Why does Great Dane eat unnecessary things?

Eating of unedible things, like toilet paper, candy wrappers, socks and many other objects is very popular problem, faced by many Great Danes' owners. This behaviour isn’t only unhygienic, but also very dangerous for the dog’s health. And to prevent your Great Dane from doing it, let’s determine why he may do it.

Medical reasons
To these reasons belong incorrect feeding, some infectious diseases (for example, rabies), worms, diseases of stomach and bowels. Please, visit the vet with your dog to eliminate these reasons. However, there are also some behavioral reasons.

To attract attention
The dog understands, that when he snaps at some unedible or dangerous object, it attracts his owner’s attention. Owner’s attention, even if it’s negative, plays very important role in the dog’s life. For example, when the owner scolds the dog, or even spanks him, the dog never feels much pain and doesn’t interpret these actions as negative.

Boredom or lack of physical activity are often the main reasons why Great Dane eats unnecessary things. On the one hand, chewing is a kind of physical activity. On the other hand, it’s a way to get new information about environment.

Puppy's habits
Eating unnecessary objects may be one of dog’s puppy's habits. Puppies, that are often left without attention, may play and gnaw at different things for a long time and they may keep this habit for many years.

Dog use his mouth to study, carry and eat. Sometimes, these functions are closely related to each other and Great Dane may accidentally swallow the thing, that was meant to be studied first.

What should be done to make Great Dane stop eating unnecessary things?
Sometimes long walks and more physical activities with your dog are enough to prevent him from eating unnecessary things. Your Great Dane will be tired after the walk and won’t seek for things to chew. It may also be necessary to buy dog toys for your Dane. You will be able to redirect dog’s attention to “right” objects, that aren’t dangerous.  But, be sure that the dog won’t be able to swallow the toy!
If your dog eats objects only to attract your attention, ignore this behaviour. Any reaction, like chase or scream, will be considered as encouragement. The best way out is to pay enough attention to your dog.

In order to prevent eating of unnecessary objects you may do the following:

  1. get rid of dangerous objects in your house and yard
  2. use special sprays with unpleasant smell, when the dog reaches for the object
  3. feed your Great Dane more often, but give to him small portions, to make a sense of satiety in his stomach

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