Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Have you ever seen your dog eating grass? This is not an uncommon behavior in dogs (or cats!), but some pet owners may worry about what it really means and whether or not their dogs are getting enough nutrients every day, too. By the end of this article, you’ll know the most common answers to the very popular question, “why do dogs eat grass?”
6 Common Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass
Read through the information below to find out more about what it means if your dog is eating a lot of grass. With the help of this guide, you can understand when there is cause for concern and when it’s okay to just let your dog continue chewing on grass when they feel like it.
6 of the most common reasons, or answers, to the question “why do dogs eat grass” are the following:
Lack of Fiber
If your dog doesn’t get much fiber in her diet, she may be looking to supplement that fiber with some grass. Grass provides roughage that makes it easier for them to digest their food and helps keep them regular, too.
If you suspect your dog is eating grass because of a lack of fiber, try giving them a higher fiber diet or some high-fiber treats every day. In time, you may notice a decrease in their grass eating habits.
Dogs may sometimes consume grass because they find it soothing. It may be soothing emotionally to them to munch on some blades of grass, or it might soothe a sick stomach, too. It is unclear whether or not all dogs eat grass to soothe an upset stomach, but some dogs do perform this behavior.
If your dog has an upset stomach and has been diarrhea or vomiting for more than one day, take them to the vet. They may have an infection or an intestinal parasite that needs medical treatment, and they may need fluids depending on the severity of their symptoms, too.
Boredom or Anxiety
Dogs who are very bored and left alone in the yard with nothing to do may look to grass as something to occupy their time. They may start eating grass just because it’s there, and they may do this on a regular basis, too. On the other hand, a dog who is very anxious and is left alone may eat grass out of nerves instead.
If your dog is bored, you can alleviate that boredom by giving them something safe to play with when they’re on their own. If he or she is anxious, training or mental stimulation throughout the day can help, or they may need an anti-anxiety medication from the vet.
Seeing Other Dogs Eating Grass
Sometimes, your dog simply eats grass because they see other dogs doing it—and that’s okay! If your dog is in the presence of other dogs who start munching on blades of grass, they may get the hint and try it as well.
Dogs who go to the dog park, to doggie daycare, or to family members’ homes where other dogs are present may sometimes be more likely to develop a habit of eating grass. However, even dogs who live on their own may eat grass sometimes, too.
Being a Puppy
Puppies are always interested in exploring the world around them, and they tend to do this with their noses and mouths more than anything else. If your puppy is exploring her environment, she may try eating some grass to see how it tastes or to figure out just what it is.
Puppies should not be allowed to eat grass if they have not had their complete round of puppy shots, as grass and soil can be breeding grounds for various serious bacterial and viral infections. Parasites can also be present in soil and grass, so keep your puppy protected until they have had all of their baby shots.
Liking the Taste
Finally, if you’ve ruled out all other possibilities on this list, there is a chance your dog is eating grass just because they like the taste of it. There’s nothing wrong with letting your dog eat grass because they like it, and you don’t have to worry about them being sick or having any underlying problems if this is the cause.
If you have any further questions or concerns, talk to your vet for more information. Your vet can help you determine when the cause of your dog’s grass eating could be something more significant.
Should I be Worried if My Dog Eats Grass?
Most of the time, there’s no problem when dogs eat grass, and you don’t have to worry about this behavior in your pet. Even if your dog eats grass regularly, you can rest assured that there’s probably nothing severe going on with them.
However, keep in mind that your dog should not be allowed to eat grass that has been recently treated for insects or other pests. Additionally, it is unsafe to let your dog eat grass if you aren’t sure the history of the grass—for example, grass found in a public park or on a hike that could potentially be contaminated.
The answers to “why do dogs eat grass” can range from it being a common behavior to there being an underlying dietary reason. That being said, if you are concerned about your pet’s behavior, or if you’re wondering if you need to adjust your dog’s diet, you should contact a veterinarian for advice. At Heart + Paw, our goal is to make sure your pet remains as healthy and happy as possible. Make an appointment at any of our locations with our team by booking an appointment online or giving us a call.
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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.
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