Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?
You may have heard that dogs eat grass when they have an upset stomach. If you have a dog that likes to graze when you are out for a walk, you may even be concerned.
While digestive issues could be the cause, there are many other reasons that your dog may nibble on wild greens.
Here are some reasons your dog may be eating grass, and what you can do to stop or minimize the behavior:
Is your dog eating grass when left alone? He could be bored, especially if you have a young puppy.
Try not to react, as that will enforce the behavior. If it gets your attention – good or bad – your dog will be more inclined to keep doing it.
Boredom is an easy fix! Take your pal on more walks, try some more strenuous exercise (such as fetch or tugging) or get them a new toy! There are many dog toy subscription boxes to keep a steady flow of new experiences coming.
Do you let your dog outside in a fenced in yard while you are at work?
If so, grazing may be for more than just boredom. It could be that your pet suffers from separation anxiety. If you think your dog is anxiously gnawing on grass or other things when you are away, consider leaving something with your scent, such as an old shirt or pillow. You can also pay a walker to come take them out for a little bit so they have some human interaction.
Dogs naturally want to hunt and scavenge. Even though they can now get all of the nutrients they need in pre-packaged foods, it is still in their DNA.
Wild canids often eat an entire animal, including plant-based stomach contents, as well as scavenge for grass, berries, and other plant-based foods. Really, they will eat anything that will meet their daily nutrition requirements.
Trying to work against the natural instinct in this case is not worth the trouble, and may even do more harm than good. As long as the grass is not making your dog sick (beware of harmful chemicals in lawn treatments!) and you are up-to-date on parasite prevention, you can go ahead and let him graze a little.
Some dogs get sick after eating grass, but few appear to be sick beforehand. It is highly unlikely that your dog is soothing his digestive system with grass.
It is more likely that your pet simply likes the taste, or is seeking some fiber and other nutrients provided by grass for digestive wellness.
If you notice a sudden increase in grass eating, it could be a sign of a more serious illness. Call your vet immediately if you suspect this may be the case.
It is quite possible that your pet is simply looking to fulfill nutritional requirements that are not being met with their commercial food. If you notice your dog nibbling on grass and other plants, you can try to feed a more fiber-rich diet.
You can do this with a high-fiber dog food from the store, or by introducing herbs and cooked vegetables to their diet. Dogs typically do not prefer raw veggies, so cooked is best. To avoid unbalancing their diet, any additives should be given in moderation.
Check out our list of healthy human foods that are safe to feed your dog to make sure you are not feeding them anything toxic.
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