Why is my dog obsessed with metal?
June 2, 2011 8:57 PM   Subscribe

Why is my dog obsessed with finding coins and putting them under her tongue for extended periods of time?

For as long as I can remember, my 9 year old Schnauzer-Poodle has been obsessed with finding coins and metal. Anytime she hears them, she comes running. She then proceeds to obsessively (and methodically) search the floor until she finds one to store under her tongue. She never eats them. Somehow she can drink with them under her tongue. When she eats food, she places them next to her bowl and picks them up when she is finished. Why does she do this? She's even come to know that they are not allowed (the other dog actually eats them when she eventually loses interest) and will drop them as soon as anybody asks what's in her mouth.

note: this doesn't just apply to coins; she'll happily take needles nails wires and most any other metal thing.
I've seen this.
posted by ooklala to Pets & Animals (9 answers total)
Possibly related

posted by allelopath at 9:03 PM on June 2, 2011

My first thought was possible iron deficiency, even before checking out your related link. I would definitely consult a vet about it in case you need to start her on a supplement or change her diet.
posted by phunniemee at 9:06 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yep. I was thinking mineral deficiency of some kind, for sure.

Do you know you can safely give pets this supplement?
posted by jbenben at 9:16 PM on June 2, 2011

If she's not swallowing them, would that still suggest an iron deficiency? Animals eat things when they need nutrition. Might she just like the taste?
posted by distorte at 3:33 AM on June 3, 2011

When I was a (invulnerable to dirt and germs) little girl I used to suck on coins. They tasted good. I am not a dog, but it strikes me that a dog could think similarly.
posted by that girl at 4:27 AM on June 3, 2011

Agreeing that coins taste good. (To, you know, kids. And dogs, apparently.)
posted by anaelith at 4:30 AM on June 3, 2011

Do dogs' tongues have taste buds, though? I'd chalk it up more to "I found a thing! I'm going to hide it in my mouth!" than to anything else.
posted by emelenjr at 11:32 AM on June 3, 2011

Because she doesn't have pockets?
posted by maryrussell at 2:54 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Do you know you can safely give pets this supplement?

Yeah, you can give placebos to anything. Don't give your dog homeopathic bullshit.

My guess would be a copper deficiency. It can happen, and copper is in a very wide array of alloys. Especially coins.
posted by cmoj at 6:49 PM on June 3, 2011

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