An earlier post reports on dogs eating grass HERE. According to the dog handler, that particular dog has also been seen eating charcoal, especially those used in growing orchids.
So, I looked for a piece of charcoal, broke it into pieces and waited for a dog to pass by. Two dogs and their handlers arrived in front of my house. The earlier dog of no particular breed was not interested in my plate of charcoal. The other dog, a golden retriever, rushed to the plate and started eating the charcoal pieces. I could literally hear the crunching as the dog munched on the pieces.
A search on the internet revealed that this dog that ate the charcoal may have a pica problem HERE. Such dogs regularly eat non-food such as pieces of rocks, toys, grass and twigs. However, consuming such items can cause blockage of the digestive track. Signs of blockages include vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, drooling and lethargy.
Dogs may eat charcoal because of an upset stomach, especially if they have earlier ingested toxic substances. After all, scientists have learned that monkeys on the African island of Zanzibar ingest charcoal to counter the bad effects after eating toxic substances HERE. And activated charcoal are used in the emergency treatment of certain kinds of poisoning HERE.