Why Do Westies Eat Dirt? | ( Infographic Included)

Consumption of dirt is common in dogs, especially puppies or young dogs. They do it to explore the world. But why do westies eat dirt?

Read on to discover 5 common reasons why west highland terriers eat dirt.

This content takes around 4 minutes to read, but if you are in a hurry, we have included a table of contents to let you see, at a glance, what the content contains.

When your dog is constantly eating dirt or other symptoms of illness are present, it can be a sign that your dog is dealing with something more serious than just an empty stomach. Always check with your vet.

Why Do Westies Eat Dirt Infographic:

why do westies eat dirt infographic

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Discover the common reasons why your west highland terrier is eating dirt.

Upset Stomach:

Dogs are capable of eating dirt in order to soothe an upset stomach or rumbling bowels. It is also possible that they have eaten something to which he or she is allergic and the only way for them to relieve themselves would be to vomit it back up.

However, even though they might be eating dirt and grass, your dog will probably only do it if they’re not feeling good. In addition, eating dirt might happen also if your pup is ravenous and gobbles up the grass really fast.

Mineral Deficiency:

A nutritional imbalance can make your dog eat dirt. Eating dirt can be a sign that they are missing the essential minerals they need for good health.

This could happen because Westies are prone to hypoglycemia, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness, and excessive hunger. A puppy may also be experiencing zinc deficiency or copper deficiency.

A Westie’s natural instinct is to eat dirt in order to find minerals that are deficient in his diet. The Westie cannot find these minerals in his food because they have been lost during processing or cooking.

The issue might also not be hormonal, but could be caused by an inability to absorb nutrients.


why do westies eat dirt

Not all stress is bad, but being in distress or feeling discomfort, anxiety, or fear are all unpleasant for dogs which is why they will likely turn to relieve those feelings by eating dirt.

Westies are high-strung dogs that can be easily stressed out. Eating dirt is one of the ways they cope with their anxiety.

Anxiety among dogs can be caused by separation anxiety, thunderstorms, or any other number of triggers, including unsupervised time outside in the yard or on walks.

The Dirt Is Tasty:

Dogs experience the world through their nose and often come across patches of dirt that smell or taste amazing. It may be that it has been there for such a short time such as when they were in a local park on an afternoon jog. Perhaps this is why they are so eager to sniff it out.

Just as a dog might happen to enjoy a nibble of grass every now and again, dirt might just taste better for them at that particular spot and time.


It’s common for humans to develop strange habits when they are bored or stressed – hair twirling, knuckle cracking, overeating, etc. The same is true for pets who have been designed to be active and outdoors. Clearly, this doesn’t always happen in a world where pets are mostly indoors without enough stimulation.

Imagine your dog is at home and bored. He may take up a pastime such as eating dirt.

why do westie dogs eat dirt

Preventive Measures:

Westies are notorious for being drawn to dirt, so it is important to stop the habit before it damages their health.

  • To stop your dog from eating dirt, find an appropriate alternative behaviour to engage them in, like running and playing with a ball.
  • Ensure your pet gets the required exercise it needs every day. It has been found that pets are then more relaxed and get into less trouble.
  • Stop any access to dirt by removing it from your backyard or putting up fences around the area you don’t want them digging in.
  • Make sure you always have a good selection of chew toys around your home. Try to make them easy for your dog to find.. This helps to divert the behavior.





Additionally, in some rare cases, dogs who have pica can have other disorders. For example, they might have gastrointestinal disease or liver disease.

If your dog is not feeling well, not acting like themselves, but also eating dirt, you should visit the vet. Gastrointestinal parasitism could be a cause of your dog eating dirt.

We hope that the information above has helped answer the common questions as to why westies eat dirt.


Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for your information only. It may not be construed as medical advice. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information. Instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals or veterinarians on any matter relating to their pet’s health and well-being. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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