Q. My dog is a lab. 12 years old and in great health. He has started to lick and swallow pebbles in my back patio area. Can you give me advise. I juse
A. There are two theories one being the dog is lacking minerals and the other is behavioral some dogs will lick and swallow rocks when they're bored or anxious. So what do you do? Start by ruling out something medical by having him examined by your vet. If its determined he's healthy and it might be behavioral then you can address the behavioral issue by giving the dog more attention, exercise, etc I would be more than happy to trouble shoot this issue with you through a private consult.
Until you determine what the cause is I would not leave your dog unsupervised where he can ingest pebbles or other foreign objects. If you must leave the house you can consider kenneling (if you're not already doing so), When you're out for a walk or break keep a close eye that he does not ingest rocks, ingesting them is very dangerous and might require surgery to remove them.
This type of issue is best addressed through a private consult. There can be several other reasons why your dog is eating pebbles,what I wrote above is just the most common (not saying they apply to your dog) a private consult we will do a Q&A and get to the bottom of this.