Have you recently witnessed your pet feasting on your lawn? If so you may find yourself asking, “Why is my dog eating grass?” Rest assured you’re not alone! About 70% of pet owners have found their pets indulging in some vegetation, and most of the time it’s grass. It is a typical behavior amongst dogs, especially puppies. As a pet parent, you may be worried that his or her new activity is hurting them. However, it is actually safe for dogs to enjoy nibbling on a bit of greenery every now and then!
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
The habit of eating things that aren’t food is called pica. This is a disorder where your pet may enjoy ingesting grass, rocks, plastic, wood, or a number of other inedible objects. Most of the time, it is an indicator of issues you may need to look out for, such as nutritional deficiency or boredom. In some cases, your dog may vomit after eating grass, which is when you should take a closer look at your furry friend’s habits.
The majority of dogs that eat grass will not show any other symptoms related to the issue. In some cases, dogs have eaten grass, thrown up, and went right back to eating grass. There is a long list of reasons as to why your dog wants to eat grass, so we understand why you are left scratching your head.
This eating behavior can be broken down into two categories: psychological and physical reasons. Veterinarians have not been able to understand a dogs’ eating habits thoroughly. We hope that this article helps you try to pinpoint the reason your pet may be indulging in grass.
Psychological Reasons Dogs Eat Grass
If your furry pal isn’t showing any signs of health issues, it is most likely a psychological reason they’re eating grass. Sometimes dogs eat grass because it feels fun to chew on the texture, especially if the grass is long. Your pet can also have a healthy appetite and may just be hungry.
Most veterinarians view dogs eating grass as normal behavior. In fact, it is common among the species, even wild dogs participate in this behavior. It may come as a shock how similar our pets’ eating habits are to ours. For example, your canine may be eating grass because he is bored. This is very common amongst puppies. Puppies require high energy attention, and if they do not receive it from you, they will find a way to amuse themselves.
If you notice that your dog is eating plants or grass when you are not home, they may be struggling with separation anxiety. We recommend leaving a dirty t-shirt with your scent before leaving the house to comfort your dog. Also, you can give your pooch CBD treats to help calm him down.
However, if you notice your dog showing obsessive behavior, it may be time to visit your vet and figure out a way to curb your doggy’s pica.
Physical Reasons Dogs Eat Grass
Although your dog may be eating a full, balanced meal daily, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have any cravings. Think about it this way, how many times have you reached inside the cookie jar after you’ve eaten a lot?
Furthermore, your pooch needs a well-balanced diet. Adequate food choices should contain meat, vegetables, grains, and fruits. Be sure to feed them the proper amounts for their age and size. Just like how dogs lick their wounds to heal, they also eat grass to have things flowing in their digestive tract.
Medical issues like diabetes, cancer, or parasites can make your dog extra hungry. Some dogs may be eating grass to soothe their upset stomachs or to induce vomiting after eating something they shouldn’t.
If you notice indications of pain or signs of discomfort after your furry friend has eaten grass, there may be a medical link to the issue. Dogs can ache from several gastrointestinal tract (GI) issues, including gastric reflux, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Once you notice that your dog shows symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, or decreased sleep, you should visit your vet immediately.
Related Article: Dog Diarrhea Home Remedies [Best Tips for Prevention]
Is Grass Dangerous for Dogs to Eat?
For a healthy dog, grass-eating is not dangerous, as long as the grass is not treated with any pesticides or chemicals that can cause harm. If you believe your pet is ingesting an unhealthy amount of grass daily, speak to your vet about introducing a parasite prevention medication for your dog regularly.
How Do I Stop My Dog from Eating Grass?
To stop your dog from eating grass, you would have to understand why they’re is eating grass; if it is a psychological or physical cause. As suggested earlier, for psychological issues, leave an article of clothing with a familiar scent to comfort your pooch. You can also leave bones and toys in the grass to distract them. If you have a young puppy, you can firmly say commands such as “no” or “stop” to keep him or her from chewing on the grass further.
Physical issues may be a bit tricky, but some pet owners have noticed that their dogs have completely stopped eating grass after being placed on a high fiber diet. You can incorporate beet pulp, oats, or buckwheat into your best buds meals.
Another remedy that can work for both psychological and physical needs is CBD. For dogs with a nervous habit, or puppies with too much energy, CBD is known to create a sense of calmness which may help your pet break its habit. There is a wide product selection to choose from such as CBD oil tinctures, dog treats, and capsules. When shopping for a CBD product, be sure to look for a trustworthy company like Holistapet!
Keeping Your Grass Dog-Friendly
To keep your grass dog-friendly, make sure the area is clean from any dog feces or any fertilizers. Your grass should be trimmed and clean from any pesticides or chemicals that can harm your pup. Trimming your grass short will make it difficult for your furry friend to nibble at it. The longer the grass, the more tempting it is for them to tug on it!
Keep in mind that dogs do not only eat grass. Many plants can be harmful to your pooch. The most common toxic plants are philodendron, oleander, Japanese yew, lilies, sage, aloe vera, and tulips.
Do I Need to Take My Dog to the Vet?
What we do know is that eating small amounts of grass is perfectly normal for a healthy dog. Still, if nibbling turns into repetitive vomiting followed by mood and appetite changes, it’s time to take a trip down to your veterinarian’s office.
Before you head over to your vet, be sure to analyze when your dog is eating the grass, how much before or after meals, and how soon he or she feels sick. Your vet should check your pet from his nose down to his tail and thoroughly inspect the abdominal area. Most of the time, they will conduct bloodwork and test the stool for any parasites. If your vet finds anything alarming, they may proceed to take a few x-rays.
Final Thoughts – Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Of course, when it comes down to your dog’s physical issues, you are worried, as all parents are. We are hoping that this article sheds some light on the not so bizarre behavior of your doggy. Although it can be a bit of a nuisance, pay attention to what your dog is trying to communicate through this behavior. A few small changes at home can curb his need for grass.