Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?
Do you ever wonder; why does my dog eat grass? Is it because my dog is sick, hungry, or bored? Does eating grass hurt my dog? This blog will get you some answers to these questions, so read on to learn why dogs eat grass.
When dogs eat strange things that aren’t foods like grass or other non-food items, this behavior is called ‘Pica.’ Eating grass can signify that your dog is not getting the well-balanced diet he or she needs. But usually, vets consider it safe if your dog eats grass.
They generally believe that grass won’t harm your fluffy companion; instead, it’s possible that eating grass is just a habit that has been developed by your dog in time. But the question still arises; why is my dog eating grass and is it always safe for my dog to eat grass?
In this blog, we have the answers to these questions.
Why Does My Dog Want To Eat Grass?
Many dog owners can think of a variety of reasons why their dog often eats grass. Is it because their dog feels sick and eats grass to help him or her vomit to feel better afterward? Is it due to the lack of a well-balanced diet, and are some nutrients missing? First of all, less than 25% of dogs eat grass to vomit, so eating grass for vomiting isn’t always the case.
Sometimes, dogs portray impulsive and instinctive behavior, and eating grass can be such a natural, instinctive behavior. My dog Stippy eats grass because he likes it. Especially fresh, young, juicy grass. He loves it! Despite what many people believe, dogs are not 100% carnivores. Dogs in the wild also eat berries for example, or grass and some herbs or weeds besides meat. Wild dogs hunt for food and eat whatever they can obtain while searching for their meal.
Also, one primary reason for grass consumption can be that your dog is nutrient-deficient. Your dog needs a good deal of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients daily to stay fit and healthy. To fulfill this need, your dog might start grazing and eating grass.
Therefore, it is not a big deal if your dog is consuming grass. Just be aware that your dog doesn’t eat any weeds that might make him or her sick. Make sure that the grass your dog is consuming isn’t sprayed with weed-killer or pesticides. Your dog can become very ill because of that stuff.
Always provide your dog with a healthy, well-balanced diet. If your dog gets a healthy diet and keeps eating grass occasionally, like my dog does, and your dog is not feeling sick afterward, it’s ok to let your dog eat some grass. If you don’t want your dog to eat grass because you’re afraid he or she might eat a poisonous weed or that the grass has been sprayed with a toxic weed-killer, you can train your dog not to eat grass anymore.
If you ask me the question, can a dog eat grass? I will answer yes, but only if it is not harming your dog, and you are sure that your dog is getting a healthy, well-balanced diet and the that the grass is safe to eat.
What Are The Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass?
There can be many reasons for this grass-eating behavior. Here are a few of the most known reasons for grass eating.
Nutrient Deficiency – One of the primary reasons your dog wants to eat grass can be due to a deficiency of nutrients. As dogs require a proper diet full of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, grass can serve as a delight for your dog. When dogs get nutrient deficient, they might start ingesting grass.
Vets consider it normal behavior for dogs when they start eating non-food items. If your dog is not getting sick and is not harmed after eating grass, do not force your dog to stay away from the green stuff. If you don’t want your dog eating graas, just try modifying your dog’s behavior by distracting your dog or training your dog not to eat grass anymore. If required, you can seek expert advice.
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Digestion Problems – It is also commonly assumed that dogs eat grass to fulfill their need for fiber. As green grass is rich in fiber and dogs require roughage as part of their diet, they may start eating grass to meet their roughage needs.
When dogs are deficient in fiber and roughage, they can become unwell as they may face stomach disorder. They may encounter difficulty when defecating, and their food might not be adequately digested. Hence grass can play a significant, useful role in the digesting body functions of your dog.
Instinctive Behavior – Dogs are neither complete carnivores nor 100% omnivores. As mentioned earlier, wild dogs, when they hunt or search for food, eat whatever food they can find. Hence the instinct of dogs to sometimes eat non-food items such as grass to meet their dietary necessity.
Keep track of your dog while he or she is eating grass. Eating the green stuff once or twice a week is more than enough and still acceptable, but if your dog starts to eat grass to an extreme level, it is essential to go to your local vet and get your dog a check-up.
Boredom – It is entirely normal for your dog to eat grass when he or she is bored. During this boredom, when your pooch finds nothing to do or doesn’t get your attention, your dog can start consuming grass. And when the taste for grass develops, your dog might be able to make a habit of eating the juicy green grass and become addicted to it. My dog Stippy sometimes eats grass when he’s bored, usually because he doesn’t get attention.
Eating grass can be considered safe. A routine behavior, unless it harms your pup. Make sure that you spend enough time with your dog and give him or her the exercise and training your beloved pooch needs. This way, your dog doesn’t get bored and will be calm, relaxed, and satisfied instead of getting engaged in other, sometimes unwanted activities such as eating grass or other items that might not be healthy for your dog.
It is yummy! Maybe your dog finds grass very tasty and delicious. Mine does! It is commonly known that dogs love eating young, juicy grass. It is said that when dog owners start feeding their dogs with a high fiber diet, dogs might stop eating grass. It’s worth a try if you don’t want your dog to eat grass.
How To Stop My Dog From Eating Grass?
There are a couple of things you can try to stop your dog from eating grass. One way is to distract your dog with an activity or a game whenever he or she tries to eat grass. This way, your dog is focussed on you and not on eating grass. When dogs feel bored, they might start eating grass.
My Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Stippy eats grass for two reasons: he likes it, and the other reason is that he’s bored. When I’m walking with him and come across a neighbor, if the conversation takes too long, Stippy will get bored and start eating grass. Though it is not harmful that he eats grass, I want to avoid it because I don’t want it to become routine for him. So when he’s eating grass out of boredom, I tell him to stop. He usually listens but when he doesn’t I’ll leash him and keep him away from the grass.
Secondly, check if your dog is getting enough nutritious food or not. If you think that the food you are feeding your dog is not nutritious enough, you can add something to the diet high in fiber. Try to give your pooch a balanced, healthy diet.
Is your dog eating grass and throwing up afterward? There might be an issue with your dog’s stomach, or maybe he ate something that needs to come out, and afterward, your dog is ok. Keep a close eye on your dog if he or she vomits and if you suspect a bigger problem, always go to your local vet.
Another method is that you can train your dog to refrain from eating grass. Once your dog goes towards the green, command your pooch to stop. When he or she stops immediately, offer a yummy treat. Repeat that every time your dog listens to your command, not to eat grass. This way, your pup will be trained not to eat grass. Be patient, gently, consistent, and always stay calm even if your dog doesn’t listen. Training can take time, but keep going, and you’ll get there!
In a nutshell, though eating grass is not harmful, always keep in mind that if the grass contains pesticides or insects, it will damage your dog’s health, so please be careful and alert about that. Plan a proper healthy and balanced diet for your dog so that your dog does not feel the need to eat grass anymore!
You can also give your dog proper training and teach him or her that eating grass is not allowed. Take your dog for long walks, play with your pup, and spend quality time with your furbaby, so he or she doesn’t get bored. You can always consult a vet if you feel the need.
Always consult your veterinarian before letting your dog eat grass.