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Why Do Dogs Eat Grass, Should You be Worried?


10 min read

There are times where dogs eat grass. Even though they have all the food that they need, still, they eat grass.

Many dog parents think of questions like is it healthy? and should you leave your dog to continue eating grass? The answer to these questions is answered below.

However, In order to know if it is healthy, you have to first know why do dogs eat grass and should you be worried?

Mainly, dogs eat grass when they have a stomach problem and want to vomit to keep their stomach healthy.

Another reason is that they may be anxious, bored, or hungry so they eat grass.

Other cause of dogs eating grass

Other causes include grazing where a dog likes the grass and eats it.

Even if your dog has all the nutrition that they need, they may continue eating grass because they like the taste.

The other cause is for your dog eating grass is their instinct.

Dogs, by instinct, used to eat grass in the past when they wanted to vomit after eating something that made them ill.

They chew the grass which makes them have large pieces of grass in their throat stimulating vomiting.

Theories about why dogs eat grass

Dietary deficiency

Many thought that dietary deficiency causes your dog to eat grass.

However, there has been no correlation between what type of diets that they eat and grass-eating.

Intestinal motility

Your dog may eat to improve their intestinal motility and help them get rid of intestinal parasites such as worms.

Rewarding and fun behavior

Dogs feel it is a fun and rewarding behavior.

There are certain plants that have been dopamine which helps with activating pleasure center in dogs.

Genetics

They are descendants of wolves where they ate grass.

Wolves would actually eat grass when they went hunting for prey.

Because dogs are descendants of wolves, they have the tendency to eat grass in their genes.

Is it dangerous for your dog to eat grass?

There are no serious problems except in certain circumstances.

You will know when you see signs such as their body language, movement, and the feeling you get from your dog.

Pesticides

Pesticides are chemicals that cause your dog serious damage.

If you are in a situation where your dog ate grass having pesticides, stop them immediately from continuing to eat.

The chemicals in pesticides may poison your dog. It is very dangerous for your dog.

Always check for signs of discomfort and illness in your dog to know if they need to go to the vet.

Bloat

This is a condition where a dog’s stomach is filled with air causing them to vomit without throwing something up.

This can lead to a medical condition in which it can be deadly when left untreated.

Types of grass eating

1.) Dogs eating grass quickly and in large quantity

In this type, dogs will eat grass very quickly desperately. They will whimper to go outside to eat grass.

Once, your dog is out, they will eat a handful of grass as if they haven’t eaten for the day.

Reasons why your dog vomits after eating grass:

  • The dog was sick before they ate grass and did so as a form to self-medicate.
  • The dog became sick after eating a large amount of grass.

2.) Dogs eat a small amount of grass

Any dog is more likely to play happily in the grass and then will start sniffing. The dog will start to eat a small amount of grass at a time.

Reasons that your dog eats grass

Nutritional benefit:

Sometimes a dog’s regular diet lacks certain vitamins and minerals.

Dogs may be lacking fiber and try to get it through eating grass. It is recommended that you give them foods that have foods that contain fiber.

There has been a study about a dog who ate grass for several years.

When they were put in a high fiber diet, he stopped eating grass.

Dogs like the taste of grass

Dogs, naturally, like the taste of grass and it can be welcoming to their taste buds.

So dogs are more likely to eat grass because they love the taste of grass.

Dogs are feeling bored

Dogs may be eating grass because they have nothing else to do.

They might be bored and eating grass provides them with a good time and makes them happy.

How to know which reason is the cause of dog eating grass?

You can know, through a simple way, through paying attention to the way that they eat.

Dogs are omnivorous which means that they eat both plants and animals. So if your dog eats plants, it’s okay as long as it is not a huge amount of grass.

However, if your dog eats a large amount of grass, your dog will vomit and the plants’ blades can hurt their throat and stomach lining.

What to do if your dog eats grass?

Many dogs will eat grass to make themselves vomit. If you find that your dog is eating grass, then you have to assess your dog’s diet to see what nutrients and vitamins do they need.

They may have a gastrointestinal problem which is a sign that there is something wrong with their food.

If you do find a problem wrong with your dog, then switch your dog food brand with other brands.

Another alternative is that you can switch your entire dog food from kibble to a raw diet.

You may need to get the help of a vet for a healthy transition.

The other things that you should add to your dog’s diet are probiotics and digestive enzymes.

Both help in digestion which ultimately makes your dog’s stomach safe.

Is eating grass a normal behavior for dogs?

It’s very normal for dogs to eat grass unless the grass is full of pesticides and chemicals.

The only time that you should let your dog eat grass is when the grass isn’t full of toxins.

However, if the grass is full of toxins, you shouldn’t let your dog eat any of it.

Nutrients in grass

The grass that your dog consumes has a nutrition value that your dog needs.

Grass contains an important source of fiber. It also contains phytonutrients and is high in potassium and chlorophyll.  

Also, grass contains digestive enzymes that will help your dog indigestion.

Is it dangerous for some breeds and others not?

No, it isn’t dangerous for other breeds of dogs. In fact, it is a normal behavior for dogs.

In fact, dogs are omnivores which means they eat both animals and plants. This means that dogs can eat some amount of grass.

Alternatives to grass eating

Some dogs may eat celery, lettuce, and baby carrots. You can experiment to see which one will your dog like.

These are healthy alternatives to commercial treats.

Should you stop your dog from eating grass?

It depends on why your dog is eating grass.

If they are eating grass because they are bored, you should stop your dog from eating grass.

Instead, you could exercise your dog through the activities that they need.

If you suspect that your dog is eating grass because of a nutrition deficiency.

You have to change their diet by providing them with dog food with high fiber.

What do the experts think?

Experts see that grazing isn’t a problem and is, in fact, a normal behavior. 

However, you have to take care of your dog if grass contains pesticides because they can be toxic.

How to stop your dog from eating grass if it contains pesticides

If the grass contains chemicals and pesticides, you have to stop your dog from eating grass.

Here are the top ways to stop your dog from eating grass.

1.) Change the diet plan

You can add to their diet plan some vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, banana, and lettuce.

It is also assumed that your dog may be eating grass because they are bored.

In this case, you can give them exercise outside the home.

Get a premium dog food that is high in fiber so it contains all the nutrients that they need.

Fiber also helps in aiding your dog’s digestion and making them less likely to eat grass.

Change your dog’s food gradually over five days. You have to change the food gradually to get your dog accustomed to it.

An example would be mixing 20 % of your dog’s food with the new dog food. Gradually over the days, increase your dog’s amount by 20 % each day.

3.) Treat your dog to vegetables

Another way to increase your dog’s intake in fiber is through giving them vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, peppers, green beans, spinach, zucchini, and sweet potatoes.

By doing so, you ensure that your dog gets all the vitamins and minerals that they need.

4.) Give your dog their own plants

You can give your dog their own plants such as peppermint, garlic grass, and Rosemary.

These plants will definitely make your dog have all the nutrients that they need making them stay healthy.

Always look for plants that are not toxic to your dog.

5.) Give your dog a bone or chew stick

Many dogs eat grass because they are bored and need to have something that entertains them.

So make sure you provide your dog with a chew stick and bone that will ultimately make them less likely to eat grass.

Make sure that the bone is large enough for your dog to not swallow.

The reason is that it will keep them preoccupied and they will forget about eating grass.

To choose the best dog bone and chew stick, you have to use bones or chew toys made from natural materials or nylon.

6.) Distance your dog from houseplants

You have to move away from all the houseplants from an area away from your dog’s reach.

It is important to do so your dog doesn’t eat the plants

7.) Avoid certain plants

There are some plants that are toxic to your dog. These plants can harm your dog’s health.

There are around 700 plants and weeds that are harmful to your dog.

Some of them are sorghum, pokeweed, mayapple, morning glory, corn cockle, and lily.

You have to beware of your dog’s safety by knowing what type of plants are outside and which plants are harmful.

8.) Train your dog

You can train your dog to stay in a specific part of the garden instead of going to another area.

If you are going to use this option, you have to always keep checking on your dog.

You have to spend time with your dog to make sure that they don’t eat grass that can be dangerous.

Put them always in areas that are safe for your dog.

9.) Use home scents on the grass

Use scents such as spices to let your dog stay away from grass. By doing so your dog will be less likely to eat grass.

You got to make sure to use a moderate amount of these spices because it can cause your dog’s nose if to become inflamed.

You could also use equal parts of lemon juice and vinegar around the yard.

It is best to avoid spraying directly into the grass as the vinegar may harm your lawn

These scents will let your dog stay away from crossing onto the lawn.

Never use coffee on the grass as it is toxic to dogs and can hurt them.

10.) Don’t punish your dog

Still, dogs can eat grass. If they do eat grass, make sure that you don’t punish them as they will become scared and will not understand.

So what can you do? You can use a firm “no” with your dog to tell them that they shouldn’t eat grass.

Also, stay consistent with your dog as it will make them understand what not to do.

11.) Visit the vet

Credited: AKC

If your dog continues to eat grass, despite your attempts, you have to go to the vet.

The vet will examine your dog’s underlying causes if they are physical or mental conditions.

Your doctor may also suggest an animal behavioral specialist or dog trainer who will work with your dog to stop them from eating grass.

Conclusion

Dogs eat grass for many different reasons.

When checking on your dog to see which of these reasons, you can then know the causes.

To know more about, why dogs don’t eat chocolate, check Why Dogs Can’t Eat Chocolate; Toxic Alert!

Share your questions, What do you think about dogs eating grass?

Nada

Welcome to my bio everyone, my name is Nada. Ever since I was little, I have loved animals because they are so loving and kind. All they need is you attention, love, and care but I didn't understand them very well because I didn't get the chance to raise them. Well, That changed when my family and I got our first dog Rocky, a German Shepherd. Rocky was fun and loving with funny quirks. Being loyal and protective of us, he made me see the nature of a German Shepherd. Now, we have another German Shepherd named Mia. She is a wonderful dog and a rescue who just needed a second chance in life. Mia has long grown from being a terrified dog to the brave and caring German Shepherd that she is today. P.S: Here is a picture of our beautiful German Shepherd, Mia.

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