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Video: Perverted Appetite In Adult Dogs
Perverted appetite - Eating non-food items such as candy wrappers, toilet paper, socks, and a wide variety of other items is a fairly common problem. This behavior is not only unpleasant to observe, it is not hygienic and poses a serious health hazard. And in order to more successfully deal with this problem, let's briefly consider the possible causes.
Medical. Medical reasons that cause a perverse appetite include improper feeding, some infectious diseases (for example, rabies), protozoal and helminthic diseases, diseases of the stomach and intestines. Medical problems should be ruled out by the veterinarian, But besides physiological or pathological, there are several ethological behavioral reasons.
To attract attention. With age, the dog begins to understand that by grabbing an object or an inedible dangerous object, it will attract the owner's attention. The attention of the owner always plays the role of positive reinforcement, even if this attention, from the point of view of the owner, is negative.
For example, when the owner scolds the dog, or even when he spanks, his effects often do not reach the dog's pain sensitivity threshold, and she does not perceive these effects as negative for herself.
Boredom, or lack of physical activity, is often the main cause of a dog's attention to inedible items. On the one hand, chewing is some kind of motor load, and on the other hand, it is a way to obtain new information.
Childhood habits. Perverted appetite is also just a habit. Puppies that are often left unattended and who have played a lot with a variety of inedible objects and gnawed at them can retain this behavior as a habit for a long time.
Randomness. The dog's mouth is the organ by which it learns, carries and eats. Sometimes these functions are so closely related to each other that the dog swallows what initially only wanted to explore.
Correction of perverted appetite. Sometimes, to prevent unwanted behavior, it is enough to simply increase the duration of the walks, play more and more actively with the dog. The increased activity will help to expend the energy that the dog spends in searching for and gnawing foreign objects, and the increased fatigue will cause him to rest longer and be calm.
Try reorienting the dog to the “right” objects (dog toys, natural bones, bones made from bone chips, tendons, or skin). It's not difficult at all - you need to get the right items and play them more with the dog. But rest assured that the dog will not swallow the artificial material toy.
If the dog takes objects in its mouth just to get your attention, ignore it. Any reaction, including a pleasant pursuit or vigorous swearing, will be perceived by the dog as positive reinforcement. The best way out of this situation is your anticipatory close attention to the dog - you must draw the dog's attention to yourself before it tries to grab a dangerous object, For example, call the dog and run away from it, invite it to play, give it some command, and then reward with food or play. Don't leave your dog unattended.
In order to prevent eating of objects:
- arrange a clean-up and remove dangerous objects in your apartment, on the territory of the site or in a place where you usually walk with your dog;
- lay out "booby traps" (objects with a surprise, for example, mouse traps), tie a string to a "dangerous" object, use aerosols with a deterrent smell or ultrasonic generators and use them at the moment when the dog reaches for the object;
- make the dog feel full - feed him more often, but in smaller portions, add plant fiber (for example, bran) to the food to increase the feeling of a full stomach.
Tips for those whose dog is not yet an adult: do not teach the puppy to play with dangerous objects, watch him closely on walks and distract his attention from unwanted objects in time, walk the puppy until he is tired, and this will help you avoid problems with the perverted in the future appetite.
Authorized translation from English by Vladimir Gritsenko