So why do dogs eat grass?
You might find yourself wondering whether you saw your dog eating grass earlier in the day when you two were out for a walk.
Dogs aren’t usually associated with eating grass, as cows are, and you might get concerned whether your dog eating grass might cause them some harm.
Sometimes, as a result of eating grass, a dog can end up vomiting or having digestion problems.
Read on more to find out why your dog is eating grass, what you could do about it, and when or if you should even be concerned that your dog is feeding on grass.
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? – Your dog is bored
Sometimes, when a dog is bored, they end up chewing on things or objects that aren’t necessarily edible. This could range from dog toys to bones, and sometimes even plants.
The thing is, plants are more edible than plastic or rubber objects, and so you’ll often find a dog chewing on grass and being able to swallow it.
This disorder is technically known as pica, a disorder for eating things that are not food. This could be a result of either nutritional deficiency or simply boredom. This usually occurs in smaller dogs and puppies, as they tend to be more experimental than the older ones.
Your dog is trying to naturally remedy itself
If you’re worried that your dog is reoccurring eating grass, then you shouldn’t be too concerned. Dogs eating grass isn’t too uncommon of a habit and can be seen in even dogs in the wild that don’t have any owners. If you ask a veterinarian, they’ll tell you not to be too worried about it, as it’s a common behavior of dogs. In fact, cats even do it too.
Some people go as far as to suggest that dogs are eating grass possibly to self-medicate, so as to induce vomiting. If a dog vomits, then this helps them relieve of any infection that they may have caught through food or the weather. So, they eat grass as medicine, or they just like the taste.
Your dog needs exercise
Since eating grass often comes as sign of boredom, getting regular exercise is beneficial to keep your dog healthy and in good shape. The more your dog is active, the more likely that your dog will be wiped out or calmer and not chewing and eating grass.
When you take your dog out on walks, you can take a toy with you like a ball to play fetch or a frisbee to run around with. This will keep them distracted enough not to go chewing on grass.
Do be careful of where your dog is chewing on grass
While eating grass can be harmless as food, some gardens have plants sprayed with pesticides or herbicides to keep the plant bugs away from eating the plants. Public gardens are sometimes sprayed with pesticides through strong doses of gas released by a pesticide car.
There are also some specific kinds of plants that are toxic or poisonous for animals to eat. To find out if any of your house plants are toxic or dangerous for your dog, you can check out ASPCA’s Animal Poison Protocol Control Center website for a list of toxic and non-toxic plants. There you’ll find a list of the plants that your pet should avoid.
If your pet dog is displaying any irregular symptoms or signs of food poisoning, such as irregular heartbeats, vomiting, or diarrhea, then you should urgently consult a doctor to take the necessary steps and precautions to healing your dog, who may have eaten something toxic to its digestive system.
How can I stop my dog from eating grass?
Spending time outdoors will find your pet dog sometimes feeding on grass. However, that is not to say that you should stop taking them out to the sunny outdoors. There are certain ways you can train your pet dog to not feed on grass while going for a walk or playing outside.
If you’re spending your time in the garden, then you can distract your dog by watering the plants. They’ll be excited enough by the water to stop them from eating plants or having boredom-induced hunger.
What if I can’t stop my dog from eating grass?
If you find that your dog is eating and vomiting out grass more than usual, then you should consider your dog’s diet. Sometimes pets go chewing at plants as an attempt to get nutrients that they’re not being catered to in their diets. You should check your food packaging ingredients, or you can simply try experimenting with different products of the dog food shelf at your closest pet shop. A research conducted at the University of California looked into why dogs behave in such manner and found that pets which had fruits and vegetables included in their diets were less inclined to eat grass.
A dog’s nutrition should always comprise of compounds and elements like protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and carbs. Also, make sure that your furry companion is hydrated, as being hydrated could cause them to get the munchies and snack on food due to cravings.
If your dog seems to be eating the plants by mistake after playing with it, then you could always invest in buying wheat or oat grass kits, which are seeds you plant to grow pet-friendly edible plants for your doggos to play with and eat. Plus, the plants come with nutritional value too.
What if my dog gets sick from eating grass?
If you’re finding that your pet dog is eating too much grass, then you should consider consulting a doctor or veterinarian. The instant craving could be linked as a symptom to another ailment, but that all depends on the results that your pet’s doctor brings you.
All in all, science hasn’t really debunked what it is that dogs like so much about eating grass. Is it the taste? Is it to relieve themselves from stomach pain? Or are they looking for nutrients that they’re not getting in their diets? It could be their evolutionary background from canines in the wild that left a trace in these domesticated puppers.
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