Dogs eating charcoal

on 26th October 2022

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.

YC Wee



If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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