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I would appreciate any advice or guidance...

We have a 1-year old Beagle mix that we rescued in August. So, we've had him about 8 months and the rock eating just started. He attends daycare daily, which is where he's been picking them up (and pooping them out). Does anyone know the sudden interest in them?

He gets a ton of exercise (hence daycare) eats and drinks normally, there hasn't been any change to his diet. The facility is covered in the pebbles, so I know that's where they're coming from. I'd hate to have him stop going. He's super social and loves all his buddies, but I don't want this turning into a bigger/worse issue.

Help!
 

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This is called pica and can be caused by a nutritional deficiency or a psychological issue. It could also be a medical issue, like IBD, or endocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), parasites, and other endocrine problems like diabetes, Cushings for example. I would suggest you take him to the vet to rule out a medical explanation. If there is nothing physically wrong, then it is behavioral.
 

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I doubt it's pica, if it was he'd be eating everything he could find. I work at a doggy daycare and honestly half the dogs eat pea stones and there's not stopping them. Most of the time we can't have toys in the group so a lot of dogs pick up stones and end up swallowing them if they're bored. As long as he's still acting himself and passing normal stool I wouldn't worry about blockage. If you're really concerned you could ask that he only be kept inside and taken out to go potty, which is what we do for the owners that get really mad if they find a stone in their dogs poop.
 

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I doubt it's pica, if it was he'd be eating everything he could find. I work at a doggy daycare and honestly half the dogs eat pea stones and there's not stopping them. Most of the time we can't have toys in the group so a lot of dogs pick up stones and end up swallowing them if they're bored. As long as he's still acting himself and passing normal stool I wouldn't worry about blockage. If you're really concerned you could ask that he only be kept inside and taken out to go potty, which is what we do for the owners that get really mad if they find a stone in their dogs poop.
Wrong. That is not the definition of pica - from PetMD:


Pica is a medical issue referring to a dog's craving of a non-food item and the subsequent eating of said item. bolding mine
Ingestion of Feces and Foreign Objects in Dogs | petMD


Pica is not that uncommon so it isn't surprising you would see it in your daycare.
 

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Wrong. That is not the definition of pica - from PetMD:




Ingestion of Feces and Foreign Objects in Dogs | petMD


Pica is not that uncommon so it isn't surprising you would see it in your daycare.
I know what pica is and this doesn't sound like it at all. Not every dog that ingests rocks has pica. If it were pica, it wouldn't just be isolated to daycare. I would say two dogs at my work could be classified as having pica, the rest just picked it up from other dogs that were doing it because, like I said, no toys so they make their own. While it is common, it is also commonly misdiagnosed any time a dog shows interest in rocks.
 
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