Have you ever noticed that your dog eating grass? Maybe you have, and that might have brought you concern, if not outright scared you.
Why is my pup eating grass? Is it safe for my dog to eat grass?
Dog owners have always asked these questions when they see their furry friends eating grass. In this blog post, we share with you the common reasons for your dog’s grass-eating habit and how to stop it.
Top 4 Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass
There may be several reasons why your dog is eating grass. But here are the top 4 reasons dogs eat grass.
Some dogs, without anything to do, eat grass merely because they are bored. As with other people, some dogs quickly get bored and resort to eating grass to ease their boredom.
Eating grass may be a way for your dog to get your attention. If you suspect this is the reason for your dog’s grass-eating tendencies, provide your pup with activities to ease his boredom. Some stimulating activities and playtime with your dog can keep them entertained and help them divert their attention.
Adding Variations To the Dog’s Diet
Just as people want to eat a variety of food regularly, dogs also want to add some variations to their diet. It is very common that we feed our dogs their usual dog food daily. When supplied with the same food every day, our furry pets get bored with the taste. They tend to look for something of a different flavor.
Usually, most dogs eat a lot of protein in their food. This may cause a nutritional deficiency, and your dog would find a high-fiber diet a necessity. Sometimes, when constipated, dogs need to ingest more fiber to aid digestion and pass stool. As a dietary response, dogs eat and digest grass and other plants.
Some dogs also tend to eat grass when they have an upset stomach. A dog eating grass frantically may be an indication that your pet is trying to induce vomiting. It is their means of getting rid of whatever it is that causes them stomach aches.
Dogs also eat grass to find relief from nausea and digestive problems. When a dog’s stomach is bloated, it is normal to find them eating grass to soothe themselves.
Some dogs eat grass as an instinctive behavior brought by inherited traits from wild ancestors. Primitive dogs in history have survived in the wild by eating anything that can satisfy their hunger. When they cannot find other animals to prey on, they would eat grass.
Despite having evolved as domesticated dogs now, our furry friends could still have retained their wildlife instinct and the urge to eat grass.
Should I Stop My Dog From Doing This?
But it is a cause for concern for pet owners when their dogs eat grass. After all, it seems odd behavior for a dog to eat grass.
Eating grass seems to be entertaining for dogs. Maybe grass tastes good, or dogs like the grass’ texture.
Regardless of the reasons why your dog eats grass, there are some reasons why we should curtail this behavior.
When done moderately or occasionally, grass-eating is normal dog behavior. But as pet parents, it is best that we stop this grass-eating behavior.
For one, some grass may have pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals that are harmful to pets. Even if the grass itself were not that harmful to our dogs, the chemicals in the grass could be detrimental to our furry friends.
Secondly, grasses are generally dirty and may contain intestinal parasites like hookworms or roundworms, which your dog may ingest. It would cause your dog to be infested, and you would be bothered by the need to de-worm your dog.
Additionally, who knows what other objects might be imbued in the grass which could choke your dog. Or there may be something that could cause serious medical conditions, or worse, poison your furry friend.
These are just basic reasons why you should stop your dog from eating grass.
How To Get My Dog To Stop Eating Grass
If your dog includes grass-nibbling and plant-eating among its daily activities and wants to stop him, here are things you can undertake.
Provide a Variety of Food
When the cause of your dog’s grass-eating habits is the need for food varieties, you could try a change of dog food, or providing a well-balanced diet, or increase your dog’s fiber intake.
A variety of dog food may also help. Give your dogs different foods once in a while. Let them taste some dog flavors. You may also mix wet and dry dog food to tease their palates. These varied flavors may keep them interested in their own dog food and away from the taste of grass.
Alternatively, training your dog not to eat grass will also be beneficial. Give him treats as a reward for not eating grass. Positive reinforcement training will greatly help in keeping your dog off the grass.
Exercise and Play
Exercise and play will keep your dog entertained, and he will spend his time more on productive activities. At the time his exercise and playtime are over, he will be too tired to run off and eat some grass.
Consult a Professional
Visit your veterinarian or a dog behavior specialist when your dog is eating grass frantically or continuously. Your vet is sure to know how to help your furry friend curb such a manner.
Also, when your furry pet’s dog-eating grass behavior is hard to curb, it is better to consult your vet on the ways to stop this behavior.
When you see your dog eating grass occasionally, don’t panic. Depending on the cause, it may not be a cause of concern.
Unless your dog is eating so much grass or showing signs of illness prior to grass-eating, it is alright to let your dog experience this behavior once in a while.
When it comes to our pups, we only want the best. No matter what the reason is for your dog to eat grass, a visit to the vet is always recommended. Your vet is the best person to determine the cause of your dog’s behavior and can suggest the best alternative to stop it.