I have a 6-year-old Newfoundland. He is normally a well behaved dog but in the last six months or so we are at our wits end with the way he behaves. This dog eats everything that is not nailed down including, the cat’s toys, at least three kitchen sponges, paper towels, a Avon book, bananas including the peel and yesterday he took a cob of corn off the kitchen counter and ate the whole thing including the cob and was about to start on a second one when we caught him. No doubt there are other things that he steals and eats which we don’t know about. Our vet has checked him and there is no sign of parasites.
Just wondering if you would have any idea what is causing this behaviour as we are at a loss.
I’m never sure when someone writes that the “vet has checked him” what that means. If it means he was in for his annual shots etc. and the vet gave him the once over without knowing that there has been a sudden change in the dog’s behaviour then you need to go back. If the vet was aware of such a significant and dangerous change in your dog’s behaviour and the extent of the investigation was checking for parasites you need to go to another veterinarian – permanently.
Any dog, cat or human being that has a sudden and significant change in behaviour from what has been their life long norm is in trouble in some sort of trouble. The nature of the problem may be physical or it may be psychological and it may be temporary or it may be permanent. Either way, the first stop is to the vet’s for a thorough check up. That means blood work and x-rays. (When your dog’s blood work came back my eye would be zooming in on your dog’s thyroid levels. A dog’s thyroid can impact many things in a dramatic way and appetite is one.)
Getting annual blood work when your pet is healthy is something I wish more veterinarians encouraged and pet owners asked for. A year after year baseline for what is normal for your pet is very useful if you notice something amiss in your pet or for early intervention should something outside of the norm pop up at your pet’s annual visit.
While you’re getting to the bottom of this you’re going to have to find a way to keep a closer eye on your dog. Some of those things he is consuming can kill him. Pretend he’s a two-year-old child. If I was looking after someone’s 2 year old and upon the parent’s return they asked, “How did it go?” and I replied, “Not bad at all. Although, I haven’t seen him in a couple of hours . . .” One might assume unless I was very lucky at best we’d find the kid eating dirt out of the planter in the dining room or brushing their teeth out of the toilet.
On another note, for anyone in the Whitby area I’m going to be doing a small workshop for dog owners and their dogs to work on problem issues on the 14th of August.