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This is an odd one, I know! We live really close to the beach, and so there are loads of mussle-type shells everywhere (the birds drop them to crack them). I've mentioned in another thread that Dita tends to put everything in her mouth (we are trying to train that), but I was wondering if this will do her any harm to chomp on the shells? We don't bother stopping her if she wants to pick up sticks, leaves, etc, because she likes to pick them up and carry them (which stops her picking up anything else!) and because they won't do her any harm, and if shells are fairly harmless, then I would be happier just letting her munch them while we walk by the beach.

She doesn't swallow them, but just crunches them and then spits out the pieces. I'm sure that she swallows the odd bit here and there, but just tiny pieces - if birds can swallow bits that small, I'm guessing that 30lbs of puppy should be able to..

We also don't have an off-leash dog park nearby, but an off-leash dog beach. We would love to take her there once shots are done, but we can't do that if shells are going to be really damaging - its a beach, so it is around 30% shells!! That's like trying to teach a dog not to pick up rocks on a gravel driveway...
 

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I would be worried about sharp shards cutting her mouth and puncturing stuff. If she happens to swallow a really sharp piece, it can do some really bad damage. If it were me, I wouldn't encourage it. You could try practicing "drop it" and "leave it" and even other tricks with the shells and just let her carry them around, but when she starts munching the shell has to go away. I do with with my pup and sticks. They've become a great impromptu motivator when we're out. She'll ignore everything that's happening around her just for a chance to just touch the stick, but the moment she chews the stick goes bye bye.
 

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answer is NO ....... they can cause intestinal damage !!

ps I know this because I live at the beach and had a scare with my lab once over shells !! !
 
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