Your dog does lots of things that make you wonder what is going through their head, but then one day they start eating grass. Why could they possibly want to do this? Our Toledo vets talk about the reasons why dogs eat grass, whether it means they are sick and if it is safe for them to do so.
Why My Dog Eats Grass
Pet owners are frequently left scratching their heads, unsure why their dogs seem to enjoy eating grass. Many dogs will eat grass, vomit, and then return to eating grass.
Could this be an indication that something in the dog's stomach needs to be brought to the surface? Is there anything poisonous in the dog's stomach? Is the dog self-treating a medical condition that has yet to be diagnosed?
Some dogs do vomit after eating grass, but this isn't true for all of them. The vast majority of dogs eat grass with no signs or symptoms of stomach upset. As a result, it appears that dogs do not eat grass to induce vomiting. Why do they do it, then?
The Connection Between Physical Health and Grass Eating
Fiber intake is a crucial part of a dog's digestive system. Dogs, after all, are omnivores. This means that plant foods, as well as high-quality meat, are essential for good health. The grass is a simple way for your dog to get more roughage in their diet, which can help keep things moving through their digestive tract.
However, if your dog is eating grass but also displaying symptoms of stomach upset, there could be a medical issue. Dogs can develop a variety of stomach and gastrointestinal problems, including pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease. If your dog is eating grass and has other symptoms like a lack of appetite, low energy, diarrhea, or constipation, you should take him to the vet for a checkup.
Behavioral Concerns Behind Grass Eating
Dogs will frequently eat grass out of boredom or anxiety, similar to how people bite their nails. Consider psychological reasons for your dog's behavior if they aren't showing any signs of digestive problems but are constantly munching on grass.
If your dog is simply bored, increasing the length, distance, or intensity of his walks could help him stop eating grass.
Separation anxiety may also be the cause of your dog's grass-eating. When you leave the house, leave an old blanket or t-shirt with your scent on it with your dog. Your dog may find the familiar scent reassuring, which will help them stop eating grass.
Some dogs show obsessive behaviors. If your dog is obsessively eating grass, your vet will be able to advise you on how to help your pup reduce obsessive behaviors.
The Health Concerns With Grass Eating
All that nibbling can lead you to wonder, 'Is it safe for dogs to eat grass?'. If your dog is otherwise healthy and on regular parasite prevention medication, eating grass is considered to be a safe behavior.
You should, however, make sure that there are no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers on the grass your dog enjoys in order to avoid accidental poisonings. If it's free of these chemicals then feel free to let your pup chomp.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.