Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Guest Post: Odd Animal Eating Habits

Jackie is a writer for 1-800-PetMeds, and loves to help and support the pet community. You can find Pet Meds on Twitter or connect with Pet Meds on Facebook.

Odd Animal Eating Habits


Have you ever noticed that animals do some pretty strange things when it comes to food? Sure, that could be said for humans too but it is far more interesting to speculate on the behavior of pets. Some of the oddest things pets do with their food include pushing food bowls around and refusing to drink out of regular bowl. Then there are the weird things our pets think are food. Interestingly, not all of their odd food choices are necessarily bad.

Food Pushing

If you start looking for an explanation for why you pet pushes his food bowl around you are going to find more answers than you know what to do with. Everyone has an opinion, and opinions are great, but what about the science? There is one person who has come up with some pretty interesting theories based on some very impressive science.

My favorite is that the pet is trying to get the bowl situated based on his paw preference. It turns out that dogs actually do have a tendency to favor one paw over the other much like people can be right or left-handed. Pups may find it uncomfortable to eat in certain areas just as it is uncomfortable for a right-handed person to eat when they are seated too closely to someone on their right. Who knew?

Paw-Dipping

Have you ever seen your cat reach into a bowl of water and drink it from her paw? The behavior is dainty and adorable but it can also be a bit maddening for the owners who don’t understand why the perfectly good bowl is not appealing to their beloved kitty. There are several possible explanations for the behavior and a few things you can try if you want her to stop. It is possible the cat is not happy with the size or shape of the bowl. It may make it too difficult for her to see or be placed in a way that makes her uncomfortable.

Try a variety of bowls in different locations to see if the changes encourage her to drink straight from the container. It is also possible your cat doesn’t like to share with other animals. If this is the case an extra bowl in another location might be the solution.

Weird Foods

Not only do animals eat their food in odd ways but they also eat some really odd things. Among the many odd things animals are known to eat include dirt, grass, and other non-food objects. You may think your dog has just been digging in the dirt when he comes in with a muddy muzzle but he may have been having a light snack. Dog may be eating dirt for the trace minerals they find there but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily safe. Try to discourage this behavior as your pup may also pick up some nasty parasites with his unorthodox snack.

Cats may not eat dirt as frequently but most enjoy a nice grass salad from time to time. Even though they usually throw up right after their snack, this behavior is probably good for them. Scientist think cats are probably doing this to induce vomiting to clean out pesky piles of fur and bone that could damage their digestive tract. What about all of those non-food snacks? Pica is the name for eating non-food items such as socks, tinsel, and rubber bands. Animals do this for all sorts of reasons including malnutrition, anxiety, and boredom. If your pet does this regardless of safe play alternatives and plenty of food it’s time to visit the veterinarian and possibly try some petmeds.

What odd eating habits does our pet have?

1 comment:

Kaleidoscope Acres said...

Very pleased to say my pets do not eat weird things... that I know of anyhow. I do have some weird pets though, including a llama and sheep, we feed them Pumpkins after Halloween, they love them.