7 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Eats Everything + 5 Tips


You have quite the dilemma on your hands. Your schnauzer is eating anything and everything in sight. And they won’t stop.

You might be starting to get concerned and wondering, why on earth are they eating everything? Is something wrong? Or is this normal for schnauzers?

Why Do Schnauzers Eat Everything:

Your schnauzer could possibly be eating everything for harmless reasons as well as more serious reasons. Less serious reasons include, they’re bored and want your attention, they’re exploring, or instincts. More serious reasons are health issues, anxiety, they’re underfed, or even poor diet.

In this post you’ll discover all the reasons why your schnauzer might be eating everything, several dangerous situations that could take place if your schnauzer continues this behavior, as well as 5 helpful tips to stop it from continuing.

Let’s jump right in.

Top 7 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Eats Everything

1) Boredom

Boredom can come in two ways.

Bored with their food that they get fed everyday.

Or bored in general and looking for something to do.

When it comes to being bored with their food, your schnauzer may have a period where they aren’t interested in their kibble.

And instead they’d rather eat everything else.

This can simply be a phase that goes away on its own or you can try transitioning them to another brand of food.

When it comes to boredom from lack of activities to do, the best thing you can do is increase their exercise.

Bored schnauzers typically misbehave because they have excess energy and aren’t sure what to do with it.

If you play with them more or take them for longer, more frequent walks, you’ll likely notice them resting more.

And when they’re resting from increased activity, they won’t be as interested in eating everything out of boredom.

2) Not Fed Enough

Unknowingly, you might not be feeding your schnauzer enough on a daily basis.

Which makes them constantly hungry and looking for things to eat.

There’s a few ways you can tell if your pup isn’t being fed enough.

If you can easily see their ribs when looking at them, or you can easily feel their rib cage with no muscle or fat in between their skin and ribs, they’re likely being underfed.

Standard schnauzers should be anywhere between 30-50 pounds when they’re fully grown.

So if your pup is on the lower end of that weight range, they may not be getting enough food on a daily basis which makes them want to eat everything.

3) Poor Diet

If their body isn’t getting the necessary nutrients it needs, they’ll likely want to eat everything in an attempt to get the missing nutrients.

When choosing dog food for your schnauzer, a good general rule of thumb is to get the highest quality food you can afford.

You want to look for whole-food ingredients when looking at the ingredients of their food.

Anything that’s unfamiliar to you or are words you can’t pronounce because they’re some scientific compound, it’s best to stay away from these.

The better diet your pup has, the more their body will get the nutrients they need to feel full and remain healthy.

4) They Explore The World With Their Mouth

Since your schnauzer doesn’t have hands to pick things up and get a feel for them, they do it with their mouth.

It’s how they get a sense of the world around them, by putting it in their mouth.

They get to feel the texture and of course what it tastes like.

And if you have an exploratory pup on your hand, that might be why they eat everything.

They want to get a feel for everything they can which more often than not results in them chewing up and eating it as well.

5) Instinct

Some dogs aren’t able to get over their instinctual desires.

Food wasn’t always so readily available for your schnauzer’s ancestors as it is now for your pup.

And unfortunately, they might feel like they need to eat whatever they can because they’re unsure when their next meal will be.

This means snatching some table scraps when they have the chance or rummaging through the garbage when no one’s watching.

They aren’t aware that what they consume might be harmful to them. Sadly, they’re compelled to eat whatever they feel they can chew up and swallow. 

This of course has many downsides as they can seriously harm themselves from eating non-edible items.

6) Health Issues

Sometimes a schnauzer will eat everything in sight because of an underlying health issue.

The 5 most likely health issues that cause excessive eating that your pup might be experiencing are:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Diabetes
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Old age

It’s best to take your schnauzer to the vet if you notice they are eating anything and everything.

While it might be one of the less serious reasons on this list, there’s a possibility that it could be something more serious.

And it’s best to let a vet take a look at them to ensure it’s not anything serious, or get them the help they need if it is something more serious.

7) Anxiety

When a dog is in distress it can cause them to eating everything as a way of coping.

If your schnauzer has separation anxiety it might be the reason behind why they’re eating everything.

Destructive behavior is quite common in dog’s that have severe anxiety.

If your schnauzers eating and chewing on everything has been happening since you’ve owned them, they likely had traumatic experiences as a young pup.

And these experiences have made them super attached to you. So much so that when you aren’t around them, they don’t know what to do with themselves.

Unfortunately, your pup has chosen to eat everything in an attempt to cope.

If this is new behavior, the separation anxiety could have been brought on by:

  • Change in schedule – if you took on new/more hours at work and your schedule has changed, that means your pup’s schedule has changed as well. And they may not be handling it well.
  • Change in where you live – if you’ve recently moved your pup might feel anxious about their new environment.
  • Change in family – if you recently adopted your schnauzer from another family or a foster home, they may have feelings of abandonment which is causing them to act out.
  • Change in family situation – if someone in your family recently passed away that your pup loved dearly, they may not be handling their absence well.

Dangers Associated With Your Schnauzer Eating Everything

Not only could there be something wrong with their health that’s causing them to eat everything, what they’re eating can also harm them.

If they’re eating non-edible items it could contain toxic materials, they could disrupt their digestive system, or they could choke.

If they’re eating poop, whether it be their own or other animals, it could contain parasites which would then make them ill.

It’s very important to find out why your pup is eating everything and work to stop the behavior. There are many dangers that come from eating non-food items outside of health related reasons for the behavior in the first place.

Top 5 Tips On How To Stop Your Schnauzer From Eating Everything

1) Change Up How You Feed Them

Sometimes a schnauzer will eat everything in sight because you’re unknowingly not feeding them enough.

So they eat whatever they can because they’re simply always hungry.

There’s a simple formula that you can use to figure out how many calories your pup needs based on their weight.

It looks like this:

Divide their weight by 2.2 (this gives you their weight in kilograms).

Multiply that number by 30.

Then add 70.

For example, if you wanted to know how much (in calories) you should feed your schnauzer if they weighed 34 pounds it would look like this:

34 / 2.2 = 15.45

15.45 x 30 = 463.5

463.5 + 70 = 533.5 calories per day

You can also use this formula to figure out how many calories they’d need to eat in order to reach a heavier weight.

You’d simply change their current weight (34 in the example) to a higher weight, like 38.

Go through the calculation again and you’d find your new calorie number.

It’s always best to speak with a vet when it comes to calorie intake though. Just to make sure you’re on the right track.

Outside of increasing their food intake, you could also try changing up what you’re feeding them.

If they’re always hungry, it could be because the food they’re currently eating isn’t providing them with the nutrients their body needs.

If you’re currently feeding them a grain-based food, try moving to a meat-based food.

This is also worth asking a vet about. They would know the best types of food that have the nutrients your pup needs to stay healthy.

2) Take Them To See The Vet

When it comes to why your schnauzer is eating everything, it can be difficult to determine exactly what’s behind their behavior.

And since there’s a possibility that they might have a health issue it’s a good idea to take them to the vet to be looked at.

This is definitely one of the situations where it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.

Your vet will be able to tell you if it’s simply a bad habit or something more serious is going on.

3) Crate Training

Having your schnauzer crate trained is a great way to stop them from eating anything and everything when you’re not around.

Whether it’s anxiety or boredom, your dog may eat non-food items while you’re away to cope with how they’re feeling.

Getting them used to a crate not only prevents them from eating anything they can find, but also gives them a sense of comfort.

Crates can replicate a den-like feeling that instinctually feels comforting for many dogs.

Crate training your schnauzer can help make sure they’re not eating something that could harm themselves while you’re away from home.

4) Give More Attention

If you notice your schnauzer is eating things they shouldn’t be while you’re home, you should try giving them more attention.

Many times, if their eating everything isn’t health related, they’re simply doing it to get your attention or because they’re bored.

And the more you can keep their mind occupied, the better.

Taking them on more fun adventures like hikes, more walks on different routes, or more trips to the dog park.

Or simply more fetch in the backyard and maybe some playful wrestling.

More of this quality time between you and your pup should stop them from eating everything out of boredom.

If they tend to eat things they shouldn’t while you’re not home you might want to consider doggy daycare so they aren’t bored. 

Or even having someone come to your home to pet-sit your pup.

In an ideal world, you’d be able to bring your pup to work with you during the day to make sure they don’t eat anything they shouldn’t.

Unfortunately, that’s not a practical solution (unless you work from home).

5) Consult With a Behaviorist

If you’ve spoken to your vet and identified that it’s not a health issue, but are still struggling to stop them from eating everything, consulting with a behavioral specialist is another option.

The risk of them continuing to eat things they shouldn’t is too high for their safety, so finding a solution is super important.

And a behavioral specialist has likely seen it all and can help you figure out why they’re doing it and put it to an end.

Other posts you might find interesting:

9 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Grunts & Groans + 3 Tips

8x Why Schnauzers Are So Aggressive + 11 Tips To Stop It

9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Dig + 7 Tips To Reduce It

Citations:

Standard Schnauzer

Nutrition – General Feeding Guidelines for Dogs

5 Reasons Your Dog is Extremely Hungry

Separation Anxiety

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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