Many dogs eat grass and give their owners cause for concern. Is this a danger to them, could it be because they are bored or even just curious what is tastes like?
Do you have a dog that eats grass?
This behaviour of eating things that aren’t classified as a food substance is also labelled as “pica”. It’s quite a common sight in both puppies and even wild dogs too. Certainly, boredom can play a big part, especially with younger dogs. Likewise, certain health conditions can cause your dog to eat grass. Here are several reasons why your pooch may enjoy chewing on this green stuff:
A Gastrointestinal upset
If your pup is suffering from an upset stomach, chances are that he will frantically attempt to pull at and eat your lawn. He is actually trying to make himself sick, to relieve the pain in his tummy. He might cry to go outside and whimper too. He will immediately rush out to the garden, and begin to chomp on any green grass, sometimes in large amounts. Then he will vomit. This is a natural, canine reaction, so long as it only happens very occasionally. Your pet knows that this will make him sick and to expel any nasty toxins from his tummy.
A dog eats grass to ease bloating, gas or nausea
Likewise, if your pet has a stomach upset or is feeling off-colour. A good chew on some nice, fresh grass will help to relieve some of his symptoms.
Does your dog have intestinal worms?
Reports show that wild animals such as chimpanzees consume plant matter when they are under the weather. Digesting this green stuff aids intestinal movements and to eliminate any parasites or worms. It’s understood that in the same way, a dog will eat grass to rid himself of intestinal bugs.
Is your dog eating grass to replace nutritional needs?
Is your dog fed a bland diet, the same type of food material every day? It’s likely that he is missing some vital vitamins and nutrients. Some canines prefer a high-fibre diet and grass also contains chlorophyll and potassium. Grass is quite an effective source of enzymes that help the dog’s digestive system to function.
It could be an inherited trait
Many years ago, wild, canine ancestors would eat prey that had consumed plant matter. As a result of their heritage, present-day dogs also eat grass.
Dogs quite enjoy eating grass
Although some dogs do actually eat grass out of curiosity, boredom or habit, some others find it a fun and enjoyable activity.
How to prevent your dog from eating grass
There are several preventative routes you can take to stop this happening. First of all, try to make diet changes. This could resolve the issue in a short time. Always keep a watchful eye on your dog when he is chewing any grass, to make sure there are no fertilisers or chemicals on the lawn.
Another method to prevent this issue is to implement training routines. Your dog might have an underlying problem that makes him eat grass. Is he bored or does he need more stimulating playtimes? Does he constantly eat grass when you are out on your daily walk? Perhaps teach him to walk to “heel”. If he understands this command, he will walk obediently next to you, rather than running off to other distractions.
Should your dog eat and appear to enjoy just the occasional blade of grass – then don’t worry too much! This is quite natural canine behaviour.