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Features November 2017 Issue

Getting to the Bottom of Pica

If your dog chews on sneakers, donít worry about it. If your spouse likes eating them, call a psychiatrist.

Getting to the Bottom of Pica

It's rarely, if ever, about nutrition. Sometimes the condition arises because something is bothering the dog.

Say ďpica,Ē and many people will think of a nutritional deficiency, as in eating a non-food item to get enough of a mineral or vitamin thatís missing from the diet. But pica in people is characterized almost exclusively as a psychological disorder rather than a nutritional one, especially in industrialized countries like the United States; itís extremely rare that a person will crave something that isnít food to satisfy a nutritional need.

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