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Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

Grass Eating in Dogs: The Reason, The Effects, and When To Consult The Vet

It is common for dog owners to see their dogs eating grass. If you are one of them, you don’t have to worry too much. Animal experts and veterinarians consider this as normal behavior. Your dog might just be hungry or bored. In other cases, your dog might be sick, in which case it needs medical attention. Now let us get to the facts, why exactly does your dog eat grass and what can you do about it?

Dog Eating Grass

Do Dogs Like to Eat Grass?

There are dogs who actually like to eat grass because of its texture and taste. Other dogs eat grass because of a gassy or an upset stomach. In cases like this, the grass helps the dog vomit so that they could expel whatever it is bothering them in their stomach.

Why is My Dog Eating Grass?

There is actually a technical term for eating things that aren’t food – pica. Your dog may have a general pica which means that it tends to eat things other than its food including grass. It may also include leaves, paper, etc. Or perhaps your dog has some form of pica specific to grass. The only thing it will eat aside from its food is grass.

Grass eating in dogs may be an indication of a nutritional deficiency. Or perhaps your dog is simply bored that it tends to eat grass. This is usually practiced by puppies and young dogs.

Grass eating by dogs is not a serious concern. The fact is according to veterinarians, this is just normal. One scientific study consisting of 49 dogs found out that 79% of these dogs ate plants at some time. Another separate study found out that grass was the most commonly eaten plant by dogs.

Is It Bad for Dogs to Eat Grass?

Eating grass alone is not harmful to your dog. It will only become harmful if the grass that your dog eats contains chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. When your dog ingests these, it can cause health problems.

Because of that, when you do gardening at home, make sure that unsafe products do not stick to places where your animals love to stay and play. Keep them away from your dogs. If you need to put herbicides or pesticides onto your grass, then make sure that your dog does not go there. This will ensure that they won’t eat the grass and all those harmful chemicals applied to it. Using the best wireless dog fences may help you with this.

Should I Get Grass for My Dog?

If your dog is that kind who loves to eat grass, then it might be a good idea to make potted grass solely for your dog. If you put pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals in your lawn’s grass, then it is all the more reason for you to allocate a separate place where your dog can enjoy chemical-free grass.

Better yet, you might want to invest in some plants or sprouts that can be a good alternative to grass. There are some of these containing digestible enzymes, minerals, and vitamins that can be easily grown. Just make sure that if you do this, you will still maintain your dog’s good nutrition by giving it healthy food including the best organic dog foods.

Should I Bring My Dog to the Vet?

As mentioned earlier, there are times when dogs eat grass to vomit. They may have ingested something unpleasant and they make use of grass so that they could vomit and release those bothering them. If this is the behavior of your dog and it becomes fine afterward, then there should be no concern for you.

However, if you notice that your dog keeps on eating grass and vomits, then it might be the best time to take them to the vet. More so, if you notice that your dog has a form of general pica wherein it eats not only grass but also other things like dirt, paper, cloth, garbage, or feces, then it is best to consult the vet to find out the best solution to this problem.

Conclusion

Overall, grass-eating by dogs is not a cause for concern. What you need to do is to observe your dog’s behavior properly so that you can decide what to do next – give it healthy grass or some alternative plants or sprouts, or take it to the veterinarian for a health check.

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Dr. Annie Spencer

Annie Spencer is a certified Dog Health Expert Veterinarian and holds a masters degree in Dog Emotion & Cognition from the Duke University, USA. She owns a private clinic and shares knowledge of her 30+ year experience at PetsBeast.com - helping worldwide people with their queries and recommending them with best dog health care products to purchase.
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