Did you see your dog eating grass? This behavior looks far from normal. We know most dogs are not plant-loving creatures. But some dogs consume grass and because of this strange behavior, many pet parents end up asking if there’s something wrong with their fur babies. Why do dogs eat grass when they can eat any other fruit or vegetable they see outside?
There are myths about this topic but there are also scientific explanations as to why dogs do them. As a pet parent, you can stop this behavior. There are a few things you can do to help your pooch refrain from this unusual habit before it becomes unstoppable or before it turns into a bigger health concern.
Here, we researched for you so you can take action about your pet’s habit. Take a look at the reasons below and the things you can do in case you noticed her munching on grass the next time.
Why do dogs eat grass? Here’s How to Prevent It
5 Reasons Why do Dogs Eat Grass
It can be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease
Why do dogs eat leaves and other hard-to-digest items? It can be a sign of an underlying problem such as Pica. This condition is characterized by eating inedible items. While garden grass is considered non-toxic, fungus build-up on grass can make them poisonous.
Pica is classified into two types: behavioral and psychological. If it’s behavioral, it can be more challenging to treat because it’s often associated with other red flags like stress and anxiety. Other types of diseases affecting the endocrine and the digestive system can also result in pica.
The most common symptoms of Pica in canines include diarrhea, appetite loss, extreme weakness, and vomiting. The best way to prevent this from happening is to eliminate the inedible item. When you’re outside, consider distracting your pooch with a chew toy when she’s about to eat grass again.
They might feel the need to vomit and they turn to grass to do it
When dogs eat grass and vomit, it could be a sign that their body is working to eliminate any toxin from the body. Vomiting is our body’s natural way of getting rid of bacteria and parasites in your system.
It’s the same case with dogs. So when you noticed your dog feeling sick before she munches on grass, it could be a symptom that her body is trying to resolve the problem on its own.
Do note that not all dogs throw up after consuming grass. As to why do dogs eat leaves and vomit, it can be because they consumed something poisonous. When the climate gets warmer and drier, some grass species become host to fungi that can be toxic. If your pet throws up after consuming grass, call the animal poison control center immediately.
It can be a sign of nutritional deficiency
An 11-year-old Poodle ate grass since he was four years old. It turns out the dog resorted to eating plants due to the lack of fiber in its diet. When studied by experts, the Poodle was given a high-fiber diet. The dog was observed for 13 months following the experiment. It’s revealed that it never ate grass again, thanks to the modification in his diet.
As you can see, a high-fiber diet helped the dog let go of his plant-eating behavior. If you suspect your pet just needs extra fiber, consider assessing your pet’s diet. Does she always have runny stools? When a dog often suffers from diarrhea, she may not be getting enough fiber.
Start slowly by feeding small amounts of fiber-rich foods like squash, berries, and red beans. Squash is tasty and easy to prepare. You can turn it into a puree or simply mash it a bit to put on top of your pet’s usual food.
Why do dogs eat grass? It can be because of boredom!
As with humans, animals can feel boredom, too. The best way to divert your pet’s attention is by offering some chew toys. Look for vet-approved toys when shopping for your fur baby’s toys. You can also find food dispensing toys that promote mental stimulation and prevent boredom.
Aside from giving vet-approved toys to your pet, consider spending more time playing with her. If your pooch likes the water, try playing a game of fetch in the water! Just make sure to have a life jacket in handy to keep your dog safe while she’s in the water.
Your dog simply likes the taste of grass
Why do dogs eat grass when it rains? They may do it because they enjoy the taste of grass. Just imagine how wet grass smells after the rain. It’s pretty inviting! The grass might taste better and fresher after the rain, making it appealing even to our fur babies.
Sweetgrass in particular has that scent reminiscent of warm hay and vanilla. This aroma is naturally occurring and becomes more noticeable as the grass goes dry. This is a good explanation as to why do dogs eat grass when it rains. In such a case, there’s nothing much to worry about if your pooch just wants a taste! Just keep an eye on your dog, because as the adage goes, too much of anything is bad.
Why do dogs eat grass conclusion
The plant-eating behavior in canines is often a result of nutrition deficiencies. If this is the case, consider changing your dog’s diet by feeding her high-fiber foods. Sometimes, dogs turn to plants to get their fiber boost.
Some high-fiber and dog-friendly foods include brown rice, sprouts, and carrots. You can serve these items to your dogs daily, in moderate amounts. When you don’t have a lot of time to prep your pet’s meal, you may opt for commercially prepared dog food. Several dry dog foods in the market are also loaded with high amounts of fiber especially made to keep dogs fuller and healthier.
If you suspect your buddy’s plant-eating behavior is not due to nutritional deficiency such as lack of fiber in her diet, consider scheduling an appointment with your vet. When dogs eat grass and vomit or suffer from diarrhea, there might be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.