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Vitamin deficiency?

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

Today I was on the phone for 1 minute and 53 seconds but in less than 90 seconds our 1 year old Chihuahua ran off with a business card I dropped and ate the whole thing. He likes to eat any kind of paper or fabric, chews on everything, he one time chewed on a corner of a slim CD case and ate some of the plastic. The other day he was chewing on a tie from our loaf of bread (I guess we dropped it and didn't notice), he had eaten the plastic covering and was chewing the bare wire tie so I took it away from him. We feed him science diet small bites for puppies. Does he have a vitamin deficiency?

Luis Sauceda


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email.

Wow – it sounds like your dog is keeping you very busy. Some dogs are real "chewers" and enjoy chewing on just about everything.

You mentioned that you are feeding Science Diet Small bites for Puppies. In my opinion, that is a very good quality food. It is AAFCO approved which means it is formulated to meet the dietary requirements of your dog. Based on what you are feeding, I'd strongly doubt that he has a vitamin deficiency.

He may just be active, playful puppy that likes to chew. Some dogs will also chew more if they are bored or for attention.

Because of his strong desire to chew, I am worried that he could eat something that may cause an intestinal obstruction at some point. I don't think the business card will hurt him but plastic, toys, and other items can cause a very significant problem.

I'd recommend that you be extra careful to keep things out of the reach of your puppy and even consider crating him when he can't be supervised to prevent him from chewing or eating things that could be dangerous or cause an obstruction.

Your puppy should have lots of strong chew toys. Maybe even try the Kong brand toys. Some Kong designs allow you to put treats inside which can keep dogs busy and out of trouble.

A couple toys that I like are:

Kong Goodie Ball Red and Kong Rubber


Best of luck!

Dr. Jon

P.S. Since your dog is about 1 year old, you may want to talk to your vet about the right time to change him to an adult formulation. I generally recommend that occur between 9 months and 1 year on small breed dogs.




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