Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?
It happens to all dog owners because all dogs do it. You take your dog outside for a potty break or a walk only to find yourself constantly telling him not to eat the grass. While no one knows for certain why dogs tend to chow down on these natural greens, there are a few reasons that could be behind your dog’s behavior.
4 Possible Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass
Responsible pet owners provide their dogs with a balanced diet containing all the nutrients their pets need, but dogs didn’t always have their meals served to them in silver bowls. Some think that dogs’ tendency to eat grass is an instinct left over from when they had to fend for themselves and find their own meals, fiber, and well-rounded nutrition.
2. Nutritional Deficiency
Pets and people can experience a condition called pica which is characterized by the instinct to look for nutrients in strange places. Pica often occurs when a pet or person has a nutritional deficiency, and it makes them crave odd things. Some people believe that a dog’s drive to eat grass is actually pica and could indicate a lack of fiber or other nutrients in the dog’s diet.
3. Emotional Issues
Dogs experiencing stress, anxiety, boredom, or separation anxiety tend to eat grass more frequently than calm, entertained, and happy dogs.
4. They Like It
Another possible reason why your dog might be chowing down on grass is simply that he likes the way it tastes or feels in his mouth.
Is It Safe for Your Dog to Eat Grass?
In itself, grass isn’t toxic or harmful to dogs like other plants can be. However, many lawns are sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers that can be toxic. Additionally, eating grass outside can definitely expose your dog to intestinal parasites that have been left behind by other animals in the soil.
In short, you should try to keep your dog from eating grass with training and by providing more rewarding treats as a distraction during your walks.
If your dog simply can’t fight the compulsion, try planting a patch of organically grown grass specially for your pup that you know will be safe for him to eat. Always make sure to do this in moderation though as too much can cause your dog to vomit.
When to Contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital
If your dog is eating grass and also experiencing persistent symptoms of gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite or weight loss, this is not normal and could be a sign that your dog is sick or has another health problem going on and should see a veterinarian right away.
If any of these above symptoms are occurring, we recommend you call to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians today for a comprehensive examination and discussion about what might be going on with your pet.