Your kid had left his set of drawing crayons on the table after his art work, and they had all been eaten up by your dog the next morning.
This makes you wonder what could be the reasons behind this behavior?
Your dog is eating crayons because he is craving non-food items (suffering from Pica) or he is attracted by the scent of the crayons. He is suffering from dementia and could not make out what he was eating. Stress makes him look for things to chew on to ease his anxiety. You have rewarded him with a positive response for doing that act.
He Is Craving For Non-food Items
This is often the case when your dog is having Pica.
Pica is a disorder when dogs start eating non-food items such as plastic, metal, rocks, ashes, books or even batteries.
This eating disorder is usually seen in puppies, as they are very curious about the world around them.
They want to explore and discover everything that they can.
It’s a part of their growing process, and it usually goes away with age.
In most cases, puppies will outgrow pica once they reach the age of 6 months old.
However, that will not be so for adult dogs having pica, and they will need some form of treatment.
There are many theories on what causes pica, and while some believe it’s related to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), others think it could be related to anxiety or some other emotional disturbance.
Pica can occur in dogs of all ages, sizes, breeds, and with no known cause. It’s also unheard of for pica to be passed down from ancestors.
Unquestionably, it’s a very problematic issue as this may lead to serious and life-threatening complications for your dog if he has ingested something that is toxic or swallowed something that gets stuck in his gastrointestinal tract.
If you suspect your dog is having pica, you should take him to see a vet who will perform a complete physical examination on him.
The doctor will be able to determine if there is anything else that might be causing your dog’s pica behavior and advise on the appropriate treatment for him.
Curiosity Drove Him to Taste the Crayons
Your dog finds the scent of the crayons to be appealing and, with its colorful toy-like design, it’s no wonder why your dog simply wants to taste them out.
And once your dog gets his first taste of them, it is likely that he will want to have more as the texture and the taste of the crayons is so pleasurable for him.
Fortunately, crayola crayons, as well as all other commercially available crayons, are non-toxic as there is a mandate in the US health regulatory that they must not contain any potentially harmful ingredients.
Having said that, you will certainly not want your dog to consider crayons as his snack and eat them as soon as he sees them.
So keep them out of reach for your dog and make him associate eating crayons with bad experience.
This can be done by giving him a stern and firm “No” when you see him eating crayon and show him your disapproval.
Gradually, your dog will stop doing this bad behavior as he wants to please you and will avoid doing things that will make you angry.
Senility Makes Him Unaware That He Is Eating Crayons
If your dog is more than 10 years old and is in his senior years, the chances of him developing dementia increases.
Dementia is the inability of your dog to think, remember, communicate, or perform daily tasks such as playing, eating and sleeping due to cognitive decline.
It occurs when his brain gradually begins to deteriorate.
He will develop memory problems and will not be able to recall what he had done, eaten or where he had been.
That is why he sees crayons as the food that you had placed on the tables and starts his feast.
He may also develop personality changes like restlessness and aggression and have difficulty finding his way around the house.
It is important that you pay special attention to him and give him lots of attention. If you are able to do so, it will make your dog feel more comfortable.
Also, bring him to see a vet to assess his health status and to seek treatment and advice on how to take care of your pet.
Stress Makes Him Chew On Things That He Can Get Hold Of
You will find your dog starts chewing on things that he can get hold of when he is feeling stress and anxiety.
This is because chewing helps to release a chemical known as endorphins which will help him feel relaxed and calm down.
He will go around the house looking for things such as shoes, blankets and clothes to chew on and, of course, if you have left the crayons on the table, that will be his first port of call, since crayons have a strong odor that is going to attract him.
Stress may arise in dogs due to boredom, frustration, fear or anxiety.
It is important that you find out what is causing your dog to be stressed and address his concern.
If he is new to your home, he may be suffering from separation anxiety as he finds himself alone in an unfamiliar environment and that triggers his fear and anxiety.
Or he lives a sedentary lifestyle and feels bored without anything to keep him occupied.
You Have Encouraged His Eating Crayons Behavior
Your dog runs to you with crayons all over his mouth and, instead of feeling shocked and angry, you are amused by his act and laugh away.
This “laughing” response from you might have made your dog feel that doing this act (eating crayons) would make you so happy and this would bring him joy.
And as you probably know, your dog likes to please you and will do things that make you happy.
He will associate eating crayons with a positive experience (making you happy) and will love to perform that act whenever he sees crayons present in his sight.
Thus, it is important that you should not give your dog the wrong impression that you are pleased with his act.
You should instead exhibit a sign of unhappiness and disapproval when he does it.