Why do dogs eat grass? The jury may still be out, but here’s the scoop
Does your dog sometimes munch on grass? Did it leave you wondering “Why do dogs eat grass?” Were you concerned that something was wrong with his stomach or that you weren’t feeding him often enough? Good news: There’s no need to worry; eating grass is a very common, normal behavior in dogs and other animals. Some animals, such as cows, deer, and sheep, consist on a diet of only grass, plants, leaves, and even twigs. Those animals are herbivores. Other animals, such as dogs and cats, eat grass more sporadically, and usually as a snack, not a meal.
Why do dogs eat grass?
There doesn’t seem to be one good scientifically proven reason why dogs eat grass, but there are many possible reasons that make a lot of sense. Consider these reasons and see which category your dog seems to fall in. If you’re looking for a way to stop your dog from consuming grass, I’ve included some suggestions, too.
- Some people believe that dogs eat grass in order to calm an upset stomach. Others go further and suggest that the reason they are eating grass is to make themselves throw up, in turn allowing them to feel better. Does your dog tend to excessively eat grass and then throw up the contents? You might want to investigate what is causing your dog’s digestive issues. Is there something he is eating (before the grass) that is upsetting his stomach? Is he allergic to an ingredient in his food? These are questions you may want to think of while keeping a close eye on your dog. You may also want to bring your concerns up to your veterinarian if this is a regular activity for your dog.
- Others believe dogs eat grass to meet some unknown nutritional need. The reasons are many – the dog may have digestive problems, be suffering from worms, or lacking fiber in his diet. First, try your dog on a high-fiber diet to see if this changes his grass snacking. If he continues to eat grass, schedule an appointment with your dog’s doctor. They can verify whether something more serious is occurring.
- It’s also assumed that some dogs eat grass simply because they like the way it feels in their mouth, or that it is coated with something that flavors the grass. When I think about the fact that we pee and poop in the grass and that some dogs might like that “flavoring,” I’m not convinced, but apparently some people believe this. If your dog is eating grass simply because of the texture or taste, you don’t need to stop this behavior or check in with your dog’s veterinarian. If it’s bothering you, simply try to limit the time your dog spends in the grass.
- Finally, some believe that dogs eat grass out of boredom or suffer from an extensive need to eat or chew (and in that case would eat anything around them). If your dog can’t stop chewing on anything, you might want to check in with his veterinarian or even a dog trainer to stop this behavior. If your dog is simply bored, give him something to do. Dogs are active creatures. Challenge him with a tough dog toy or throw a ball to get him running around.
If your dog is a grass eater, it’s always important to be cautious about how much he is eating and from where. Remember, some people use herbicides and pesticides on their grass. You wouldn’t want your dog eating those harmful ingredients. Training will help your dog stop his chomping behaviors. Also, consider limiting your dog’s free time on the grass. If he’s not near any, he can’t eat any!
Has anyone ever asked you why do dogs eat grass? Which reason do you think makes the most sense? Let us know in the comments!
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