Skip to content
Previous article
Now Reading:
Why dogs eat dirt
Next article

Why dogs eat dirt

Unearthing the truth behind your dog's dirt eating.  
A comprehensive 6-step guide with
natural, drug-free solutions. 



As a dedicated pet parent, seeing your dog eating dirt from your yard or digging up and licking dirt in the forest can be perplexing. It's natural to wonder why your dog is eating dirt.

In some cases, this might just be healthy, and harmless behavior because dogs are much more intuitive when it comes to what their body needs. However, in some cases, soil eating could also signal an underlying issue. 

Understanding how to identify a problem from normal behaviour is essential to ensuring your dog's optimal health. Here, are 6 simple steps to help you determine what is going on with your dirt-eating dog.

Step 1 - Check for Missing Minerals and Toxins

Some dogs instinctively eat dirt to compensate for missing minerals or to neutralize toxins in their bodies. Unfortunately, due to intensive agriculture, soil depletion, and the variable quality of commercial pet food, mineral deficiencies, and toxicity are more common than one might think. 

HairQ testing, or Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA), can help shed light on potential deficiencies. In addition, we can gain insights into their nutritional history by assessing the mineral content in your dog's hair.

Step 2 - Detox the System, Provide Minerals

While awaiting the hair test results, consider starting your dog on an herbal liver detox and a plant-based mineral supplement. If the dirt-eating stops, toxicity and mineral deficiency are likely the root causes. However, if the habit persists, there's more to explore.

Step 3 - Rule out Indigestion

Dirt eating might also indicate indigestion. Commercially processed dog food is often far from what nature intended, and its nutritional value can also degrade over time. Switching your dog to a natural  raw or cooked diet might alleviate indigestion and curb the dirt-eating habit. Here is a FREE video course on how to feed a raw or cooked diet and a handy Recipe Maker tool to help you easily create healthy balanced meals for your pup.

In the spring of 2023, I met Bobi, the oldest dog in the world, confirmed to be 31 years old by the Guinness Book of Records. He has only been given wholesome, non-processed food.

 Bobi the world's oldest dog

Step 4 - Correct Vitamin Deficiencies.

Low levels of B complex, and Vitamin B12, could also be behind your dog's dirt-eating. Fermented vitamins are the best way to correct such deficiencies. Learn more about Certified Organic Vitamins for Dogs.

Step 5 - Add High Potency Probiotics 

Your dog might instinctively consume soil to supplement a deficiency in their gut microbiome. Soil is a rich source of diverse microbes that can support digestion, immune function, and mood. 

You can help balance your dog’s microbiome and promote a healthier gut by adding fermented probiotics to their routine. 

Step 6 - If your dog's dirt-eating habit continues 

If eating dirt continues despite implementing the above-mentioned steps then it's wise to have more comprehensive blood work done along with further evaluation. This can help identify any underlying conditions such as hypothyroidism, pancreatitis, Addison's disease, Cushing's disease, and other health conditions. 

Excessive and frequent dirt eating in dogs may also be a sign of boredom and obsessive behaviour. Ensure your dog has plenty of mental and physical stimulation and that you offer them the right raw bones to chew on. 

Dogs need regular walks, ideally at least twice daily, playtime, and social interactions with other dogs.

To summarize, the frequency and volume of dirt eating behaviour is essential to determining whether or not it is abnormal. It’s okay if your dog occasionally tastes a bit of soil, especially from a healthy garden or forest. However, if they're eating dirt regularly or in large amounts, it might indicate a problem, and contacting your veterinarian is a wise choice.

Here's everything you’ll need:

The HairQ Test

About the author

Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

Most Popular

  • Flying with dogs
    In my article, I share the personal story of how I'm able to fly with my dog, Pax, thanks to overcoming challenges with sleepwalking and night terrors. This unique experience not only allowed me to travel with my service dog but also serves as a reminder that even difficult situations can have positive outcomes.
  • dog and pony
    Successful communication is essential for building healthier and more fulfilling relationships and happier lives. In this article, I'll share with you 8 communication hacks to help you avoid unnecessary drama, prioritize active listening and address conflicts effectively.
  • Dalmatian eating fruit
    Can dogs eat bananas, apples, strawberries and other fruit? What about grapes? Find out what fruits are safe, toxic, and healthy for dogs. Learn about the potential health benefits and risks of feeding fruit to your canine companion, and get tips on the ideal time to feed it.
  • Illustration of the anatomy of a heart
    As dog lovers, we all want our beloved pups to live long and healthy lives. Protecting your dog's heart from potential health issues is important, and in this blog Dr. Dobias shares some key points that you might not yet be aware of, read on to find out what you can do to keep your dog's heart safe. 

Dog Health

  • Husky lying on blanket with heart toy
    Dogs have our hearts and that is why we need to protect their heart. Dog’s as they age often face muscle problems and spinal misalignment and you might be surprised to know how that can hurt their heart. Learn how to protect your dog’s spine and by extension their heart.
  • The secret ingredient for a perfect No. 2
    Dogs and humans have evolved side-by-side but they are still quite different when it comes to their digestive tracts and dietary habits. We have studied their original environments such as the soils of the African savanna and consulted with top experts in the field of probiotics and microbiology to come up with a combination that reflects healthy bacterial flora of canines.
  • Man being pointed at
    Criticism can hurt a brand, but constructive feedback can help it grow. In this blog Dr. Dobias talks about the differences between these approaches, and how to handle the power of influence and opinion with care. 
  • Broccoli with vitamins and minerals
    Are you worried that your and your dog's diet is missing something? Maybe you're worried about toxin levels in food, the environment, or flea and tick products. Let's face it; we can't remove ourselves entirely from our toxin-filled world, but we can do things to reduce our exposure to harmful substances. 

Human health

  • Dr. Dobias with Pax
    How do you navigate the seas of life? How do you deal with disappointment? Whatever life throws at us, we can always rely on our dogs to bring joy into our days. In this blog I share my thoughts on the support our dogs provide during the difficult moments in life. 
  • 5 step guide to easy, painless, and blood-free nail care
    Have you ever wondered how the length of your dog’s nails are related to his or her health? If you are like most people, this question might not have crossed your mind until now. Here are 5 steps to proper and safe nail trimming.
  • Dr. Dobias and Pax
    It appears that most of the world is ready for change, but whenever I think about the solutions to any of the problems that plague our world, I can’t prevent myself from thinking that we humans are acting like little toddlers who have broken a toy and do not know how to fix it. Despite my generally optimistic attitude, I have had a hard time staying positive at times because I know how complex this all is. Read here for some tools that make me feel good about the world, which I would like to share with you.

News, stories and good life

  • Dr. Peter Dobias with his dog Pax on his lap
    Do you have trouble staying positive during difficult times? These days we are surrounded by a lot of negative messaging, and it's easy to let that get you down. Here are some of my tips for remaining positive, and don't forget to share your tips with me!
  • Man raising fist on a mountain
    Most of us have been exposed to panic-inducing information about the virus spread, however, I have noticed the general absence of one piece of information, how to make your immune system stronger and body more resilient. (It will definitely not happen by stockpiling toilet paper!) I have always loved immunology and the current situation has prompted me to put together two simple lists on how to increase your dog’s and your own immunity.
  • Man with dog wearing a collar
    Does your dog have ear problems, nasal or oral tumors, reverse sneezing or an  itchy head or hair loss on their head? Learn how you can address some of these problems and save thousands in vet care costs.
  • Terrier eating raw food
    Now there is no need to guess if there is something missing in your dogs diet.  The HairQ Test is a highly accurate test for mineral deficiencies, toxins and heavy metals in dogs to finely tune your dog’s diet and supplement schedule.

By clicking "Continue" or continuing to use our site, you acknowledge that you accept our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. We also use cookies to provide you with the best possible experience on our website. You can find out more about the cookies we use and learn how to manage them here. Feel free to check out our policies anytime for more information.




Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping