Huskies love playing outside and digging the ground.
But this is completely normal.
What’s not normal is when your Husky starts to eat dirt.
Are you worried about it?
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Why your Husky eats dirt.
- What happens when it does that.
- What to do after your Husky ate dirt.
- How to stop and prevent this behavior in your Husky.
- And so much more…
Table of contents
- Why does my Husky eat dirt?
- 7 reasons why your Husky eats dirt
- 3 tips to stop your Husky from eating dirt
Why does my Husky eat dirt?
Your Husky may eat dirt if it’s bored, stressed, or they inherited the trait. Your dog may also smell food in the ground or likes the taste of soil. If your dog always eats dirt, it might be because of serious cases such as anemia, or due to their quality of nutrition.
7 reasons why your Husky eats dirt
#1: Your Husky is bored
Bear in mind that Huskies are very active. They get bored easily when they lack physical and mental stimulation. For example enough walks and games.
Huskies are not made to sit around at home. They’re not categorized as working dogs for no reason.
Huskies are not only physically strong. They are smart and they can take care of themselves too.
In Stanley Coren’s book, the Siberian Husky ranked 45 of the most intelligent dog breed. You can say the same to other Husky-type dogs because they share the same genes.
The combo of strength and smartness means that you must stimulate your Husky more. They need at least an hour of exercise per day.
If a Husky feels bored, it can have destructive behavior like chewing on random things or even eating soil.
Your Husky will continue eating dirt if this is the only activity that kills its boredom. So you better correct the behavior before it becomes a habit.
#2: Your Husky is stressed
Dogs get stressed too. Your Husky might eat dirt if it has high-stress levels or if something triggers their stress.
They might stop later. Just let them relax for a bit and they will stop this behavior after a while.
There are signs that a dog is stressed besides eating dirt.
- Bad posture.
- Shaking it off.
Reading tip: Why Does My Husky Yawn So Much? 9 Reasons + 5 Tips
Shaking it off
Your Husky de-stresses by walking on a repeated path. Rolling on grass and even literally shaking their body can also be a Husky’s way of decreasing stress.
Most people think dogs do it when they are sleepy and bored. But, yawning can also be a sign of a stressed Husky.
But how can you be sure which yawn it is?
Stress yawns are longer and more repeated than sleepy yawns. Boredom can also cause stress to Huskies.
You should also observe your Husky’s posture. If a dog with normal bones cowers or tuck their tails, they might also be stressed.
Dogs pant when they feel hot, excited, or stressed. If your Husky didn’t exercise but repeatedly pants, they might be stressed.
They might develop long-term stress if their lifestyle stays the same.
Note: Do not approach your Husky if you are stressed, as you might pass it to them.
A study shows that dogs can catch stress levels from humans. What’s more, findings show that dogs can mirror their owner’s stress.
This means that if you want to stop your Husky from eating dirt, you might want to change your lifestyle.
#3: Genes and pica
Before their domestication, Huskies lived on their own in the Arctic. It is natural for them to hunt and dig.
You may think that your cute fur ball is sweet, but its ancestors are experts in plowing the cold Arctic snow.
Huskies dug holes in the snow to use them as a den. They curled inside the hole to get themselves warmer and protect themselves from snowstorms.
Pica is another trait they can get genetically.
But they did not get this because they are a Husky. They got it because one of your Husky’s parents might be anxious.
And when a dog is anxious, there is a higher chance that they will develop pica.
Pica is the habit of dogs to eat items that are not food. Most dogs who have this eat grass or dirt.
Bear in mind that pica is different from coprophagy because coprophagy is when a dog its own feces.
Just like digging, dogs developed pica in the wild for survival. If their body needs a nutrient, they will eat anything if there is no food anywhere near.
It is normal for a dog to eat grass or dirt as long as it is not constant. Eating grass once in a while has no effect on a dog besides a green poop if they ate too much.
If they always do this, pica can be a symptom of a medical condition.
Dogs have this habit usually because of:
- Medical problems.
If you move into a new house, your Husky might eat dirt and it’s normal. They eat dirt as a coping mechanism for the stress and anxiety that goes in their head.
When this happens, let your dog relax and tell that everything will be okay. You should also correct the behavior.
If your dog is anxious, you can massage your Husky’s neck and work downward with long strokes. Muscles get tensed when a Husky is anxious and massaging them will help.
Cuddling with your husky can also help them relax. Physical contact can give your Husky reassurance that can stop anxiety.
Avoiding the cause of the trigger can also reduce your Husky’s stress.
You might also like: 7 Reasons Why Your Husky Eats His Fur + 5 Tips To Stop It
If your Husky is still a puppy, it is normal for them to chew on soft things like dirt and mud. Some puppies swallow objects they chew but others don’t.
Medical problems can also cause pica. Dogs who have liver disease and problems in their GI tract might want to eat dirt or grass to ease their condition.
The liver makes nutrients and controls their release on your Husky’s body. If their liver is not fine, your Husky will not get the right vitamins and minerals.
And if their nutritional needs are not met, they find other sources for it such as grass and dirt.
Digestive problems can also affect your Husky’s eating habits. Disorders in the digestive area can reduce the absorption of food or alter its passage through the digestive tract.
Dogs who have a medical condition may eat any non-food item including grass and dirt.
#4: They smell something in the dirt
Huskies can easily detect small pieces of food on the ground. And when they do, they’ll eat the scraps.
In some cases, the food is beneath the dirt. Your Husky can smell even the smallest residue of food on the ground. That is why they eat it.
A dog’s sense of smell is one of its most useful senses. Its moist nose can catch any scent that the wind carries.
A dog’s nose is so powerful that it can smell separately from each nostril.
Your nose might not smell any trace of leftovers on the ground but your dog can. Your dog can even distinguish smells and detect what it is.
This is why they rummage the trash can if they need food and no food is present.
Some foods even leave a stronger smell. That is why your dog eats dirt even if there is no food present.
#5: The soil is yummy
The simplest reason in this list is that your Husky finds the soil tasty.
Soil has a distinct smell, texture, and even taste. If your Husky has no problem but likes to eat dirt, they might just think that it is a tasty snack.
Do you know why other dogs roll in the ground after you give them a bath? It is because they like the smell of soil.
The smell and texture of dirt are already attractive for dogs. The only trigger they need to eat soil is their hunger.
Think of it this way, ‘dirt is sometimes dessert for dogs.’
#6: Your Husky has anemia
Huskies can also be anemic. Your dog might eat soil once it has lost its hemoglobin or red blood cells.
And once your Husky is anemic, they have a decreased iron and Vitamin B absorption. They eat dirt because they crave these nutrients.
And guess what, the soil has iron in it. Soil has a typical 0.2% to 55% iron concentration depending on the soil.
Your Husky might fill its iron deficiency by eating dirt. The irony (no pun intended) is that the same soil can harm your dog.
Warning: Soil can contain toxic chemicals, pesticides, or even parasites. Dirt might also have things your Husky can swallow and choke on.
Worms and flea infestation are the main causes of anemia. You can also blame toxic chemicals, cancer, and autoimmune diseases for this condition.
The symptoms of anemia include:
- Bruising on the skin (from loss of platelets).
- Change in color of gums (whitish or pale pink).
- Dark or “tarry” stools, or dark blood in feces or vomit.
#7: They have poor nutrition
Your Husky may not be getting the nutrients they need. So, they resort to eating dirt to fulfill this gap.
The problem in your Husky’s nutrition can happen only because of two things.
It’s either you are not giving them the right food or there is a parasite that steals the nutrition.
You should know that giving them a chock full of food does not mean that they have the right amount of food. Their food should have all the nutrients they need.
You should not lessen their food intake. They are active dogs which means that they will need more food.
As long as they have physical activity, feeding them more is fine. After all, having an obese Husky is a rare sight.
The amount of food for your Husky depends on its age. Feeding your Husky at least two to three times a day is essential.
If you still have a Husky puppy, they should gain about 2 to 3 lbs. (0.97-1.36 kg.) per week if they have good nutrition.
But what parasite could be stealing your Husky’s nutrition?
One word: Worms.
Warning: Never underestimate worms. Go to the vet if your dog is weak, tired, or not eating.
3 tips to stop your Husky from eating dirt
#1: Have a good exercise routine
Walking your Husky or playing with them in your yard for an hour can go a long way. It can solve two (boredom and stress) reasons on this list.
The best exercise you can do for your dog is walking. Walking is easy and it can stimulate your Husky’s mind if you change your route once in a while.
If you are a fitness nut yourself, you can take them jogging with you. If a Husky can pull a sled, it can keep up with its owner.
Frisbee and swimming are also great exercises that you can do. If your Husky is outgoing and adventurous, you can even hike with your dog.
Exercise is also good for your Husky’s muscle mass.
They might not show cuts like a Pitbull’s muscles, but it does not mean that your Husky isn’t jacked.
When it comes to exercise, it’s not just physical that your dog needs.
#2: Don’t forget mental exercises too
Mental training is also good if you want to prevent your dog from eating dirt. Mental training eliminates stress and behavioral issues.
The saying “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop” applies to your pet as well if they are not mentally trained.
And you don’t want the devil to work in your baby’s mind, do you?
The best way to stimulate your Husky’s mind is by training them commands. Be aware that Huskies can be stubborn sometimes.
Huskies are smart, but not the “smart’ that you are thinking. They will choose when to do your command.
Always remember to be patient with your Husky when training them. Positive reinforcement works for them very well.
If your Husky eats dirt, correcting the behavior is also a mental exercise.
Here are other games you can play with your Husky:
- Agility training.
- Hide and seek.
- “Treat under the cup” game.
#3: Get your Husky the right nutrition
Giving the best nutritious food for your Husky can stop it from eating soil.
You might wonder how, so let me tackle it for you…
If your husky has all the nutrients it needs and they do not have to find it in other ways.
They are less likely to develop anemia also because they have the right iron and vitamins in their body. Unless of course, they have parasites.
And even if your Husky smells the trail of food in the dirt, it won’t eat it. They are too full from the last meal they had that they don’t need to consume dirt at all.
If kibbles won’t cut it, then make the food for your Husky. There are tons of recipes online for your dog and all you have to do is choose one.
Try switching their food once in a while. Dogs do not like tasting the same food over and over again like humans.
The only thing you need to ensure is that all ingredients are filling your dog’s nutritional needs.
You should also buy supplements for your dog. You can mix it with dog food so your dog won’t know and taste the medicine.
It is advisable to buy two supplements. You should buy one for your Husky’s nutrients and another for its coat.
Once your Husky has the right nutrients, the last thing it wants to do is eat some dirt.