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Ok, Duke has always played with rocks even though we tried correcting it but since our back yard is mainly rocks & bark chips ( he even digs for them ) its hard to get away from, we thought about laying grass back there this spring but not sure if he will still dig through the grass to get the rocks.

ANYWAY..... he threw up this morning and the only thing that came out was a small rock, I hope that was it but I know this can be a very serious thing, what should I be watching for ? he seems ok, he's eating and is playful.
 

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How old is he?

I think the biggest response you are going to get is make sure hes tied to you when you go outside with him, don't leave him alone to eat the rocks.

Followed up by exercise, exercise, exercise.

My boy used to eat mulch and threw it up. I quickly fixed that by staying with him like a general. Now he just likes digging. Even if I'm standing next to him. He runs to a new spot and digs. Even on a leash. He thinks its so fun. His tail goes crazy. A dig drive!
 

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I am not a vet, but have been through this a few times. The main thing is avoidance, but it sounds like that is near impossible.

So, my vet had us do a few things. If you ever see a change in his eating or drinking, he could have a blockage that requires immediate vet assistance. Also, if there is blood in the stool or vomit, same thing.

Other than that, if we actually saw our dog swallow a rock, we were to make Vaseline sandwiches for him and break off small pieces for him to eat. It sounds gross, but I would take white bread, slather it good with Vaseline, then tear off pieces and feed them. He loved it! But, I never associated it with the rocks so he wouldn't start eating them on purpose.

Eventually, he stopped with the rock eating, but he still has a thing for Vaseline. If he hears the lid open, he runs to find it. Since it is made from animal oils, it is completely safe. It lubes the digestive tract and the bread helps push out the rock.
 

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It can be a huge problem (expensive at best because serious surgeries can also result). Broken teeth are the least of the possible issues. But swallowing the larger ones and having an impaction in the intestine you catch in time for a successful surgery is the best results. Some dogs do not make it when they swallow larger items like rocks.

The dogs are doing this cause they are bored, it's more fun than nothing, and NO ONE IS THERE TO TELL THEM TO STOP! So you can work on this in a bunch of angles.

1) Training - basically it's just a 'leave it' to tell them to drop the rock. But you have to be in the yard, and they have to know what 'leave it' means. DO CLASSES help with this.

2) Management - if the pup goes in the yard, so do you. Quick poops/pees, play with the dog for a while for reward, then in the house. No time to go find a rock and eat it.

3) EXERCISE - this will help the boredom issue. Instead of relying on the yard for the dog to exercise itself (frankly, all my dogs do nothing in the yard but get in trouble or want back in the house, so no 'exercise'). Instead I pack my dogs in the car and go places. Socialization, meeting new people, new sights and sounds. New places to train with distractions. And MILES of walking in new places for exercise.

4) Dog classes! Fun and help our dogs listen to us and behave better in general.
 
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