Is Your Dog Eating Grass? Find Out Why.
Ever wonder, "Why do dogs eat grass?" you may have heard answers such as boredom, hunger, and being sick. However, eating grass is actually a normal behavior for dogs, and most dogs will eat grass at some point in their lives. Here's a look at why your dog may be eating grass and what you need/can do about it.
Let's Start With Why Your Dog Is Eating Grass?
- They Like The Taste. While it may not seem appealing to us humans, some dogs just genuinely like the taste or texture of grass. If this is your dog, you may find that it's a behavior you just have to accept unless it's causing other issues, such as gastrointestinal upset.
- Part Of Their Natural Diet. Some people believe that eating grass might be a normal part of dogs' diets because of the way they evolved. This is based on the fact that when wild canids — including wolves and foxes — eat prey, they consume what's in the intestines of that prey, which would have been grass and other plants. Wolves and foxes have also been known to eat certain plants and berries, which may also indicate that occasional grass eating is a normal dog behavior.
- It Can Induce Vomiting. Pet owners may notice that their dog is more likely to eat grass when they have an upset or gassy stomach. One reason for this may be that grass can help induce vomiting and help get whatever is upsetting out of their stomachs.
While the grass may not be harmful to your pet, other plants can be deadly. So if you see your dog eating other types of plant material or not acting like themselves after eating grass — which may also be sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals, — it's important to talk with your veterinarian. You may also want to keep your dog from eating grass in other people's yards, as you don't know what it might have been treated with.
If your dog likes to eat grass, it's important to not use any products on your lawn that could be harmful to pets. In some cases, it may be helpful to provide a grass plant indoors that is in a more controlled environment if your dog continues to want to eat grass.
3 Tips to Get Your Dog to Stop Eating Grass:
While it's generally agreed that occasional grass eating is fine for dogs, there are some things you can do to curb this behavior if it's bothersome to you. Keep in mind that it still may not be possible to entirely eliminate grass eating, and it will take lots of repetition to get your dog to understand that you don't want them eating these leafy greens.
Giving your pet a few things to do can keep them distracted enough to stay away from eating grass. Some ideas for this might include putting a sprinkler out for dogs who love the water, hiding a few new toys in the yard (rotate out toys to keep things fresh), and playing fetch. For high-energy breeds, a backyard obstacle course with weaving poles or a doggy tunnel can level up the play factor.
Provide Tasty Alternatives(aka treats)
Giving your dog something else to eat when they're outside can help keep them away from the grass. Keeping a stash of treats that you only pull out to distract your dog from grass is one option, but it's important to be careful about overfeeding treats, which can lead to obesity in dogs and other health problems. In the summer, ice cubes are also a fun and affordable way to keep your dog entertained and help them cool off.
Limit Unsupervised Outside Time
If you have an insistent dog you may need to take a more hands-on approach to yard time. Being able to be outside with them as they go to the bathroom or run around can ensure you're able to provide redirection when your dog starts to eat grass. Focusing on leashed walks and inside activities, such as playing hide and seek with treats and toys, can help ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise to get their excess energy out, which can also help grass-eating related to boredom.
While these tips can help you curb grass-eating behavior should it bother you, unless your dog has another issue related to this habit, it's not something that has to be addressed. Eating grass occasionally is normal for dogs & isn't something to be concerned about. We hope this article puts you at ease.
Xo Miminko Fam