You have just taken out your furry friend for some play time but he ran off to eat a mouthful of grass before you could get hold of him. Seeing your dog eating grass would certainly create a cause of concern and you would start looking for answers to questions like: Why does my dog eat grass? Am I giving best food to my dog
? Is he hungry? Is he sick? Whether eating grass would hurt him? Is it better to stop him or let him eat?
First thing first, you are not alone as far as the concern of dog eating grass or other plants; it’s a common behavior among dogs that confuse many dog owners. According to various studies, it has been observed even if you are giving a well balanced diet to your dog, he may still go for grass and other green stuff on regular basis. To make a dog’s diet balanced, the vegetables and fruits should also be included in addition to the meat, poultry or grains.
There are no simple and concrete answers to why dogs eat grass? However, many studies have brought out the fact that different dogs may eat grass for different reasons and below are the some of the observation based on these studies.
Main Reasons for Dog to Eat Grass:
1.Digestion or Distressed Stomach:
Some of the experts consider that eating grass is a form of self-treatment for dog. When your pooch suffers from tummy troubles, bad digestion, stomach pain or eaten something it should not have eaten, he turns to grass for relief and vomit out whatever is in its stomach that is causing it pain or discomfort. Dog feels ticklish inside the throat which leads it to throw up, especially when it swallows the grass without chewing on it.
2.Genetics and Evolution:
Long before when dogs were domesticated, they use to hunt in packs, just like the wolves and eating grass is a normal tendency they have inherited from their wild ancestors. Furthermore, when dogs couldn’t able to hunt down a prey, they had to eat anything and everything including green plants, grass and certain roots in order to satisfy their hunger and survive too.
3.Dietary or Nutritional Deficiency:
Grass is rich in minerals, some vitamins and it also contains fibers which can cover certain deficiencies in a dog’s diet. A dog may eat grass when something is missing from his diet, such as a mineral, a vitamin, a certain percentage of fibers and so on.Make sure that your dog eats a high-quality balanced diet, and if in case the dog is eating grass constantly, you can ask the vet for recommendations. You can also supplement the dog’s diet with finely chopped fresh vegetables, fruits, spinach, broccoli, parsley and pineapple.
4.Seeking Attention or Out of Boredom:
In cases where owners are simply not providing their dog with enough attention and exercise, the dog may try to gain attention with their owner through engaging in prohibited behaviors which includes eating grass.
Like humans, dogs also need stimulation in the form of mental and physical exercise. In case of lack of exercise they will become bored and begin to entertain themselves by being destructive and chewing through furniture, in other cases a dog will entertain itself by finding something – anything – to do and this can include eating grass.
Is eating grass harmful for dogs?
Most veterinarians and experts say that letting your dog eat grass does not have any negative effects. However, you must keep an eye on it, especially if there is a sudden increase in grass eating as it could be a sign of an underlying illness. Also keep in mind that it could also lead to accidental ingestion of pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals that have been sprayed on your yard.
How you can stop your dog from eating grass?
1.Puppies and young dogs, especially from high energy breeds should not be left alone for too long.
2.Distract your dog mind off the grass by playing with it or offer it toys to play with.
3.Providing your dog high-fiber dog food. The additional fiber may help relieve your dog’s desire for grass by aiding digestion.
4.Include steamed vegetables in the dog diet. Steamed vegetables can also act as an alternative to commercial dog snacks. The following steamed vegetables can be considered for your dog: Broccoli, Carrots, Green beans, Spinach, Celery, Zucchini, and Sweet potatoes.
5.If your dog continues to eat grass despite your best attempts, schedule an appointment with your vet. The vet can examine your dog for underlying physical and mental conditions.
Does your dog eat grass? Tell us about it in the comments!
We’re always happy to find the solutions for your pet parenting needs. Reach out to us anytime and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. We also welcome you to share your own dog tips and behavior solutions with all the pet parents.
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