Why Does My German shepherd Eat Dirt?

Why Does My German Shepherd Eat Dirt?

Not once or twice that you have caught your German shepherd eat dirt, right? And probably you shrugged it off, thinking it’s normal.

However, did you know consuming dirt can have a host of health issues for your German shepherd? Your German shepherd risks consuming pesticides or other chemicals spilled on the ground, and you know the risks that come with such.

So, what can drive your German shepherd to consume nonfood items? Have you tried digging more about this behavior or discussed it with your veterinarian?

In this article, we will try to find the reasons that can cause your German shepherd to consume dirt and if there is any solution.

Why Is My Dog Eating Dirt? Possible Explanations

There are various reasons your German shepherd is eating dirt and other gross things. Here are some of the key reasons.

Nutritional Deficiency

Diet is a crucial aspect for your dog. For big-boned dogs like the GSD, they need 1200-1700 calories daily. Give them less of what they need, and they will try to look at how they can get more calories. With that, any dietary deficiency will drive your German shepherd to start eating dirt.


You should never let your German shepherd become bored. If bored, your German shepherd will look for ways to keep itself occupied. And one of the ways is eating non-food items to keep itself busy.

Compulsive Disorder

Like us human beings, German shepherds can have a compulsive disorder. So with that, your German shepherd may have an obsessive-compulsive disorder of eating soil or other nonfood items instead of the food it’s offered.

An Upset Stomach

If your German shepherd only eats dirt once in a while, it could probably be trying to sort something with its tummy. Like in the wild, dogs will eat soil or abrasive nonfood items to clean their intestines or when they have some stomach discomfort.

Dirt Smells like Food

Your dog may eat dirt if the soil around has some food on it or something yummy is buried underneath. With that, such should never worry you, as it’s more of an instinctive inherited trait found in the canine family.

Should I Be Worried If My Dog Eats Dirt?

If your dog doesn’t stop eating anything other than the dirt, you need to become worried. So what are the risks involved with eating dirt?

Parasite Ingestion

Hookworms and tapeworms can hide under the dirt waiting for a host. And your German shepherd will be a perfect host if it accidentally consumes these parasites.

Dirt May Contain Pesticides and Fertilizer

It’s fatal if your German shepherd consumes dirt that has traces of chemicals, like pesticides or fertilizer.

May Cause Intestinal Blockage

Dirt may contain stones that will lodge in your dog’s intestines, thus causing a blockage.

Your Dog Will Hurt Its Mouth

Dirt has plenty of sticks that can hurt your dog’s gums

How to Stop a German shepherd From Eating Dirt

A Proper Diet

As earlier discussed, a mineral deficiency will drive your dog to look for ways to supplement its diet. And one of the ways is eating dirt.

However, if you feed your dog as per its age, size, and energy levels, rarely will you find it eat dirt.


A bored dog will eat dirt to keep itself occupied. You can stop that by ensuring your German shepherd gets enough exercise sessions daily.

Physical activities like jogging, running, or swimming will help your GSD clear up any pent-up energy that may bring that drive of consuming dirt.

Distraction Will Work Well

Teething Puppy German shepherds will tend to eat dirt to soothe their itchy gums. So if your note this is what causing your puppy German shepherd to eat dirt, you can look for distractions that will drive your pup away from this habit of eating dirt.

Clear Of Any Dirt

If there is no access to dirt, then your German shepherd won’t find anything to eat. If your yard is full of dirt, you need to clear it. Such a measure will reduce the risk that comes with consuming lots of dirt.

Visit a Veterinary

Have you tried everything, but the more you try to stop your German shepherd from eating dirt, the more the behavior progresses? Then visit a qualified veterinary for further diagnosis and checkup.

Why Does My German shepherd Eat Dirt?

German shepherds eat dirt for a host of reasons, as outlined earlier in this article. The earlier you realize the behavior, the easier it will be to clear it off your dog. Follow all the guidelines which we have listed above, and this behavior will come to an end.

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