Have you ever taken your dog out and he spends more time chowing down on chunks of green grass than he does playing fetch? Why is your dog suddenly eating grass like crazy? Dogs' grass eating habits may seem like a mystery to some dog owners but the reality of it is that there are very logical reasons for this behavior.
Grass is full of fiber! Eating grass is a way for dogs to clear their system. Dogs instinctively know that eating grass will settle a GI upset. The tale-tale sign of an upset digestive system is when your dog keeps licking lips and swallowing and eating grass or your dog eating grass frantically and panting. Grass that is swallowed quickly and not chewed is more likely to make the dog vomit. Dogs will often feel much better having cleared the bile and cause of the upset.
A study done by UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine found that only 22% of dogs studied vomited after eating grass while only 9% showed symptoms of stomach upset before consuming grass. There are other reasons that dogs chew grass.
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Your dog may be eating grass because an instinct tells them they need more food. It is common for dogs not getting the right nutrition to eat non-food things. Pica disorder in dogs is a medical condition developed due to poor nutrition. Dogs start to crave strange things like paper, cloth, dirt, toys, socks, feces, etc.
Dog food must have the proper amount of vitamins and minerals. However, these nutrients are not always absorbed properly. The dog food being given may not be the right kind of food for your dog. If your dog is eating grass regularly, speak to your veterinarian about switching up their diet.
Some dogs graze and they simply enjoy eating grass and there is no other reason. Owners will notice this habit is different when they are suffering from an upset stomach because they may spend time chewing and enjoying. Some owners have reported that they find their dogs eating clumps of cut grass like an afternoon snack.
Is Eating Grass Safe?
This behavior is a problem when the grass has been treated with herbicides, pesticides, or urinated by other animals. In addition, dogs can contract parasites like roundworms and hookworms from the feces of infected animals. If your dog develops regular vomiting, weight loss, decrease in appetite, bloody stool, diarrhea, or lethargy, seek medical attention through your veterinarian.
Some plants are toxic to dogs. Teaching your dog to not taste everything in the yard, is probably a wise choice. It can be a hard habit to break but through positive reinforcement training, your canine friend might not miss getting his afternoon grass on.
How to Stop a Dog From Eating Grass
Breaking the grass-eating habit can be done with a little bit of dog training. Keep a close watch while your dog is on the lawn and when they start chomping tell them to "leave it,' and offer them a treat and praise reward. Offering more mentally and physically challenging games while outside is also a good distraction. It's a good idea to walk your dog on a leash until the habit is fully broken. The best way to monitor your dog's health is by observing them closely in their own environment.
Overall, if your lawn is chemical free and safe, and your dog is not suffering from health concerns, then allowing them some grass fiber into their diet is relatively safe. If you ever feel like the habit is becoming a concern, contact your vet for a professional recommendation.
Helping your pup get everything they need to feel their absolute best is possible through supplementing their daily meals. Join thousands of other dog owners that help their dog feel top notch so they can love hard, play hard, live long with Lively Paws™ pawsome supplements.
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