This is a common question from dog lovers. Why does my dog eat grass? Are they missing something in their diet? Could they be sick? Do they think they are a cow? Well, maybe not the last one… but rest assured, they are just fine.
Dogs munching on grass is actually a normal or common dog behavior and is seen in wild dogs also. “Pica” is the technical term for a disorder of eating things that aren’t food. Sometimes pica can indicate that your dog has a nutritional deficiency or it could just be that they are bored. It is more common for younger dogs or puppies to do this due to boredom.
Does it cause problems?
It should not cause problems. Just beware, you don’t want them eating grass that has been treated with any kind of chemical or pesticides. I wouldn’t even let them walk on treated grass because of the chance they lick their paws!
Some people say that dogs eat grass when they have an upset stomach, to make themselves vomit. Others dispute this due to the fact that dogs simply aren’t smart enough to know how to treat themselves. It’s also quite rare, According to Pet WebMD, fewer than 10% of dogs seem to be sick before eating grass and less than 25% of dogs will eat grass and vomit regularly.
How can I stop my dog from eating grass?
If you think it’s because of boredom, I would pay attention to how much exercise your dog is getting everyday. We are firm believers that exercise can help with a wide variety of problems. Sometimes the solution is as simple as providing a chew toy as an alternative or dedicating yourself to providing a consistent exercise routine.
According to the American Kennel Club, if you notice that your dog has been munching on grass or houseplants, you may want to introduce natural herbs or cooked vegetables into his diet. Some people also see it stop after adding a high-fiber dog food into their diet.
One published study of a poodle that ate grass everyday and vomited for 7 years, then after putting the dog on a high fiber diet the dog stopped eating grass entirely.
Some dogs just like the taste and texture! They are also known to eat fruits, berries and other plants.
What it comes down to… don’t worry!
Relax, your dog eating clean grass is not going to hurt them! Just pay attention to make sure they are not eating handfuls at a time or you can distract them with a toy. If they make it habit, they may be craving something missing in their diet.