentially deadly - intestinal damage. An ingested piece of material may cause a blockage in the digestive tract that often requires surgery to remove. Until you get her to stop eating the fabric, you'll have to keep a close eye on her; if she stops eating or going to the bathroom, vomits, becomes dehydrated or suddenly loses weight, seek medical attention right away.

 

Unfortunately, the exact cause of pica is a bit of a mystery. Specific to fabric chewing, some experts in the field suspected that it stemmed from a mineral deficiency in the dog's diet; however, that explanation has never been proven, and some believe that the cause is behavioral and may even signal a doggie obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Luckily, some dogs may respond to training, attention or exercise to curb the habit. Some tricks you might want to try would be:

If the fabric chewing stems from boredom, your dog will benefit by getting plenty of daily exercise and having "fun" and "stimulating" projects to occupy her time.

Consider purchasing a doggie toy that has openings in it to hide peanut butter or small pieces of kibble. Your dog will have to "work" to get the yummy treats out.


If she enjoys the company of other dogs, consider adopting a playmate for her.


When possible, include her in your family "pack." Walk her, talk to her, brush her and allow her to spend quality time with your family. Isolating her will only worsen the problem.


Consider a "diversion tactic" by giving her something more appropriate to chew. Pet product retailers offer a variety of hard-rubber dog toys, such as Kongs that are virtually indestructible. These toys are made specifically for the dog who loves, or needs, to chew.


Unfortunately, many dogs with pica are fixated on a particular object and will chew only that object. And training does not always work. If that's the case, it's up to you to create a safe environment for her by removing the item that your pup is fixated on..

Finally, talk to a professional behaviorist and consult your veterinarian. A behaviorist can assist you with training issues. Your veterinarian should do a complete examination and blood work to rule out a possible underlying medical condition. In severe cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to reduce your pet's anxiety level.

 

I hope this helps!!

Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 13544
Experience: AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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