Why Is My Dachshund Eating Dirt?

Why Is My Dachshund Eating Dirt?

Updated 03/15/2024 by Ava Jaine

If you’ve caught your little long dog indulging in a bit of a dirt snack lately, we’ve got the scoop on what may be bothering your Dachshund and some tricks to put that dirt eating habit to a halt.

Whether it’s a mineral deficiency or a health problem, we’re here to help tackle the common question: “Why is my Dachshund eating dirt?” Check out our tips below to put a stop to it today!

Table of Contents

Something’s Missing!

My Dachshunds, Reno and Bastian, started eating dirt about 1 month after we changed their dog food.  We have taken care of Dachshunds for many years, and we hadn’t seen our doxies eat dirt quite like this before.

I had a feeling it was something they were missing in their new dog food diet…and it was!

Note: Not all “dirt eating” can be cured by a dog food change, but it is definitely the first step I would take when you notice your pup downing a good amount of soil from your yard.


Essential Nutrients Found in Soil:

Let’s take a look at the dirt itself.  Dirt contains minerals, such as calcium, sodium, and iron.  Many animals in the wild eat dirt to make up for a mineral deficiency during a seasonal change, change in health, or as they grow older.

Here is a full list of nutrients obtained from soil:

  • Boron
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Sulfur
  • Zinc

Is it Dangerous for Dogs to Eat Dirt?

If your doxie is eating a little dirt, it isn’t considered dangerous. But, if they are eating LOTS of dirt, it is worth finding out the real issue behind this action.

Dirty dachshund digging in the dirt outside.

Can My Dog Get Sick From Eating Dirt?

Yes, harmful bacteria and other nasty toxins are in the dirt and can make your dog sick. If you went outside and ate some dirt and grass, it is likely that you would obtain a parasite and become ill.

So, even though the dirt contains good minerals, (as listed above) it is NOT Clean and safe to eat on a regular basis.

Lots of parasites, bugs, chemical pesticides, and animal feces are in the dirt. 

Post You May Like: Common Parasites Dogs can get from eating dirt.

4 Reasons Why Your Dachshund is Eating Dirt!

Why does my Dachshund eat dirt? If your little long dog continues to eat dirt, this could be a sign of sometime more serious.  Let’s dig a little deeper to find out why your pup has decided to add a bit of dirt to their diet.

  • Mineral Deficiencies

  • Digestive Issues

  • Health Issues

  • Boredom and Anxiety

1. Mineral Deficiencies:

If it’s mainly the dirt eating that you notice without any other strange symptoms attached, we need to then ask the question “Is My Dog Lacking Nutrients?

Dogs are intelligent animals, if their body needs a nutrient, they usually know where to get it.  Eating a natural resource, like dirt, can give them the missing minerals their body is craving.

So many dog foods on the market have various ingredients and nutrients.

Your dog’s regular food may not be meeting all of their nutritional needs.

Unfortunately, some dog foods contain certain toxins that are not safe for your dog to consume daily for a prolonged time.

Why Is My Dachshund Eating Dirt?

Note: Dachshunds who eat homemade meals have a higher chance of having a mineral or nutritional deficiency. 

Don’t get me wrong, homemade meals are awesome for dogs, especially for pups with allergies.

It is best to consult your vet to make sure your dog’s homemade food recipe is balanced and fulfilling all of their nutritional needs to stay healthy.

2. Digestive Issues:

If your Dachshund is eating dirt along with diarrhea or vomiting, they may have a stomach issue.

Most dogs eat grass to indicate a digestive problem, but they may also grab a hunk of dirt as well.  Some types of soil or clay can help calm an upset stomach by moving the “problem” through their digestive tract quickly and detox the dog’s system.

Post You Should Read: 6 Signs Your Dachshund Needs Probiotics


3. Health Issues:

If your Dachshund is eating dirt and not acting himself: not eating well, drinking more or less than usual, acting lethargic, your dog may be consuming the dirt for additional minerals to help them deal with an underlying medical condition

Often times, these conditions could include any of the following: liver disease, hypothyroidism, GI Ulcers, kidney disease, worms, or an inflamed bowel disease. 

These diseases can all lead to blood lose, causing Anemia – which causes them to eat dirt!

If your Dachshund isn’t acting right, take them to see your vet ASAP.

Why Do Anemic Dogs Eat Dirt?

Dogs with anemia may eat dirt because they need the iron, which is a natural nutrient found in soil.

Why Is My Dachshund Eating Dirt?

4. Boredom and Anxiety!

So, what if your Dachshund is super healthy, and the three issues listed above don’t apply?

Well, behavior issues would be the next possibility…and it all stems from boredom and anxiety!

If your Dachshund doesn’t have enough mental stimulation or physical activity on a daily basis, eating dirt may be their way of showing you that they need your attention.

It Could Be Pica:

Pica is a disorder that dogs have when they eat non-food items, like dirt.  Other things pica dogs will eat include rocks, garbage, tissues, dryer sheets, plastic, metal pieces, and even poop.

Hmm… are Dachshunds born with Pica??  I gotta say, my doxies get into a lot of these non-food items, especially the dryer sheets and tissues!

Pica actions can signify mineral deficiency, health problems, or the need for more mental stimulation.  So, all of the problems listed above that cause your Dachshund to eat dirt and other non-food items, could be pointing at Pica.

How Do You Test For Pica in Dogs?

Consult your Dachshund’s veterinarian to check for Pica.  They will not only check for mineral deficiencies in their blood, they will check for pancreatic function and other potential GI issues to rule out more possible causes for a pica disorder.


How to Stop Your Dachshund from Eating Dirt:

Now that we have identified what may be causing your Dachshund to consume dirt, let’s look at the solutions to help them STOP.

  • Dog Food Change or Boost
  • Checking for Health Problems

  • Calming Digestive Issues

  • Help with Boredom and Anxiety

1. Dog Food Change or Boost:

Change it Up! If your Dachshund has a mineral or nutrient deficiency causing them to eat dirt, changing their dog food diet may resolve the issue. Here’s how to switch your dog’s food properly.

It helps to change things up a bit to make sure your doxie is getting all of the nutrients their body needs to be happy and healthy.

Boost Your Dog’s Current Kibble: Tossing in some wholesome ‘real food’ toppers is a fantastic way to boost your doxie’s regular kibble. Plus, it works wonders for those extra picky eaters!

Post You Should Read: Here are some irresistible doxie-approved dog food toppers for your Dachshund.

2. Checking for Health Problems:

Take your Dachshund to the vet to get some blood work done.  Also ask your vet if they could check their urine and feces as well. 

Dachshunds are prone to Cushing’s Disease and Hypothyroidism, so checking for these diseases is a good idea anyway.

Why Is My Dachshund Eating Dirt?

3. Calming Digestive Issues:


Probiotics are not only good for your own gut but are also very beneficial to your doxie’s gut as well. 

Adding Probiotics to their diet can actually help reduce the likelihood of allergies and prevent skin issues from developing.

Post You Should Read: Dachshund Allergies: 3 Proven Treatments That Help Stop That Itch!

Pumpkin Puree:

Adding a teaspoon of pumpkin puree to your dog’s food is a healthy way of adding extra nutrients and fiber to their diet.  Pumpkin Puree helps promote digestive regularity, eases stomach issues, and it tastes delicious too.

Homemade Pumpkin-based dog treats can also help keep your dog’s digestive system regular.  Check out some of my favorite easy recipes here.

Suggested Amount: 1 teaspoon of pumpkin puree per 1 cup of dry dog food, a couple times per week.

4. Help with Boredom and Anxiety:

If your Dachshund checks out fine after being tested for mineral deficiencies and health issues, it’s time to consider their need for more mental stimulation
(aka doggie brain games) and physical activity.

Here are some Simple Solutions for Dachshund Boredom Issues.

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