How many times have you seen your beloved canine buddy eat grass? You may feel confused and worried at the same time and ask yourself: Is my dog turning into a goat? Is he just hungry or just bored with eating dog meals? Is he not feeling well? Is it okay for him to eat grass?
Seeing your dog eats grass for the first time can also be surprising and funny, at least for you. At the same time, seeing your buddy throws up a foamy liquid substance makes you realized that your pooch might not be feeling well.
Although, dogs eating unusual things is common, especially when they are pretty active and feeling bored. In medical terminology, a habit where pets eat non-food things is called “Pica”. Pica can be sometimes associated with some type of nutritional deficiency. Dogs eating grass is considered a pica but doesn’t usually cause any serious problems. Most veterinarians consider grass eating in dogs as a normal thing.
So, what is the reason my dog eats grass?
There are different possible reasons why your dog might want to munch some of the grass on your lawn. Most people believed that dogs eat grass when they feel ill, and it’s their way to vomit and feel better. However, some do not agree with the idea as there is no evidence to support that dogs are capable of thinking that eating grass can cure their upset stomach.
A study implied that most dogs are not ill prior to eating grass. As a matter of fact, only less than 10% of owners have suggested that their dogs are actually sick before eating grass and that it doesn’t usually lead to vomiting. Furthermore, fewer than 25% of dogs throw up after ingesting grass.
Others proposed that the following are possible reasons for dogs to eat grass:
● To enhance digestion
● To get rid of intestinal worms
● To fill-in some unfulfilled dietary needs, such as the need for fiber
In relation to the latter, there’s a published study that reported a miniature poodle who eats grass and vomits after for seven years. The owner described that the dog completely stopped eating grass after three days of putting the dog on a high-fiber diet.
Another possible reason is that your dog simply loves how the grass feels and tastes in its mouth.
Should I just let my dog eat grass then?
Although this may seem to be the typical behavior of dogs, ingesting grass frequently is a bad habit for your canine, and it is not the best snack for them. Moreover, grass in your surroundings may contain toxins due to herbicides or pesticides sprayed on it, especially if you have a lawn in your backyard.
Now that you already know the possible reasons why your dog grazes on grass, it is also necessary that you take heed of which of these reasons is evident to your dog and what you can do about it to prevent any serious problems in the long run.
How do I stop my dog from eating grass?
There are several things you can do to prevent your dog from grazing, and your action will vary to what you think their reason for doing it.
Bored – If you think your canine is chewing grass because of boredom, why not involve them in fun activities such as fetching, jolly ball, or spring pole. You can also give them something to chew on like indestructible toys to keep them entertained. Activities will not just lessen their grazing but are also great for their health.
Pica – If you suspect your beloved dog has this compulsive eating disorder caused by nutritional deficiency. Then, providing them with foods that are high in fiber may help ease their grazing. Dog foods that are rich in fiber can aid their digestion problem, especially if your pooch is suffering from an upset stomach.
Instinct – Your dog may instinctively graze as a reflection of their heritage and the need to be scavengers. Usually, this reason is a behavior problem and will not cause an alarm as long as your dog eats safe grasses and not overdoing it.
While ingesting grass is not typically harmful to dogs. It is always good to be observant of your buddies at all times, regardless your buddy is grazing with purpose or just for fun. Always consider the safety of your pooch.
Gson is an independent blogger and a pet lover. He shares his pet stories at latestpaws. His articles are a combination of his passion for writing and his love for animals.