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koalablue

My teenage Pom chews rocks

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Our 7 months’ old Pom loves playing with rocks and chewing them.  She finds them in the garden and I’m worried she’ll damage her beautiful new adult teeth.  If she can’t find one, she’ll rip up some lawn and dig a hole to find one.  If we take even one step towards her, we run the risk that she’ll swallow it.  She’s done this twice but fortunately they were more like large pebbles. We’ve tried distracting her by offering her a dog biscuit or a toy while we’re inside and she’s outside but to no avail.  We only did this 2 or 3 times though because we felt she could view it as being rewarded for what she’s doing.

 

She’s hyper active so we take her for a 1/2 walk twice a day which includes one hill.  She has a sleep after the morning walk but is on the go as soon as she wakes up.  We play with her a lot both inside and outside, especially Go Fetch which is her favourite but she also loves her rope toys. When we play outside she gets over-excited and starts berserking all over the yard. 

 

We’ve only found one thing that stops her chewing rocks, digging holes and digging up the lawn and that’s giving her a bone.  She doesn’t like brisket bones so we tried lamb, which she loves, but she managed to swallow a few pieces of meat that I considered were too large.  I don’t remember what kind of lamb bones they were so maybe I bought the wrong cut.  However, she absolutely loves marrow bones.  Our butcher cuts a marrow bone into 7 pieces which includes the 2 knuckles, so they’re not large bones, and one piece lasts 2 days.

 

I’ve read that dogs should only have bones once or twice a week.  Can I give her a piece of marrow bone every second day, and what other bones would you suggest I try?  I've discussed this issue with our vet and he said she's still very young and hopefully she'll grow out of it.  I'd really appreciate your comments.

 

Meet Ruby. She was 5 months' old in this pic and her coat is much longer now.

21.jpg

Edited by koalablue
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:)What an alert looking girl she is .

marrowbones are almost as hard on teeth as rocks  ;) 

She may enjoy frozen chicken wings /frames ...any bones which are NOT weight-bearing ones are good , as they can be eaten ...don't splinter, and won't break teeth . 
have you tried her with deer antlers? they might provide her with a good chewing experience  for an amount of time .....

What training does she enjoy ? perhaps if she has lots of mental exercise , she will  be a little less likely to seek out  this sort of  entertainment ....It's great you are providing all sorts of things for her , but don't forget her thinking brain ! :)

Teaching dogs to 'chill' is a great way to both get them thinking, and have them settle ...

Here are a few links you and your fluffball teenager may get help from :)

KIKOPUP

K9 pro articles

Calming Games

Enjoy :)

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Years back a friend took her boy in for hip scoring. She had coffee rock mulch in garden beds. The Xrays showed many pebbles in his abdomen.  Not good.  Be sure she's not swallowing them. 

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I also think some mental stimulation could be good for her. You can buy/make a range of treat/kibble releasing puzzles like snuffle mats and kong balls. You can feed one or both kibble based meals in them even and you will be surprised the positive impact of something so simple. Tires their brains by giving them a challenge. Another idea is to take her to doggy training or even to some scent classes. These will tire her physically and mentally.

 

Just had another thought - she is a growing dog. Have you been adjusting her meals as she grows? Is she eating once or twice a day? And have you checked the contents of what you are feeding her? She could be hungry or lacking in a certain nutrient so is seeking it elsewhere. We prefer grain free kibble in this house and you really need to check the ingredients on all kibble - no grains should be the first couple listed. Dogs need meat. We also had a dog that had to be fed twice a day or she got the voms.

Edited by Little Gifts
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Thank you persephone, sandgrubber and Little Gifts for all this info.  I'll try and check out the links and respond to you all tomorrow but I'm dealing with a very serious medical condition with a family member at the moment.  I'm most grateful for all the suggestions.  Everyone is so helpful on this wonderful forum.

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Oh, :( I hope your family member's situation improves very soon.  :flower:

 

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persephohne, I've now read your links.  Ruby has been trained pretty much the same as in the Kikopup video.  This post will be too long if I deal with everything so I'll confine this one to the bones.  Ruby wants to chew anything and everything she can put in her mouth.  She's nearly 8 months and I would have thought she'd be beyond this by now.  Outside she will eat flowers, buds, twigs, sticks and leaves.  Most of the rocks we have are sandstone and the grating noise when she chews them is just awful.  I have to find a replacement that will keep her happy for long periods. It would be fair to say she just loves chewing. 

 

A marrow bone will keep her occupied for hours at a time and once the marrow is gone, she'll carry it around and play with it like a toy, but I didn't know these bones were so hard.  While chicken frames may be completely safe, because the bones are fine, she would chew them up in record time and we need something to keep her busy for long periods.  We gave her a raw chicken wing once and after she separated it into halves, she swallowed each half whole.  My husband said my comment about her not liking brisket bones was wrong.  My husband said he couldn't find any beef briskets and so bought lamb brisket which was cut into pieces that should have been larger.  They were quite meaty and she tore off the meat in pieces we thought were too big. We tried a Kong toy and put some peanut butter in it which she loved, but as soon as she got it out, that was it.  We also a bone shaped Nylabone and she had zero interest in it.  I looked at the deer antlers online and a small one is $13.59 which is a lot to pay for something she may not even like.  I've read some people have suggested turkey necks but others have said they're dangerous.  Surely there must be some sort of bones that will satisfy a strong urge to chew other than antlers.

 

I'll post again tomorrow.

 

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Thank you Little Gifts.  Yes, her meals have been adjusted on a regular basis.  Because of her need to chew, we spent some time discussing this with the vet and I gave him a detailed list of what we were feeding her.  He said her weight was perfect for her frame and told us to feed her 2 meals a day once she was 6 months. She has kibble for breakfast and meat from the butcher (beef mince, steak, lamb, pork fillet) or chicken for dinner with either sweet potato or pumpkin plus something else, e.g. peas, beans, baby spinach leaves, zucchini or even some cucumber.  I have sardines for lunch once a week and I give her some too, but otherwise there is no lunch.  She's definitely not going hungry.  She's a large Pom and I've had to watch what I feed her to make sure she gets enough, but not too much.  She also likes water melon, banana and pieces of apple.

 

I've been to dog training classes in the past and have trained her accordingly.  I've spent countless hours watching dog training on YouTube and have picked up some really good tips there too.  While I never give up, I feel like I may just have to wait until she matures a bit more. 

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You could still make your own puzzles and try feeding her kibble in there for breakfast and seeing if it tires her out mentally at all. And dog training classes can be ongoing - it's about what the dog gets out of it as much as we get better control of our dogs. Some dogs thrive on activity that engages them mentally and physically. There's scent/nose work, agility, fly ball for instance. But food puzzles are something you can make cheap and try simply. If it makes a difference - great. If it doesn't you aren't out of pocket or time.

 

You can ma

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Ruby is very food oriented, too food oriented if the truth be known, so I'd prefer to avoid food puzzles.  I've probably spent more time training, walking, exercising and playing with this little doggie than all the others put together.  I think I'll start looking for "brain" games.  I'm not sure this is the answer but it's definitely worthy a try. Thanks.

Edited by koalablue

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You wont be feeding her anything extra though - simply putting her usual meal inside a puzzle designed to use her brain a bit more.

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Not PC these days, but I find unwashed plastic containers that once held cream (best), milk, yogurt etc will keep a pup occupied for hours and won't damage teeth or, in the case that bits get swallowed, puncture innards. Fats seem to permiate plastic... So you could probably make something interesting by heating bacon drippings, etc in a plastic jug. 

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Thanks sandgrubber.  Unfortunately she dug a hole in the lawn and found a small piece of hard, sharp plastic and swallowed it.  Luckily it didn't harm her but I became quite paranoid about her digging from that point on.  It seems she's happy to swallow virtually anything that she can get into her mouth.

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On ‎6‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 11:42 PM, Little Gifts said:

You wont be feeding her anything extra though - simply putting her usual meal inside a puzzle designed to use her brain a bit more.

The problem isn't using her brain more or feeding anything extra, it's satisfying her urge to chew.  This is why I don't think the snuffle mat would help.  She's improving very slowly but she is improving.

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Digging is normal and a natural behaviour . 
your pup would probably enjoy a sandpit :)
Clam shells (plastic..kids' toy section) are a good start ..filled with coarse clean dry  sand . 
hide food/toys etc in the sand , and let her dig them out :) It will satisfy her need to dig , while being a safe way to do it . 

Also , don't neglect teaching her to 'be calm' ...lying quietly  somewhere 

:) 

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13 minutes ago, koalablue said:

The problem isn't using her brain more or feeding anything extra, it's satisfying her urge to chew.  This is why I don't think the snuffle mat would help.  She's improving very slowly but she is improving.

dogs are limited in what they can do  when they are hyper/when their brains are going at a hundred miles an hour. 
they can bark, dig or chew. 
Chewing anything & everything is sometimes a sign of bigger problems, but basically it's   the way a pup gets that 'feelgood' burst in their brain...
obtaining a reward ! That's what life's about .

so ..working hard to get a meal , completing obstacle courses, practicing and mastering commands/tricks in short sessions a few times a day ...all these things help feed those good things to the brain  without the need to chew . 
having to get a meat meal off a bone , or kibble out of a snuffle mat  serves the purpose of chewing .... 
 

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On ‎9‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 11:45 AM, persephone said:

Digging is normal and a natural behaviour . 
your pup would probably enjoy a sandpit :)
Clam shells (plastic..kids' toy section) are a good start ..filled with coarse clean dry  sand . 
hide food/toys etc in the sand , and let her dig them out :) It will satisfy her need to dig , while being a safe way to do it . 

Also , don't neglect teaching her to 'be calm' ...lying quietly  somewhere 

:)

Thank you for the sandpit suggestion.  I think that's an excellent idea and will probably do that.

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Miru   

My teenage dog also went through the rock phase. It started after she watched me painting rocks, tried to get to my box of rocks and when denied, went outside to get her own rocks. She was trying to chew them though, so it was causing me concern. I removed her access to the rocks and gave her some antlers to chew and after a while, she forgot about it. I'm afraid to start painting rocks again though :laugh:

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I think you should to get her a really comprehensive vet exam, including having a vet who is especially knowledgeable about dentistry examine the chompers for malocclusions. This sounds pathological to me, not a just bored dog. If physically well then a vet behaviourist can assess for a compulsive disorder etc and treatment requirements.

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