Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?

There are a variety of reasons why your dog may be eating grass. Though it doesn’t seem appetizing for humans, there could be a good reason why your dog is doing this. The key to stopping the unwanted behavior is finding out why your dog chooses to eat this convenient terra firma treat.

Grass is the most commonly eaten plant by dogs, but why? Each dog may have his own unique reason. So, putting an end to this behavior will lie in finding out your dog’s motivation.

Some dogs simply find grass to be a tasty treat. They may be drawn to it out of their natural desire to scavenge for food or it may be meeting a nutritional need that your dog isn’t receiving through his food, such as fiber. Make sure that your dog is receiving a quality and balanced diet with enough fiber.

Dogs have a natural desire to chew on things. Wild dogs eat whole carcasses of small animals and chewing the raw bones is one way they savor their meals while absorbing vital nutrients and cleaning teeth to boot. We can take our dogs out of the wild but we can not take the wild out of our dogs, at least not all of it. Our dogs can become board and seek out stimulation through chewing on things they are not supposed to, like grass. Try giving him some chew toys and bones to provide the entertainment and stimulation that he is seeking as well as maintaining an adequate exercise routine of daily walks and some yard play, such as throwing the ball, to outlet any stored energy.

Some believe that dogs eat grass to induce vomiting when their stomach is upset. This may be the case if he suddenly and anxiously starts eating it and vomits afterward. Studies show this to be in rare cases, less than 25%, with only 10% showing signs of illness before eating the grass. If you believe that your dog is feeling ill then inform your vet since this can be a sign of more serious illness.

Even if your dog doesn’t seem to fit in to any of the above scenarios he may not be a lost cause. As long as there are no dangerous fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides used on the grass then your dog will not be harmed. If you suspect that your dog has ingested grass treated with these toxins then contact your vet immediately or call the ASPCA’s 24/7 Animal Poison Control hotline at (888) 426-4435.

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