Whether it’s shoes, crayons or trash, we’ve all seen our pets eat some pretty strange things. But why do they do it? Although pets can’t tell us why they engage in certain behaviors, experts have studied some of the common behaviors in pets like eating poop and grass and drinking toilet water and feel as though they have a not-so-strange answer for why pets act the way they do. If your dog is engaging in one of these behaviors, find out why here.

Cat Nip for Canines

Dogs react to anise seed the same way that cats react to catnip! Anise seed comes from a flowering anise plant. The seed’s licorice-like taste is common in Mediterranean cooking (maybe that’s why dogs love em!). According to WebMD, the seed has medical benefits, too. It is believed to aid digestion, treat coughs, menstrual cramps and helps alleviate the symptoms of Scabies and Psoriasis. Strangely enough the plant is also used as an insecticide against species of termites and cockroaches. Do not confuse this seed with Star anise. Unlike anise seed, Star anise comes from the star-shaped flower of a small evergreen and is an ingredient in Chinese 5-spice powder. Make your pooch homemade anise seed dog treats or secure seeds into their favorite toy!

Poop

Eating feces is a common dog behavior. Theresa A. Fuess, Ph.D. of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine explains that feces eating, also known as coprophagia, is not done because of a dietary or enzyme deficiency, but that it is more commonly a behavioral habit picked up when dogs are just puppies.

Dr. Jo Ann Eurell, a veterinarian and animal behavior specialist, states that dogs are scavengers, and that this behavior is common. She also notes that mother dogs often eat their puppies’ feces in an effort to clean their den and keep the smell of the puppies away. This behavior can be picked up by puppies, although most shake it off when they are weaned. If a dog has this habit, be sure to regularly clean up feces in the yard and to keep litter boxes out of reach, as Eurell explains that fixing this problem is more of a prevention than a cure.

Grass

Dogs eat grass for different reasons. Dogs are natural omnivores. According to Pet MD, it isn’t uncommon to find wild dogs eating fruits and berries. The ancestors of our pooches were wild scavengers, eating anything that they could find that served a nutritional purpose. Now dogs eat grass simply for an alternative food source.Pet MD also says that some dogs may seek out grass when they have indigestion, as the tickling of the blades of grass along the esophagus and in the stomach of the dog causes them to vomit.

Toilet Water

You bought an adorable water dish that you clean daily, and your dog still chooses the toilet as a prime watering hole– what gives?! Although the water you provide for your pet may appear to be clean and “top-notch,” according to SPCA of Texas, animals prefer cool, fresh water over stagnant water. Although the toilet is, well, a toilet, to an animal, it is a fresh water source! There is no real health threat when it comes to dogs drinking toilet water, although it disgusts their owners. If you want to try to get your pet to kick the habit, refresh your dog’s water twice daily and learn your dog’s dish preference by testing out plastic, stainless steel and ceramic bowls.

A Better Solution

Want to teach your dog better habits? Give your pooch a bully stick! Our all-natural dog treats are sure to be much more enticing than what your dog is currently putting in his mouth! Our bully sticks are also great for cleaning your dog’s teeth and are sourced from grass-fed, free-range Brazilian cattle, some of the best beef in the world! 

You think your dog eats strange things? Check out this video about a dog who ate $800!